Falafel that didn’t suck

The first time I made falafel, back when I was just a newb’ vegetarian, it could only have been described as fal-awful.  The problem, Erin and I decided, was that it was grilled, not deep-fried carnival-style.  And as a result it was dry and mostly tasteless.

To give it another go, I turned to trusty old Fine Cooking, where I found a recipe for falafel sandwich with cucumbers and tomatoes.  And no, it still wasn’t fair fare served by a bearded lady, but it was at least pan-fried on both sides to give it some color and flavor before it was baked.  And it was surprisingly tasty!  In fact, I’m going to eat it again as soon as I get home.

[falafel photo]

The recipe is ridiculously easy to make; all you really have to do is combine chickpeas, onions, breadcrumbs, and some spices in a food processor, then chop up the veggies while you fry and bake the falafel.  Then you serve it all in a pita with some yogurt — only you use real pita, not this crap I bought called “Sandwich Thins.”

You see, the town grocery store that I’ve gone to my whole life was recently bought out by a chain, and now they have crappy stuff, such as this instead of pitas.  Plus the place is in danger of being overrun by old people, and if you thought grocery shopping was loads of fun before, well — I’ll stop.

The moral: delicious, easy, cheap, healthy recipe.  Make it next time you don’t know what to make when the spouse is on her way home.

[falafel sandwich photo]

A scare!

Yesterday my November streak of running every day was kept alive by a technicality — a mile and a half around the neighborhood.  I was so busy during the day that I didn’t get a chance to run until after I got home at 6:30.  It was dark by then, so I strapped on my headlamp and Vibrams and was “that guy.”  But during this little nothing of a run, I had some pain in the top of my foot, which set off my metatarsal-stress-fracture alarm.  So I worried about it for the rest of the night, decided not to run in my Vibrams again until next week, and ran seven normal miles today with no problems.  So fingers crossed, all is fine.

Runaround Stu

I’m writing this post in the car!  My mom and I went to see Stu Mittleman speak tonight and now we’re driving home.  A lot of people haven’t heard of Stu — I only know him because Tony Robbins always talks about him — but his ultrarunning accomplishments are pretty incredible.  577 miles in six days, 1000 miles in less than 12 days, and, oh yeah, a leisurely 52-mile per day jog across the country.

Anyway the guy was completely inspiring and talked a lot about alkaline nutrition and the joy of running easy.  I just ordered his book!  And as soon as I get a recap post together I’ll fill you in on the details from his talk.



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  1. mm that sammy looks so good! I am still yet to try falafel! Thanks for the recipe! I will add this to the list of to makes for sure (I have your bean balls on there too.). Glad to hear you kept the streak going. Stu sounds incredibly motivational- what a cool talk to attend.

    I still haven’t seen any bump pictures? We’re waiting (taps foot) haha jk 🙂
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..Mini Meatball Pasta Bake and Veggies =-.

  2. Love falafel! You must have been reading my mind… I made falafel last week (out of a box, desparate to not have deepfried falafel) and it was terrible!!! We called them chalk balls in our house.

    I read his book back when I was getting ready for my first half marathon years ago… and I learned SO much from him. Like how to hold your hands in such a way that it appears you are holding butterflies (I think to keep from tensing hands into fists??) Can’t remember why but I always remember that and it works! He also made me feel better about running 10 min miles when some of my running buds were going much faster, because he sometimes does 12 min miles.

    How cool that you got to see him speak!
    .-= Shari B.´s last blog ..You Are My Sunshine (Burger), My Only Sunshine (Burger)… =-.

    • Shari, he told us about the butterflies thing last night too! And it’s funny, I’ve kind of noticed that as my running has become smoother, that has sort of naturally happened to my hands. He also called it “dinosaur arms.” So I was glad to hear that I’m on track!

  3. I’ve never made them before . . . so thanks for the tips!
    .-= Morgan @ Life After Bagels´s last blog ..Ewww What Is This? Cider! =-.

  4. Hahaha I totally have visions of you running in the Vibrams with the light on your head. Made my morning!
    .-= Katherine´s last blog ..Little Purses of Flavor =-.

  5. I too just recently gave up meat. I feel great too! I might have to give this recipe a try! I’m always trying to find tasty-no meat stuff to cook!

