Can I share something embarrassing with you? I love falafel. That’s not the embarrassing part. The embarrassing part is that I was like, oh, I’ll make falafel dip so that I can skip the cooking part and get it to my mouth faster. What a cool idea.
And then I realized.
Falafel dip is HUMMUS. ☺️🙈 I guess I should have realized that, given that long love affair that falafel and I have.
When I was living in a laughable excuse for an apartment on St. Paul Street, Baltimore, I had a very restricted diet: Ben and Jerry’s, bagels, and falafel. No judgement, folks. Late teens/early 20’s are even worse than middle school. I was miserable on many levels, but at least I had falafel.
Jason takes me out for falafel at the end of every semester. He sings the Billy Madison song to me on the way there. Hun passed A&P II, oh what glorious day! in this falsetto voice that he knows I can’t stand.
Falafel is responsible for him getting a mountain bike that he totally didn’t need (long story).
The guy at the falafel place in Raleigh would get concerned when I wouldn’t come in for a while. I guess I should have told him I was moving.
A few days before Christmas, Jason and I went out for the first date we’d had in months. He took me out for falafel, of course. It was a place I’d never been to before and their falafel was….different. It was less spongy than regular falafel and it was RED inside, and spicy. I got extra ones to take home, because I always get extra ones to take home. This dip was inspired by that lovely spicy dish. And folks, it’s HOT. There are jalapenos sprinkled all over it. YUM. I tried blending them in and it totally didn’t work. Little bursts of spice in your mouth (does that sound dirty? ummmm) are just a lot funner to eat, and totally taste better.
- 2 cups of chickpeas
- 1 1/3 cup really tightly packed parsley
- 1 cup of cilantro
- 2 tbsp lime juice (plus more for the top)
- 4 - 5 roasted garlic cloves (depending on what kind of garlic person you are)
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1/3 of a purple onion
- salt to taste
- 2 jalapenos, all chopped up
- Blend everything together except for the jalapenos.
- Put half of the dip in the bowl, sprinkle half of the jalapenos on, then add the rest of the dip, and then the rest of the jalapenos. Squeeze lots and lots of lime juice on top, and extra salt to. Get your chips!
I got my roasted garlic recipe from Real Simple. It doesn't taste quite as mild as long roasted garlic, but it's still good and only takes about ten minutes.
What you do is, chop off the top of the head so that all the cloves are somewhat exposed. Put in in a bowl with olive oil and two tbsp water. Cover it with plastic wrap, and microwave for 7 minutes on 50% power. Leave the plastic wrap on for about three more minutes and then you're good to go.
adapted from Gimme Some Oven
Lately Jason has been asking me to “blog him up some chili.” When you ask like that, babe, how can I say no? eye roll. Making people happy with food is one of my weak spots and he knows it.
What he doesn’t know (what he didn’t know as he gobbled it up and asked for seconds) is how many good things are in this chili. Little grape tomatoes, and big earthy carrots, acorn squash, corn, tomatillos and avocado and jalapeno; purple potatoes. You practically have the entire spectrum here. Sorry blue.
My mom used to say that the more color you have on your plate, the healthier it is. I’m sure this rule is too simple to be totally true, but it’s also too simple to be false. It just plain common sense. Which means that this chili is full of stuff you want to put in your body.
The base is tomatillos, so you get that amazing green chili/salsa verde flavor. Talk about craveable. I like chili that I can chew, so I cut my carrots in big chunks. It probably makes the cooking time just a little longer, but when it comes to chili, you kind of want a longer cooking time (still under an hour). It gives all the flavors time to melt into one another and get snug. Deep. Rich. Spicy.
I might of had a few corn chips on the side. It’s a chili rule, right? You have chili, you must have chips. And I don’t feel bad about it, one little bit. I’m not one to justify I-had-something-healthy-so-I-can-have-something-naughty. I had the corn chips because I plain old felt like it. Because, like I said, I like to make people happy with food. And one of those people is me.
Hidden Rainbow Vegan Chili
- 10 small purple potatoes (about 11 oz worth of potatoes), cubed
- 2 cups of cubed acorn squash
- 3-4 large carrots, chopped (big chunks, not neat little die)
- 1 1/4 lbs tomatillos
- 2 large jalapenos, thinly sliced
- 1 medium large onion, diced
- 4 medium garlic cloves, grated on a microplane
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can red beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups unsalted vegetable broth (I like Kitchen Basics)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt to taste
- 2 ears of corn, shucked
- olive oil
- salt and chili powder
- 2 avocados
- small bunch of cilantro
- 1 pt grape tomatoes
- scoop corn chips
- Blend up the tomatillos and half of the onion.
- Pour the oil in a large saucepan and place over medium heat.
- Once the oil is shimmering, stir in the garlic.
- Once the garlic becomes fragrant (less than a minute), stir in the rest of the onion, the squash, the carrots, and the tomatillo puree. Cover the pot.
- After ten minutes, stir in the potatoes. Cover once again.
- After ten more minutes, stir in the black beans, red beans, jalapenos, and vegetable broth. Cover once again and allow to cook for 35-38 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pot from heat and add salt to taste.
- Turn on the broiler
- Slather the corn with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and chili powder.
- Put the corn under the broiler and cook for 5 minutes. Turn and cook for 4 minutes, and then turn again and cook for 4 more minutes. Remove from heat.
- Once the corn is cool enough to handle, slice off the kernels.
- Chop up the avocados and grape tomatoes.
- Divide the chili among the serving bowls and sprinkle with the corn, grape tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro.
- Serve with love and a big pile of corn chips.