Homemade Falafel + A Mediterranean Lunchbox

August 24, 2016

Homemade Falafel + A Mediterranean Lunchbox by Faring Well

I’ll never forget the independent film night on my college’s campus my junior year. The film was called Bag It, and although other films were shown – only this one made an imprint on my life. It covered the harmful effects of plastic and other petroleum based goods on our health, as well as the planet’s health. I felt overwhelmed. There were so many areas of my life that I felt needed to be changed. From the medications I took, to the tupperware I used. Even the way I chose to bring groceries home from the market and the lotion I purchased to smooth onto my skin. It was all too much to fathom doing at once. But I knew if I took the little steps I needed to, overtime I could reach the end point I envisioned.

It was those baby steps I began taking seven years ago that have shaped my life today. I am by no means perfect, and am still working on discovering knew-to-me ways to switch out less than stellar products in our home. I occasionally use the harmful plastic bag, or get a hot beverage in a styrofoam cup, but like all living things – I’m a work in progress. Mentally being aware of the effects (personally and globally) the goods I use have is the first step, which I am grateful for in this transformative process. The next step is figuring out the products themselves. This is where I introduce you to my new favorite fix.

Instead of hunting around various websites (or stores) trying to find admirable products that aren’t trying to harm you, imagine a one stop shop. That, my friends, is Mighty Nest. And the fix I mentioned before is their super approachable Mighty Fix program. Whether you are newly interested in learning about “greener” products for your life and home, or are a veteran with a keen eye for new ways to continually improve your harmful-product-free lifestyle, this little fix is so exciting.

The wonderful people over at MN pick their favorite item each month to send you. To encourage you to swap out a less friendly product in your home with a more sustainable one – something that is useful and quality made. To help slowly change our habits overtime to reflect greener choices. Such as stainless steel food containers for safer food storage, like my lunchbox in this post today. They take the guesswork out of your shopping, holding the highest standards for the products they carry – for this I am so grateful. 

On top of being apart of this stellar monthly fix, if you come across any additional (and very reasonably priced) eco-friendly goods on their site you wish to buy (hello Chemex and biscuit cutters), they will package them up with your Mighty Fix product and cover the shipping charges (in the US). Using mostly recycled packaging materials, too. I am so excited to see what is in store next month, and to green-ify our home with a few new-to-me products to help wean me off of old habits I’ve been meaning to kick (such as this bees wax wrap).

Want to try it with me? Use the code “FARINGWELLFIX” to have your first month of the fix for only $5. After which the monthly rate is only $10 (basically two lattes a month). There is no mandatory subscription period, so you can participate for as long or short as you wish. And if you sign up for the first month using my code, you will receive this stainless steel lunch box right away for only $5 (use this link to have it directly applied to your cart).  Yay!

I’m really thrilled to have learned of this amazing program, and hope you try and enjoy it too. I’ll be posting a few of my favorite items I’ve been using to green-ify my kitchen on Instagram this week if you’d like to follow along. Now, let’s pop down to read more on this lunch recipe today that has me doing all sorts of cartwheels. Packaged up in my new favorite stainless steel lunch box from MN, no less. Happy (healthy) week to you. – xx

Homemade Falafel + A Mediterranean Lunchbox by Faring WellHomemade Falafel + A Mediterranean Lunchbox by Faring WellHomemade Falafel + A Mediterranean Lunchbox by Faring WellHomemade Falafel + A Mediterranean Lunchbox by Faring WellHomemade Falafel + A Mediterranean Lunchbox by Faring WellHomemade Falafel + A Mediterranean Lunchbox by Faring WellHomemade Falafel + A Mediterranean Lunchbox by Faring Well

The list of recipes today is for my mediterranean food loving heart. All the fixings I yearn to have in my fridge to pull together for a lunch such as this are finally here. And the biggest surprise is how easily they all came together, making packed lunches all the more easier during the week. A smoky baba ganoush, creamy tzatziki, fresh tabbouleh, and the falafel I have dreamt of for so long. I’m happy to pass along my little versions of these traditional recipes to you today, and I hope you sincerely enjoy them all. 