    YOu’re training for an ultra? that is awesome. my husband and I are training for our first marathon. Good luck and thanks for the recipe!

  6. I’m thinking of trying Falafel today, but going to try Vegan With A Vengeance version. I’ll let you know how it goes 😉 Wow sounds like an inspiring talk. Can’t wait for the recap.

  7. Funny, I used to tell my friend in college that when there was no falafel on the school’s Mediterranean bar, it made me fal-awful!
    You can also throw falafel in the slow cooker for about 3 hours on high and they come out crispy and amazing. just put a little olive oil or cooking spray in it and roll them around. The texture rocks!
    .-= Morgan´s last blog ..Southwestern Pizza =-.

  8. I love falafel, but haven’t found a good, healthy recipe for it yet! I’ll have to give this one a shot!
    .-= Julie @savvyeats´s last blog ..Polished Organics Vanilla Salt Scrub =-.

  9. Laura M...ski says:

    sounds like your local store went the way of Santoni’s down in Edgewood back in the 80s. my parents were rather bummed to see that go…especially since Food Lion wasn’t all that great then, and still isn’t all that great now.

    oh, if you haven’t, GET FOOD INC. the Boy and i watched it Friday and … well, let’s just say we’re already planning to cut out more meat, introduce more veggies, and attempt to shop locally for everything we can. i’ve also managed to convince him to avoid fresh tomatoes in the off season (because HELLO THEY TASTE LIKE NOTHING).

  10. Glad to hear you’re keeping with the running goal! That’s great you got out
    .-= Evan Thomas´s last blog ..I’m Kind Of A Big Deal =-.

  11. I love falafel, but I didn’t know it was easy to make. Thanks for the recipe! 🙂
    .-= Allison (Eat Clean Live Green)´s last blog ..Live Green Giveaway =-.

  12. Sandwich looks great! Awesome colors in the pic too! Take care of the foot. My mom is nursing a stress fracture on her foot right now. She’s been runnin for over 30 years but the doc told her it’s most likely because of FLIP FLOPS! Have a great day!

  13. Ooh, I love falafel and made it yesterday too! I know what you mean about chains not carrying the good stuff.
    .-= meatlessmama´s last blog ..Help St. Jude’s Help Kids with Cancer =-.

  14. I think I’ve been “lurking” and not leaving comments. I love that little nudge in your comments copy haha.

    I am so happy that you now consider yourself a runner btw. I know you mentioned it a post a while back but I’m just catching up. Rock on!

  15. So glad I came across your site! I have had a horrible aversion to meat the past few months. Love that you are a strong athlete who doesn’t eat it!
    .-= Jessica @ How Sweet It Is´s last blog ..Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting =-.

  16. I looove falafel, but I haven’t had it in a while! I’m definitely going to have to give this recipe a try!!
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..What a Crock! Greek Stew =-.

  17. I made a great falafel ball recipe from Hungry Girl last year that was delicious. Good idea to lay off the VFF for a week, take care of that foot.
    .-= Robin´s last blog ..My Non-Running Training Plan =-.

  18. HEY! I like those crappy sandwich thins! Especially toasted.

    But okay, okay..I DO prefer pita..

    I have recently been wondering how exactly to make my own falafel so thanks for the recipe! I will definitely be trying this soon.

    Glad you are deciding to rest a bit, as I have been reading that is definitely your best bet. I hope everything is a-okay and that whatever is going on will go away sooner then later!

    .-= Katy @ These Beautiful Feet´s last blog ..Happy Friday. =-.

  19. Looks delicious! That’s how Falafel is served in Israel, with diced cucumber and tomato salad tossed in some olive oil and lemon, and sometimes cilantro. One of my favorite toppings for a Falafel sandwich is Amba (sp?). It’s this picled-mango-spicy sauce stuff, and its delicious! If you can find a recipe for it, I highly recommend it in the sandwich, with the tahini.

  20. I make a raw version with sprouted chickpeas and warm them in my dehydrator for 4-5 hours at 115. Yum!

  21. er, some of the fastest people I know are ‘old people’ – like still knocking out a sub 3:15 marathon mid 60s so careful what you say please about ‘old people’. That will be you one day.

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