Tag Archives: paprika

Felt Like Springtime

Sweet Potato Falafels

with Garlic Hummus

Sweet Potato Falafel

Welcome to March’s Secret Recipe Club Post!  It’s a little strange how excited I get when I find out what blog I’ve been assigned, and this month was no different.  This month I was given Isabelle’s Crumb Blog and I was hooked from the moment I saw her intro.  This “coffee-chugging, booty-shaking, bargain-shopping, cookbook-collecting, photo-snapping, trucker-swearing, farmers-market-loving self-taught cook with a Mister and two cats to feed” chick has a blog chock full of recipes, for which I can overlook her being a cat person.  I want to say I pinned close to 30 recipes are my first go thru, before finally narrowing things down to the top 5.  In the end it became a battle between Saag Paneer and Sweet Potato Falafels, with the inability to find any paneer being the deciding factor.  I loved that the falafel recipe was really three recipes in one, though in the end I only did two of the three.  I have attempted, and failed, at making falafels before but these held together amazingly well making it super easy to fry them up.

Sweet Potato Falafel

Serves: Yields 12 Falafels


2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (19 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and thoroughly drained

1 cup mashed sweet potato

¼ cup panko bread crumbs

1 tsp fresh rosemary

1 tsp fresh thyme

1 tsp ground cumin

1?2 tsp chili flakes

¼ tsp salt

2 tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Place the garlic, chickpeas, sweat potato, bread crumbs, and herbs in a food processor or blender. Process until almost pureed and then form walnut sized balls then place on plate and cover in plastic wrap. Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a deep frying pan until 375 degrees. Remove the falafels from the fridge and use a slotted spoon to place in the hot oil. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, using the spoon to gently flip them.
  3. Set aside finished falafels on a cookie sheet covered in a paper towels.
  4. Allow to cool and enjoy

Garlic Hummus

Serves: Yields 1/2 cup Garlic Hummus


1 can (19 ounce) chickpeas, well rinsed but reserving 1 tbsp of liquid

2 tbsp tahini

4 cloves garlic, chopped

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp salt


  1. Place everything in a blender and puree until smooth. Place in fridge, well covered, until time to use.
  2. Serve with the cooked falafels, either as a dip or as part of a falafel sandwich and Enjoy!

I served these without the pita per husband’s request along with some vinegar carrots, cucumber, greek yogurt, and (of course) the garlic hummus from the original post.   They were delicious and as a bonus heated up rather well the next day for lunch!  Needless to say another awesome recipe thanks to SRC.

Different Dimension

Goulash gone Vegetarian

We survived the storm and more importantly the vegetable garden survived the storm.  In checking for damage Joe harvested an eggplant, which became part of a vegetable appitizer I brought to a girls night in party.  The only sign that anything had happened in our yard were some branches and flat mint, but I’m not too worried about it.  Luckily my neighborhood came out mostly unscathed with one house losing some shingles, another a drainpipe, and a few missing trees.  When I went out to the girls night party I got to survey the surrounding area and realized how luckily my street was compared to people just a block or two over where trees were on fences, cars, and houses.  Only a few minutes away some people are still without power and being told that it could be Friday before things are back to normal.  Can only hope and pray that the temperatures stay down so that the power crews can do their job as quickly and safely as possible, and so that the people and pets without power aren’t completly miserable.

While we were in Austria we did indulge in meat on a few occasions, something I will deny to my doctor if/when the time comes.  I have always been a fan of Goulash, the rich tomato goodness combined with tender beef tips and then served over Spaetzle, Knoedel, or some other starchy goodness.  Amazingly enough I had never made this before, vegetarian or otherwise, and once we got back from our trip I knew I had to correct that oversight.  I debated back and forth regarding the meat substitute before finally deciding on kielbasa style tofurkey sausages.  I searched around the internet for recipes before finally deciding to just go for it, since most of the recipes I found were fusion dishes and I really wanted to be as close as possible to what we had on our honeymoon.   This dish could also be easily adapted to the slow cooker,  just sear the meat first before adding everything and cook on low for 4-5hours or high for 2hrs.

Goulash Gone Vegetarian


1 tbsp EVOO

1 lb kielbasa style tofurkey sausage, cut into 2in pieces

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 lb tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/2 tbsp Hot Hungarian Paprika

1 tbsp paprika

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne powder

1 tsp fresh pepper, plus more to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the tofurkey sausage and cook for 7minutes, until the sausage is starting to brown. Add the onion and garlic and cook for an additional 5minutes before adding the tomatoes. Cook for 7minutes, stirring frequently to help the tomatoes break down and to prevent sticking.
  2. Turn heat to high and add the vegetable broth along with the spices, bringing to a quick boil. Cover and simmer for 15minutes. While the goulash is simmering, prepare your side dish. I did some quick wide style egg noodles with mine.
  3. Serve over the noodles and enjoy!

Perfection!  This is something that will easily make the winter recipe rotation, especially once I figure out how to make spaetzle.   I have a feeling that once I find the right tool things will go smoother in that area, just have to figure out which one I want.

Think Back On

Eggplant Feta

The wedding is a week away and my brain is more than slightly fried at this point, so the testing of new recipes has not been going as planned.  I’m hoping that with all the Farmer’s Markets opening in the next few week that I’ll be able to get back on track.  I was hoping to do a number of recipes featuring winter/early spring produce such as kale, spinach, chard, and other leafy greens.  This recipe on the other hand uses my old faithful: eggplant.  Instead of experimenting with the main ingredient, I decided to experiment with different spices.  Everything turned out perfectly plus the recipe came together in record time, making it perfect for crazy weekday nights.

