Originally I’d planned to make sweet potato and farro bowls for a couple of weekday lunches, but my husband helpfully pointed out that I still had soaked chickpeas sitting in the fridge, so I called an audible and here we are.
First up, the falafel. Typically I make a very Yemenite style falafel, oozing with tahini dressing and schug, but I didn’t feel like frying, and I had already made tzatziki for this week’s gyro bowls. I riffed off Tori Avey’s excellent basic falafel recipe, adding more parsley and cilantro to my mixture to make it bursting with herb flavor (which stands up nicely to the garlicky, minty tzatziki sauce. I baked the falafel patties on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper at 375 for about 15 minutes, flipping them halfway through baking to ensure a nice crust on either side.
I then put together a quick shepherd’s salad.
1 large English cucumber, partially peeled, and chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 c fresh parsley, chopped
2 T olive oil
1 T lemon juice
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Mix in a a bowl, and…that’s it.
So this is the base of my bowl. I added it to a a lunch container with compartments, and drizzled my leftover tzatziki over it (because Dave really, really wanted that), but if you’d prefer to go paleo or vegan, just skip it and the feta.
In my other compartments, I added some pitted kalamata olives and reduced-fat feta for the briny contrast to the fresh herbs. I packed the falafel separately, so it wouldn’t get mushy.
And that’s the thing about leftovers and fridge tetris and creativity – it’s okay to call an audible, and it’s okay to pick up Raising Cane’s if you’re worn out. The thing I always try to avoid, though, is food waste.
When I plan meals, I often try to find overlapping ingredients, whether it’s kale or parsley or tomatoes or various and sundry proteins. It makes shopping and budgeting easier, and it consolidates some of my prep.