The Perfect Falafel Pita: Part 1 of 3 – Tahini Sauce

This series in falafel is brought to you in a large part by an experience at a Thai food restaurant. The Godfather and I went to dinner at one of our favorite Thai places, but it was a slow evening and the staff had time to chat. It’s not a very large place, so we overheard snippets of their conversation as we ate. At one point, the conversation turned to one of the young girls’ first experience with falafel and our conversation stopped dead as we tuned in. Her friend asked her what falafel was and she rather authoritatively explained. “Falafel is pita bread mashed up with some hummus and deep fried.” Perfect Falafel Pita - Tahini Sauce

I couldn’t look across the table at the Godfather without bursting out laughing, so my pad thai became veeery interesting for a minute. There’s no polite way to jump into a complete stranger’s conversation, so I let it go, but we were quite amused and appalled. Perfect Falafel Pita-Tahini Sauce

And then I had to make falafel. Delicious falafel from scratch, with a homemade wheat pita bread and tahini sauce and share with you. Because falafel is not a fried pita hummus cake pop concoction, it is one of the greatest foods on the planet. Period. Perfect Falafel Pita - Tahini Sauce Recipe

So I hope you enjoy this series! We’re starting with the tahini sauce because it’s simple, and you definitely don’t have to wait for falafel to enjoy it! I’d like to tell you I put it on toast and sandwiches, but I love it so much I’ll just eat it with a spoon. No shame here and now it’s on the internet in front of God and everybody. So if you too fall in love with it and eat it by the spoonful, you’re not alone. We’re in good company.

Tahini Sauce

  • 1/2 cup jarred tahini
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced finely
  • salt, to taste
  • water (optional)
  1. Put the tahini, garlic and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk together. The tahini will thicken as it reacts with the lemon juice. If you want a thick paste, then add salt to taste and you’re done! If you’d like a thinner sauce, go to step two.
  2. To thin the sauce to your desired consistency, add water, 1 tbsp at a time, mixing well after each addition. I added about 3 tablespoons to mine because I wanted a thinner spread. If I had wanted to drizzle the sauce, I would have added more. The exact amount depends on the brand of tahini you’re using.
  3. If you haven’t added salt yet, add salt to taste and enjoy! The finished sauce will keep in the refrigerator one week. I can’t tell you if it lasts any longer with certainty because it never makes it past 2-3 days at our house.

Blueberry Flax Pancakes

This post was updated September 2015 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project where I add delicious new photos to older blog recipes. Enjoy!

Make fluffy blueberry pancakes a little healthier by adding golden flax. Kid and husband approved! Recipe on GoodieGodmother.com

It’s the weekend and we shall all celebrate with breakfast! Hooray! Being that the Godfather is not a morning person and, if I’m up really early in the morning I’m usually working, weekday breakfasts are on the simple side. Come the weekend though… oh, the lovely weekend… breakfast is an event! (more…)

Make Your Own Soup Stock

I will admit to rolling my eyes a little years ago at Ina Garten when she pulled out homemade stock for the recipes on her show. “Store bought is fine” was definitely my mantra and I couldn’t understand why someone would take the time to make something purchased so easily. That is, until I realized how much easier it was to make your own! It’s also less expensive, more flavorful, and you know exactly what is in your food. Make Your Own Soup Stock 2

I make stock every few months, storing two bags in my freezer – one with chicken bones and one with vegetable scraps (washed of course). When they are full, I make stock. It’s that simple! I have yet to make beef stock, but for that, I think I’d go to my local grass-fed beef farm stand at the market and buy some bones from them. Easy to do because they’re my booth neighbors at the Vandenberg Village Farmer’s Market on Sundays! Make Your Own Soup Stock

How to Make Chicken or Vegetable Broth

  1. Empty your bag of frozen chicken bones or vegetables into a large stock pot. You can combine the chicken and vegetables, but I make them separate so I can prepare vegan dishes. 
  2. Fill the pot with water until it is about 2 inches over the vegetables or bones. Add any spices if you wish. Bay leaves, parsley and thyme are common. You may also add salt, but I would keep the quantity small so you can adjust salt as needed in the dishes you cook with the broth later, maybe a good pinch or so if you must.
  3. Bring to a rolling boil then immediately reduce the heat to barely a simmer, cover and cook for one hour, stirring occasionally.
  4. Check the flavor. If it’s to your liking, remove the broth from the heat. If it still tastes like water, continue to simmer longer, checking each half hour. If you over-simmer, the broth can become bitter.
  5. After the broth is ready, allow to cool either over ice, or on a hot pad in the refrigerator before transferring to your storage containers.
  6. Using a wire mesh strainer, separate the solids in your broth from the broth and discard.
  7. Ladle or pour the broth into your containers and either store in the refrigerator for immediate use or freeze. Be sure to leave a little room for expansion in the containers you plan to freeze. Make your own soup stock 3

Coconut Rice

This post edited July 2015 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project. I re-make and re-shoot older recipes to better showcase how wonderful they are!

