Alexandra's Bread-less Kebabs – it’s not a load of falafel after all!.
We love kebabs in our house - that amazing mixture of textures and tastes is truly amazing. But since we have been largely gluten free, the race has been on to find a suitable wrap, and the results of my search have not been promising - they all atste a little of cardboard - so I decided..who needs all that bread, gluten free or not, anyway?
So, step in my new invention:
What you need is essentially a very good/powerful blender - I use my Thermomix ® (I love that thing #justsaying).
Kebabs are usually made up of the following:
- Wrap ( which we will leave out)
- Chilli sauce
- Mushrooms and onions.
- Lettuce and tomato/Tabbouleh (which contains wheat, so I always find it just as tasty, quicker and easier to use the salad).
It may seem complicated but it's not. Since we have this meal quite regularly in our household, it's only a drama when everything runs out at once. Otherwise it's just about construction!
Let's start with the chilli sauce:
Did you know that store-bought sweet chilli sauce contains nasties such as high fructose corn syrup ( aka as sugar syrup) as well as colours, flavours and preservatives? It's so much easier, cheaper and downright healthier making your own and here' how you do it:
Pre-sterilise a 600 ml glass bottle
- 2-3 fresh medium sized chillies (or 8 small bird’s eyes).
- 150 g raw sugar (don’t worry you won’t use a lot per serve so you get very little sugar)
- 200 ml. apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic - crushed.
- 1 tbsp salt
- Scrap seeds out of half the chillies – or if you want a hotter sauce, just leave them in.
- Chop and crush them well – you can use a mortar and pestle or blender – watch your eyes!
- Add them and all remaining ingredients into a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Pour into pre-sterilised bottle.
- You can strain out the chilli bits and seeds, but I like to leave mine in.
- Will store in the fridge for 6 months or so.
Then we will do the mushrooms and onions
- 1 medium sided onion, cut into rings – or as many as you like really
- 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced finely – ditto.
- Ghee or olive oil for frying.
- Place all ingredients in a heavy fry pan on low heat and fry until caramelised and soft
- Set aside, keep warm.
Now it's time for the Hummus:
Hummus is so very easy to make. But if you want to buy some, that's OK too - just watch those little numbers Here is how I do mine.
- 4 cloves garlic – crushed
- 2 bird’s eye chillies (optional) – de-seeded and chopped finally.
- 400 g of organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed. I love the global organics or ceres organics brand as the tins don’t have dodgy BPA lining:
- 50 ml apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp tahini (I also make my own, but you can just buy a good quality one – I will blog about this at a later stage).
- 25 ml extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil. I love the red island Australian one – but any good EVOO will do.
- 1½ tsp black, ground pepper.
- 2 tsp Celtic salt
- ¼ tsp hot paprika (optional)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds or ground – I like the zing of the seeds.
- Extra olive oil for topping.
- Sumac for sprinkling
Basically, put everything in your blender and pulse blend until you have the desired consistency. YOU may need to add a little more water if it is too dry.
Place in a seal-able container, swirl with a bit of extra olive oil and sprinkle iwth teh sumac.
And the Falafels
It’s up to you whether you just want to fry up some meat strips on the BBQ (liberally seasoned with garlic, slat and pepper) as I do for my husband, but I eat very little meat and falafels taste so delish in this combo:
- 100 g yellow lentil or chickpea flour
- 100 g yellow lentils
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 2 small bird’s eye chillies – seeded and chopped finely
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp fresh, finely chopped coriander (or you can used ground but you may need to use less)
- ½ cup very finely chopped onion.
- 1 tsp curry powder or paste (again I make my own and always have a supply), but bought varieties will also be delicious – just buy a good brand. Try and avoid those little numbers on the jar!)
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely.
- Pinch Celtic salt and crushed black pepper to taste.
- Olive oil or ghee for frying.
- 50 - 100 g water depending on consistency
- Grind the lentils until ground into a coarse flour.
- Add all the other ingredients into your blender and pulse until well mixed – gradually add a bit of water, 30 ml at a time until you have the consistency of a thick paste – you don’t want it too moist or the falafels will fall apart when frying.
- Wet your hands, roll into little balls.
- Now batch cook them – fry them in your choice of oil, flatten a little with fork for even frying.
- When they are nice and crusty on the underside, flip them over and cook the other side. The longer you cook them, the crunchier they become.
- Take out and place on kitchen paper to soak up any excess fat.
- Keep them warm in a low oven whilst you are frying the others.
Now it’s just a matter of assembling them:
- Add the lettuce and tomato (or tabbouleh) into a large bowl – I use pasta bowls generally.
- Lay the falafels/ steak on top.
- Add the mushroom and onions – well drained of oil
- Top with a generous serve of hummus
- Drizzle with chilli sauce (careful – it has a bite)
ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY!
If you want to put them on a wrap – just assemble all that on a Lebanese flat bread or mountain bread, roll up and enjoy.
Alexandra, naturopath, nutritonist, herbalist