Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin the Cheetah Eats a Pita with Waffled Falafel (and Greek Vegetable Salad and Tzatziki, too)

Now that I have a fancy shmancy camera, I feel completely qualified to call myself a food blogger. Because I blog and I eat food (as opposed to Ruby, who does not blog and has recently taken to eating crayons).

Today I'll be featuring one of my favorite meals: Waffled Falafel in a Pita with Greek Salad and Tzatziki. I love this meal because it is full of flavor, healthy, Greek (yay democracy!), and it requires a cart full of produce, which helps me feel smug at the grocery store.

Let's start with the Greek Salad. This recipe is adapted from the Greek Diced Vegetable Salad from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home.

Guys, I took this picture. It's not perfect, but I think it does my camera proud.

Greek Vegetable Salad

You'll need: 

1 1/2 cucumbers (or 1 large English cucumber), peeled, seeded, and sliced

1 large tomato, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 scallions, finely sliced (calling them scallions instead of green onions gets you foodie points)

8 Kalamata olives, pitted and diced (I used to buy these eight at a time from the olive bar until I grew a brain and realized I could buy them by the jar)

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced (or several dashes dried if you are like me and killed your herb garden)

2 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin, please, I'm Mormon)

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 garlic clove, pressed

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

salt and pepper

feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

Instructions: Chop vegetables while listening to a Greek music station on Pandora. Combine in a locally-sourced peace of earthenware with the rest of the ingredients. Mix with the tenderness of Captain Jack Elliot, the romantic interest in my most recent favorite historical fiction, These Is My Words. Be sure to be dramatic and pensive as you squeeze the lemon.

Serving suggestion: Add chickpeas or hard boiled eggs and serve over a bed of romaine lettuce for a delish vegetarian main dish OR use in a kick-butt pita extravaganza ... as seen below.

Now for the ...

(adapted from Design Mom--may I one day meet her blogging majesty at Alt Summit)

Creamy, cucumber-y goodness

You'll need:

1 large English cucumber, peeled and grated (these don't need to be seeded, huzzah!)

1 cup Greek yogurt (full fat, baby)

1 cup sour cream (Daisy brand, please)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, pressed


1. Peel and grate the cucumber, then squeeze out as much liquid as you can. I forgot to do this the first time I made tzatziki (and I used regular yogurt) and it was too soupy.

2. Combine remaining ingredients in a trendy bowl. Mix in cucumber, and chill until ready to serve.

3. Get bored taking a million pictures of tzatziki in a ramekin and bring in an exotic assistant.

Robin the cheetah storms the photo shoot!
Robin mistakes the tzatziki for a spa treatment.
Oh no! The viscosity! It's failing!

Don't worry. Robin remembered his African Scouting quicksand survival training and was able to free himself from the delicious tzatziki swamp, bathe, and help with the waffled falafel.

Waffled Falafal
(adapted from Food and Whine)

You'll need:

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (don't try to get all the little skins off, because you want to eat this sometimes this year)

1 onion, chopped

1/2 cup fresh parsley

2 cloves garlic

1 egg

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon salt

1 dash pepper

1 dash cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon lemon juice (use the half left over from the veggie salad!)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup dry bread crumbs


1. Try and convince your toddler to smash the chickpeas in a large bowl. When he refuses (still ornery from adjusting back to Central Time from Pacific), do it yourself, using a cup as your pestle. Smash away your angst.

2. Combine onion, parsley, and garlic in a blender or food processor until smooth. If you use a Vitamix, it will blend the parsley so thoroughly that your mixture will be bright green ... don't worry, it will still be tasty even though it looks like yeti phlegm. Add to mashed chickpeas.

3. Mix together egg, spices, lemon juice, and olive oil. Stir into chickpea mixture.

Robin the cheetah is a little skeptical about the green ...
4. Mix in breadcrumbs. Form into balls and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Bon App├ętit, contact me for rights to this photo.
5. Heat waffle iron to medium-high, and cook falafels (I did three at a time, but my balls were a little big) for 4-5 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve in a pita with veggie salad and tzatziki.

This is what happens when you "lightly brown" something green.
Cheetah loves pita.

I love Greek food. This pita ensemble is like Odysseus--strong, complicated, and enduring, minus the infidelity. I will not call this pita epic, because although it is akin to Odysseus in many ways, this meal has nothing to do with an ancient poem recounting the the heroic feats of a legendary figure.

If you liked this post, consider sharing it with the generosity you wish your toddler had during your last play date.


  1. I'm super hungry now. This makes me want to buy a nice camera, too. Your pics all look so good!

  2. How did I miss this last year? I am going to have to try this and invite Robin the Cheetah to help me. Hilarious, as usual.


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