Welcome to Day 8 of the 30 Days to a Food Revolution. Today’s guest blogger is Nisrine Merzouki of Dinners and Dreams.
Nisrine grew up in Morocco in a culture in which frozen meals have not yet found a place, and where people still eat “outside the box” and customarily buy their groceries everyday to ensure using only the freshest chicken for their tagine and the crispest vegetables for their couscous (wheat). Nisrine is a food blogger and author of a Moroccan cookbook, Marrakesh Express. Her blog features easy, healthy Moroccan and Mediterranean recipes. She considers it a mission to share her passion for obsessively natural and deliciously simple food. She has signed Jamie Oliver’s Petition and is proud to be part of this stirring food revolution.
Nisrine’s Recipe: Falafel
Nisrine’s Tip: Simplify. Diversify. Rejoice.
When I moved to the United States I was shocked to see so many people “survive” on frozen meals and fast food. I was refreshed on the rare instances when a co-worker would bring a lunch that looked homemade from scratch or when a host at a party would have one or two fresh items among many unhealthy, prepackaged choices.
Preparing fresh, wholesome, honest food needs to be a daily observance. Because of time constraints it can feel challenging to feed ourselves and families right. As a mother who works full time, I find it challenging too at times, but the good news is that it’s feasible and well worth the effort. If I can do it so can you.
This is a list of 5 tips that have helped me resist the temptation to give in to unhealthy food choices:
- Easy recipes: build a repertoire of easy “go-to” recipes that you and your family enjoy and that can be prepared in 15 to 30 minutes. On a night when you don’t have a lot of energy left for cooking, you can put together a healthy soup, a salad, or a delicious omelette in less than 15 minutes.
- Healthy snacks: stock up on fresh and dried fruits, nuts, olives and cheeses to snack on in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon. Bake a healthy cake or cookies on the weekend to last you the whole week for your snacks. I find that I tend to make more bad choices for my afternoon snack when I don’t have better alternatives.
- Exercise: regular physical exercise helps curb unhealthy food cravings. I find that when I don’t exercise for a while, my body starts yearning for junk food.
- Varied foods: cooking with new and varied ingredients, and experimenting with different world cuisines helps keep boredom out of the kitchen and makes you more excited about making your meals.
- Have fun: take delight in preparing your food and remember that you can eat well without giving up all of your favorite flavors.
Makes 6 to 8 falafels
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
30 sprigs fresh cilantro (or 2 handfuls)
3 garlic cloves
1 small yellow onion, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 tablespoons cornstarch or tapioca flour
½ cup cornmeal
1 cup vegetable or canola oil, for frying
Place the chickpeas, cilantro, garlic and onion in a food processor and process until reduced to a paste. Transfer to a medium bowl and mix in the salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cayenne and flour until well blended.
Heat the oil until very hot. Place the cornmeal in a shallow dish. Shape the mixture into patties and dredge them into the cornmeal. Fry the patties until golden brown and crispy, 2 to 4 minutes per side.
Visit Nisrine’s 30 Days to a Food Revolution.
In order to be entered to win one of 7 cookbooks, here’s what you need to do to gather entries into the drawing. The more you do, the more chances you have to win!
- Leave a comment on this blog on as many of the 30 guest food bloggers as you like. Each comment is an entry.
- Sign up for The W.H.O.L.E. Gang newsletter.
- Visit that guest blogger’s site and leave a comment there too.
- Tweet about this project using both of these in your tweet so I’ll find you #30days2 #foodrevolution
When the initial 30 days of guest posts are over on June 4th, we’ll pick the winners.