Falafel at Home

I’m in love with the falafel from Tzatziki Grill in New Rochelle – they’re soft on the inside, crispy, spicy. I eat almost an entire order to myself every time we order takeout.

When I saw a box of falafel mix at Stop & Shop this past weekend, it inspired me to try making an at home version.  Falafel mix, tahini, some olives, and some feta for good measure.

It was surprisingly easy – and yes I know its because I didn’t really make the falafel from scratch. I get it.

Falafel mix + water. Set aside.

Scoop into the shape you want – fry in a lot of oil.

Drain. Layer on pita with lots of toppings.

Making the tahini dressing was only slightly more complicated.

Mix tahini paste, water, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and salt. I had to keep tasting and adjusting to get it where I wanted it – which seems to be the basis of this recipe.

The flatbreads I also picked up at Stop & Shop; they were really good and the nutritional information was incredible. 15 grams of protein, 20 grams of carbs, and 180 calories per pita.

Flatbread, tahini, shredded romaine, sliced tomatoes, feta, red onion, falafel.

Olives and stuffed grape leaves [canned from Trader Joes] on the side.

I had one, Mister had 1.5 with the other 1.5 packed up for his lunch. I take that level of enthusiasm as the highest compliment.

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Sometimes I impress myself with how well I pack up his lunch.

Crave: Albany, New York

This past weekend was spent in Albany, while it was a little cooler than it has been it still doesn’t feel like the holiday season.

Saturday evening, I had signed up for the Albany Last Run 5k.  I was grateful that it wasn’t super cold, since I ended up still having to run with two pairs of pants, a tank top, a long sleeve shirt, and two workout type sweatshirts, a headband, and knee high socks.  Once I got going, it was great, but I felt like I was sucking ice into my lungs which didn’t make the hills of Washington Park very friendly.

Thankfully, I had prepared by wolfing down half of a sub from Andy’s about two hours before race time.

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That was a really great sub, easily one of our favorites.  Unfortunately I can’t remember what it was beyond the fact that it had some meats and muffaletta spread on it.

Anyway, back to the Albany Last Run 5k; It was a really fun crowd, and once again solidified for me why I love running 5ks; there is a sense of camaraderie, like we’re all here doing this stupid thing at once and we’re excited about it.  That and I always think its like running in a parade, which makes me feel pretty darn special. I hope to eventually move up to 10k, or even longer distances, but at the same time I think there is something fun about the less competitive, more accepting 5k races.

Post race, I took a very hot shower and then we celebrated my 28 minutes of athletic movement at Hollywood on Lark Street.

There was after a beer (or two), and a round of pool at Hollywood; one of the staff members was talking about how he had just ordered food from Crave.  Now, Mister and I are not fans of the food at Hollywood, but for someone in their own kitchen to admit they prefer takeout said a lot.  So it was decided, we were going for some burgers.

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I knew exactly what I was craving, and went with the build your own burger option.

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Turkey burger, with lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, bacon, and avocado.  It was really, really good.  It felt like the healthiest, freshest fast food burger; in that it was slightly gluttonous, but still not greasy or heavy in my stomach.  I scarfed it down pretty fast.

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I know, turkey burgers don’t look that great.  But I knew what I wanted, and this hit the spot.

Mister went with the Black and Blue burger.

“Peppercorn crusted beef patty, Gorgonzola, caramelized onion, arugula, horseradish garlic aioli.”

He really liked it, and we honestly offered each other bites but I was too invested in my own meal and vice versa.  Which is rare!

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Mister did love the way the burger was cooked; we’re both fans of a rarer burger.

We also decided to split some Loaded sweet potato fries.  These were crispy and pretty tasty.  I appreciated that they weren’t mushy, which is the reason I’m usually hesitant to go with sweet potato fries.  (Mister prefers them though) They didn’t come with any special dipping sauce, despite what was listed on the menu.

This was a pretty solid meal, and we’ll probably go there again, but not too often.  It was about $30+ for our two burgers, a shared order of fries, and a shared iced tea.  I know its good stuff, but I definitely saw frozen fries in the back, so I’m not sure how much is genuinely homemade etc.  I’ve read about this place with the quality of ingredients being a huge selling point, but frozen fries are frozen fries regardless of what you put on them.  I also can’t really say that we crave burgers all that often, now that I think about it.