A unique and easy side dish, savory coconut rice pairs well with Thai food and tropical dishes. Learn how to make it on GoodieGodmother.com

I have a “thing” with Thai food. Actually, I kind of have a “thing” with a lot of different types of food! Thai has always been one of my favorites though because I adore the layering of flavors in well-prepared dishes, especially when you find a place that really knows how to add heat to make a dish very spicy without sacrificing flavor! Heaven!  (more…)

Salsa 101: A Test Kitchen Success!

Until yesterday, I’d never made salsa in my life! As far as I was concerned salsa came out of a jar or the refrigerated section at the grocery store deli. Not until my adult life did I even know anyone who made salsa from scratch. Granted, I also thought Taco Bell was at least slightly authentic. South Florida doesn’t expose you to very much in the way of Mexican food. I have since learned the error of my ways, but I don’t frequently venture into making Mexican (or even TexMex) dishes Spicy Red Salsa - Goodie Godmotherat home. Making mole from scratch is on my kitchen bucket list.

Since yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, we decided to celebrate this decidedly American holiday with vegetarian taco salads. I’d been up since o’dark thirty that morning baking, worked a windy farmer’s market and was exhausted, but I got the notion to make salsa with our dinner and nothing was going to deter me!

Spicy Red Salsa Vegetables - Goodie Godmother

As a side note, our salads were loosely based off the recipe shared in one of my favorite vegan blogs, Oh She Glows : http://ohsheglows.com/2012/06/12/layered-raw-taco-salad-for-two/

I made the walnut meat, with a few modifications. I doubled the recipe so we’d have leftovers for lunch today, added just 2 tsp of ancho chile powder since the salsa was going to be hot, and omitted the cayenne pepper. It was so easy and we will definitely be making it again!

The Godfather and I are choosing to base our diets off whole foods, primarily plants, with as much local and organic as possible. I do this with my baked goods, so it would only make sense that my business is a reflection of the choices we make personally. Your body will thank you for fueling it with quality.

If you’re concerned about the cost of the walnuts for this recipe, shop bulk and look for sales, but put things into perspective… If you buy local, free-range organic grass-fed ground beef to avoid the icky hormones and additives in conventional meat, you’re spending about the same as you would on the nuts, maybe even a bit more. Walnuts also have way more omega-3.

Roasted Red Salsa Vegetables - Goodie Godmother

Back to the salsa…

I read a few recipes and then decided to just wing it instead of following any one recipe in particular. I made a “small” batch, and it yielded a bit over 3 cups worth of salsa.

Mexican Red Salsa - Goodie Godmother

Note: When shopping for jalapenos, the jalapenos with the brown stripes on the skin have more heat, than those with a perfectly green skin. If you’d like less heat, remove the seeds. For the recipe below, we had two large jalapenos with striations, so we choose to seed one and leave the other with seeds.

Cinco de Mayo Chips and Salsa - Goodie Godmother

Roasted Tomato Salsa

  • 8 roma tomatoes
  • 2 fresh jalapenos (see note above)
  • 1/2 fresh lime
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 medium onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  1. Preheat your broiler while you give all vegetables a rough chop. Toss in olive oil and place single-layer on a cookie sheet.
  2. Broil vegetables for a few minutes until jalapeno skin starts to blister and veggies start to color. While this is happening, dice the cilantro. I had enough time to make a quick batch of guacamole.
  3. Once the vegetables are ready, remove from the oven and put everything into a food processor. Chop for about 10 seconds, then add cilantro and lime juice and pulse a few more times depending on how chunky you’d like your salsa.
  4. Add salt if you’d like (we didn’t as the chips we purchased were rather salty), and serve! This will keep up to one week in the refrigerator or can be frozen in smaller batches for longer storage and thawed as desired.

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