FALAFEL
Makes around 15 falafel, serves 4 to 5.

1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked for 24 hours
1 bunch fresh parsley, stems removed
1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed
4 spring onions, green parts only
5 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon paprika
olive oil (for cooking)

Rinse and drain the soaked chickpeas. Place all of the above ingredients in the bowl of a food processor (do in two batches if your processor is smaller) and blend, stopping to scrape down the sides every few seconds and giving the mixture a stir. Once completely mixed (as in the photo above) the falafel dough is ready.

Heat a skillet on the stove over medium heat. Add a few good glugs of quality olive oil to the pan, creating a frying depth of about 1/4 inch. Scoop the falafel into rounded balls, about 2 tablespoons each. Place in the pan and cook for 5 to 7 minutes on either side. They are ready to flip when they are a nice golden brown. If they begin to fall apart when you flip, they aren’t ready, let them keep cooking. As they cook the dough binds together, so be patient.

Transfer to a towel lined plate when finished, and repeat until all have been cooked. Serve right away with the below fixings, or let cool and store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator until ready to pack for lunch.


BABA GANOUSH
Serves 4 to 5. 

1 large, purple eggplant
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 to 3 teaspoons pure sesame seed butter
1 garlic clove, grated
sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat the broiler to low (if possible) and position a rack about 8 inches below the flame. Line a baking sheet with parchment, set aside. Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices and evenly space on the baking sheet. Cook under the broiler for 5 to 7 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for the same. They should be golden and slightly charred at spots, with the centers soft and fully cooked.

Set aside to let cool, then remove the skins from the slices and add the flesh to a bowl. Mash with the back of your fork, add the remaining ingredients, and continue to smash together until incorporated. (You can blend together in a small food processor if you prefer a smoother texture.) Serve right away, or store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.


TZATZIKI
Serves 4 to 5. 

150 grams plain + unsweetened plant based yogurt
1 large garlic clove, grated
1/3 cup finely diced cucumber
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and whisk together. Cover and place in the refrigerator for the flavors to set for at lease 20 minutes. Serve right away, or store in an airtight glass jar in the fridge until ready to use.


HEMP SEED TABBOULEH
Serves 4 to 5.

3 bunches of flat leaf parsley
2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
2 shallots, finely diced
1/4 cup hemp seeds
6 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt to taste

Trim the stems from the parsley, and finely mince the leaves. Add the leaves to a large mixing bowl along with the remaining ingredients and mix well. Set aside to marinate for at least 20 minutes before serving. Or store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.


This post was sponsored by Might Nest. All thoughts and opinions are my own, and I dearly believe in this company and their Mighty Fix program. Remember to use code “FARINGWELLFIX” to receive your first month of the fix for only $5. 

24 Comments

  • Reply Tori//Gringalicious August 24, 2016 at 4:36 am

    Ahhh, such lovely healthy lunchbox inspiration! I’m not a vegan but seeing this yumminess is making me feel that I totally could be, YUM! Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply Faring Well August 26, 2016 at 5:06 pm

      Thank you Tori, that is so neat to hear! I’m glad you find it inspiring <3

  • Reply betty August 24, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Make me this lunchbox please!

    • Reply Faring Well August 26, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      You got it girl ;) now just come to SOCAL!

  • Reply Sophie | The Green Life August 24, 2016 at 8:07 am

    What a great mission! Love it. And this is almost too much deliciousness to handle! Can I hire you to make my lunches, please? :) xo

    • Reply Faring Well August 26, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      Ah thank you Sophie! I would love to ;) xx

  • Reply Lauren August 24, 2016 at 9:53 am

    I think it’s that “all or nothing” mentality that derails so many of our “healthy” plans. Making small changes little by little is so much easier! This little lunch box of stuff looks so incredible and it’s making me very anxious to pick the eggplant I’ve got growing in my backyard. Do you have a favorite brand of tahini?

    • Reply Faring Well August 26, 2016 at 5:09 pm

      I so agree Lauren! Thank you for your sweet note here. So much can get done in baby steps! How neat to hear you are growing eggplant. As for tahini, I get the Kevala brand from Whole Foods. It is super tasty, pure, and reasonably priced (mega win).

