57 Things Series · Food & Cooking

57 things series: never throw away edible food

When I told you about the picnic loaf I made,  I promised I’d tell you what I did with all the bread I pulled out from the center of the loaf. I know you’ve been waiting (okay, you probably totally forgot I even mentioned it), but this idea will have been worth the wait! At first, I considered making these meatballs, but then came along a chance to make this awesome, easy chickpea dish. A 5-Minute Chickpea Dinner Best Eaten On the Couch, by the TV photoThis 5-Minute Chickpea Dinner is part of Bon Appetit’s Cooking without Recipes series, and I absolutely love it! I didn’t have peas on hand, so I just used red pepper lightly cooked in the same pan I was toasting my bread in. Sooooo good you guys.
I was super happy to use every part of the bread I made, and–keeping with the spirit of Mottainai Grandma— I proceeded to use each and every part of the watermelon we had on our picnic, too. The white rind was used for Watermelon Rind Pickles, any pink or red shavings were used to make watermelon flavored water, the green rind was put in our compost, and we ate the inside just as it was.

Using up the bread and the watermelon are two good examples of fulfilling number 48 on the 57 Things List: Never throw away edible food (my original post on the 57 Things Series is here!).

What are some of your favorite ways to use every last bit of something edible?

xx Caitlyn

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Food & Cooking · Reviews · Tried

Review: Fantastic World Foods Falafel Mix

I was wandering through the aisles in my local supermarket when I came across a falafel mix. Although in the past I always have made falafels from scratch, I was interested in how a pre-made mix might taste. (Sometimes after a long day, making falafels from a kit sounds much better than making them from scratch!)IMG_0697Making the falafels with the Fantastic World Foods Mix is easy enough: all you need is the mix, water, and (in my case) your favorite beer to drink while making it.IMG_0698Just upon opening the bag, a delicious smell of cumin and garlic rose up into my kitchen. I added 1 1/4 cups of water and mixed until moist, and then let the mixture sit for 15 minutes as directed. (During this time you could always drink that delicious beer mentioned earlier and watch some of the World Cup action with your husband, but that’s totally up to you.)

IMG_0699Once 15 minutes have passed, you make little balls out of the dough and press them into discs. I think if you follow the serving suggestion, you’ll end up with about 16 discs, but I made mine a little fatter, apparently. (Make sure you don’t make them too fat, though, or they will be dry!) From this point you can choose whether you want to bake them or deep fry them, and I chose the former over the latter. After brushing olive oil on both sides of each disc, I popped them in the oven for about 2 minutes per side.IMG_0701While I waited for the falafels to get golden brown, I prepared tomatoes, lettuce, pitas and a yogurt sauce I whipped up quickly with dill, garlic, a little lemon juice, salt, pepper and plain yogurt. (There is also a recipe suggestion for yogurt sauce on the box for those of you that prefer to follow an exact recipe, but the yield seemed really high for just a few stuffed pitas.)IMG_0702I had wanted cucumber, but I forgot to pick some up at the store in all of my Falafel mix excitement. Nevertheless, the finished falafel-stuffed pitas were awesome. Totally brought me back to the first time I ever tried one in a little diner in Amsterdam. IMG_0704Overall I would say that Fantastic World Foods Falafel Mix makes an inexpensive, fast, easy and delicious meal. As the website proudly declares: “If you have an appetite for discovery, try Fantastic World FoodsTM Our truly original ethnic and regional cuisines are specially crafted to stimulate all your senses. Native spices, vegetables, rice and grains combined in new blends of tastes, textures, colors and aromas. They’re vibrant! They’re creative! And they’re always all natural and organic.”

I’d like to try some of their other mixes in the future!