Think Back On

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4


1 lb eggplant, cubed

2 tbsp EVOO

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tbsp paprika

1 tsp oregano

1/3 cup feta cheese

2 roma tomatoes, chopped

1 cup couscous


  1. Press the cubed eggplant between two chopping boards/plates for 20minutes, then press dry.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the cumin and toast for a minute before adding the remaining spices. Cook for an additional minute, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add the eggplant and cook for 10 minutes, until the eggplant is soft. Stir as needed to prevent the eggplant from sticking.
  3. Meanwhile cook the couscous per instructions. Then set aside Toss with the cooked eggplant and then top with the crumbled feta cheese and chopped tomatoes.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to work on a few more recipes before next weekend…

Also a very happy first birthday to my favorite nephew!

Looking Under

Spanish Quinoa

I’ve been experimenting lately with some of the cookbooks I got over the past holiday season.  I had already flagged the recipes I wanted to try and have s-l-o-w-l-y checking some of them off the list.  Last week I had planned to give the Paella recipe from Plenty and thought I had all of the ingredients.  Apart halfway thru the cutting prep work I realized that was not the case.  I was out of short-grain rice, saffron (boo),  and cooking sherry…not so good.  So I opened the pantry to check for what I did have: dry red wine, quinoa, and lots of chopped vegetables.  For a moment I thought about chickening out and just doing a stir fry but figured why not give it a go?  Worst case scenario: Chinese Take Out.  Best case scenario: awesome new recipe.  I decided to take the plunge and started tossing things in, tasting along the way, until I came up with this delicious new dinner idea.

Spanish Quinoa

Serves: 4


3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

2 green peppers, roughly chopped

1 zucchini, sliced in narrow rounds

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 bay leaves

2 tbsp chipotles in adobo sauce

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

12 oz quinoa

1/2 cup dry red wine

2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup black beans, rinsed and pre-soaked

3 roma tomatoes, diced


  1. Heat up the olive oil in a large (12in) deep (4in) saute pan that has a lid. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes before adding the garlic and cooking an additional 2 minutes before adding the peppers and zucchini and cooking for an additional 6 minutes. The onion and garlic should be golden while the peppers and zucchini are nice and soft.
  2. Add the bay leaves, paprika, turmeric, and cayenne to the vegetables and stir well. Add the quinoa, toss well with the vegetables and then add the red wine and vegetable stock. Bring to a quick boil before reducing heat to a simmer and covering. Cook for 20minutes, do not remove the lid! Add the black beans and cook over low heat for 3minutes, until beans are warm.
  3. Right before serving top with the tomatoes. Enjoy!

Sometimes experimenting can go horribly wrong but sometimes accidental experiments can turn out very tasty.  The next day I added some sour cream to the dish, which wound up being the perfect addition since quinoa tends to dry up quickly.

So far all of the actual recipes from this book have worked out wonderfully, with only small seasoning tweaks needed.  If anyone is in search of a great vegetarian cookbook I give this one a big thumbs up.   Quick disclaimer: I am getting nothing for the above endorsement I just really enjoy this cookbook.  I’m also hoping to give them a try when Joey and I are on our honeymoon but we shall see if that works out!

Now Hush Hush

Eggplant Parmesan Pizza

Secret Recipe Club

Greetings one and all! Another month has flown by and it’s time for a brand new Secret Recipe Club recipe 🙂 I have to admit that one of the highlights of my blog month is getting the new blog assignment from my fearless host Amanda and checking out all the cool new recipes I can pick from.  This month I was assigned the Pictures of all my Princesses blog run by Jules.   I was immediately drawn in by the cute header and set out to find the perfect new recipe to try.  I wasn’t sure what recipe I wanted to try or even what type of recipe I was in the mood for so I started at the beginning and worked by way up.  I noted a few recipes that sounded interested before spotting the PERFECT recipe for my household: Eggplant Sauce!!!  Not only did the recipe give instructions for serving this sauce three different ways, one of them included a way to adapt it for pizza.  I was sold and quickly started collecting all the ingredients I needed.  I did cheat and use my bread machine to prep my crust, but I have found that my blood pressure tends to do best when I’m not trying to kneed dough.  I did make some slight modifications to make it vegetarian friendly and also left out the cream since I felt that much dairy might be a little much.   Please check out the original recipe if you don’t have the restriction and if you want to see the other ways you can use this incredibly versatile sauce.

Now Hush Hush


1 egg plant, quartered lengthwise

2 roma tomatoes, quartered

2 cloves garlic

1 small onion, quartered

olive oil


1 1/2 c. vegetable broth

4 basil leaves

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

pinch of smoked paprika

pepper to taste

3/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese


  1. Brush vegetables with oil and lightly sprinkle with salt. Place the eggplant skin down and roast at 425 for 30 minutes.
  2. In a pot combine and simmer the vegetable broth, basil, red pepper flakes, and paprika for 10minutes.
  3. Once the vegetables have finished roasting, scrape eggplant's flesh from purple skin. Then add the eggplant, onion, tomatoes, and garlic to broth.
  4. Cover and simmer 20 minutes until vegetables are really tender, taste and add additional seasonings if needed. Remove half to a blender and puree until smooth.
  5. Pour mixture over a prepared pizza crust and top with the cheeses. Place the pizza in a cool oven, turn to 425 and bake for 30minutes until crust is brown and cheese is bubbling. Enjoy!


This dish was a HUGE hit in my house, and as an added bonus it gave off an amazing aroma.  To enhance the flavors I used an oregano pizza crust recipe and it worked perfectly.  The little bit of sauce left over was also the perfect dip for the pizza crust ensuring that not a single drop was wasted!