  • Reply Rebeca August 24, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    I also believe baby steps are the way to go for a healthier life, both for ourselves and the planet. In my experience, striving for perfection leads to frustration, and it’s not realistic at all. I try to keep doing better every day, keeping in mind I’m human and flawed.
    Confession? I have yet to try baba ganoush. I’ve never liked eggplant, mostly because of its texture, so maybe I could like it this way?

    • Reply Faring Well August 26, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      Absolutely, amen to that girl! And as for baba – totally could win you over if you pureed it smooth – this way you get rid of the texture! It’s pretty simple to make, so it may be worth a try to find out ;)

  • Reply Katherine August 25, 2016 at 6:59 am

    I bookmarked this recipe and cannot wait to try it! Also, thanks so much for sharing the info about Mighty Nest. I just signed up using your code. :)

    • Reply Faring Well August 26, 2016 at 5:11 pm

      Katherine, you are the best! Thank you! I’m so glad you love the recipe and Mighty Nest too. You’ll have to let me know how you enjoy your lunchbox and these falafel if you make them – xx

  • Reply Elizabeth August 25, 2016 at 8:09 am

    This looks insanely good! I’ll have to try it some time :)

  • Reply Jodi August 26, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Ah Jessie – yes! yes! yes! I love this so much. It’s scary and overwhelming when we really sit down and think about all the changes we should be making – but I love your step by step approach! I can not get over how delicious this looks – these are the flavors of my heart. Can’t wait to try this falafel! Yahoo! x

    • Reply Faring Well August 26, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      Thank you sweet Jodi, that means tons coming from you! These are the flavors of my heart too. Wish I could pack us both this lunch and then go adventuring into your backyard’s NP ;) one day, girl, one day! XO

  • Reply Sian Therese August 28, 2016 at 1:23 am

    Step by step is the best way to tackle those big changes that seem so overwhelming. This recipe looks divine! I love mediterranean flavours. Yum yum yum! Delicious bits and pieces like this make for such tasty lunches.

    • Reply Faring Well August 30, 2016 at 11:15 am

      It so is! And thank you for your compliments on my lunchbox here Sian, you are really too sweet. I’m all about those mediterranean flavors too! <3

  • Reply Emily | Gather & Dine August 30, 2016 at 5:39 am

    I found your nom show on this and watched it yesterday while I used my elliptical. :) So much fun, Jessie! And I soaked in all your good info about about starches and chickpeas and how it all comes together. I’ve always been intimidated to make my own falafel for some reason, but now I can’t wait to try to out. This is such a thoughtful and well-planned lunchbox- so unlike mine! Ha!

    • Reply Faring Well August 30, 2016 at 11:20 am

      No way! This just made me blush and smile so big Emily. You are too sweet! I’m so glad you enjoyed it and feel confident to make falafel now – that’s what I was hoping for <3. And I know, I wish my lunchbox looked like this more often - but very once and a while a little something extra can be such a treat! Enjoy your pineapple pops over there ;) loved you new mini post on them! xx

  • Reply La petite poire September 8, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Soooo delicious I just love homemade falafels and the addition of hemp seeds to your tabouleh is excellent. I sprinkle those things on everything! Love your photos and your recipe. Thank you for sharing, beautiful post and I can’t wait to try it out 🍐

    • Reply Faring Well September 13, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      Thank you sincerely for your sweet comment! I appreciate it <3

  • Reply Shelley September 10, 2016 at 7:25 am

    Conquering eggplant fears one batch of baba banoush at a time! Love it! Also, this combo of recipes, oh lala. Totally with you on the mediterranean food loving heart thing. Could literally eat this all day, every day. Your falafels look bang on, can’t wait to try! I’m also going to look into this mighty fix thing, and whether they can ship to Canada – what a great initiative!

    • Reply Faring Well September 13, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      Thank you tons Shelley! You’re the best. This means loads coming from you. Hope you are having a gorgeous week friend!

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