Falafel Salad and Salad Theory 101

I have this fun proposition for all of you: Oh She Glows (great vegan blogger) has issued a June Salad Challenge to me, and I have graceful...

I have this fun proposition for all of you: Oh She Glows (great vegan blogger) has issued a June Salad Challenge to me, and I have gracefully accepted. Basically all you have to do is eat a salad every day of the month of June. Today is only June 3rd, so you can just eat like 2 salads a day to make up for it if you start late. It's not too late! I'm not really the world's biggest salad fan, either. I don't especially love spring mix, bitter greens, you already know how I feel about kale, raw peppers or raw button mushrooms. I feel like I've been doomed to eating a plate full of these boring mediocre pawns of veggie chess with no queen or king jewel veg or protein flavor player too many times when I'm out with a group of friends who insist on jumbo pizza slices or being dragged to a "family outing" that is dinner at a fried seafood shack. Oh, what we do for our friends and loved ones and the mediocre salads we eat and the pizza and fried scallops we resist while we watch you scarf them down while we eat a bowl-full of rabbit food... Listen all, I'm not a raw food vegan. I tried that once. It lasted 72 hours before I passed out at work and decided falafel was worth dumping the raw idea for. I eat fire. Don't you banish me.
A good salad: An amazing selection of fresh, colorful in-season veggies, a bed of dark greens, like baby spinach, a flavorful warm protein, and a dressing that knocks you on your ass (because it's so good) and makes you fly through a garage door but still land so that you are somehow unharmed and you slowly lift yourself up exclaiming, "Damn, that's some good salad."
The perfect kickoff salad for the June salad challenge, to which I and in turn Alex have accepted, naturally includes falafel. I decided that falafel is the best salad protein of all time. Try it, and tell me you don't agree with me. No, really. I dare you. I can get my friend Chad to beat you up.
My salad, pictured, has baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, diced green apple, sliced red grapes, and diced avocado with tahini dressing. The tahini dressing I usually make is a garlic/tahini/soy yogurt blend-up, but what with my fridge acting as a second freezer lately, and freezing my yogurt, I had to MacGyver up a new yogurt sub. Cashews to the rescue again. On a side note I have joined a cashew cult. The best kind of cult. Is that weird to say?
Anyhow I have been working out a lot this month and trying and sometimes failing at counting calories, something I never really used to do. I drink an awful lot of beer. The last two years I've hit it pretty hard, and it's showing. So since there is no way in Gehenna I am going to quit drinking beer, I figured I should start running. The more I run, the more beer I can drink. My obligation to be a fabulous-figured lady who is glamorous and sassy is strong, because everyone will think they will look equally amazing if they become vegan too (we won't tell them I'm naturally fabulous). So the salad-a-day challenge is timely, and I'm also more inclinded to replace meals with big salads this way. So basically it's a win for veganism because people eat more veggies instead of something else, and a win for fabulousness in turn.
Much new love to follow. Stay fabulous, everybody.

Falafel Salad with Tahini dressing

2 cups chickpeas
1/2 large onion or 1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped parsely
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/3 cup chickpea flour or fava bean flour

Tahini dressing:
1/3 cup sesame tahini
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
1/4 cup cashews
1 teaspoon dried dill or herb of your choosing
1/4-1/3 unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400ºF
1. Roughly chop garlic and pulse in a food processor. Add fresh herbs and whiz until finely chopped. Roughly chop onion and add to food processor a little bit at a time, until a relatively smooth mixture is achieved. Rinse and drain chickpeas and add to food processor. Pulse until mixture is well-combined.
2. In a large bowl empty the chickpea mixture. Add remaining ingredients an fold together with a spatula. Add a little more fava bean flour if the mixture is too wet to form into falafel-sized balls.
3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and begin rolling out 1 1/2" sized balls and spacing them out just a little on the baking sheets. Bake for about 20 minutes or until slightly browned, then flip and bake another 10 minutes until nicely golden brown.

blend all that stuff together and taste for seasonings. Hard, huh?

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