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Middle Eastern Mezze Bowl

by The Happy Pear

 

A bowl filled with falafel, couscous and pan-fried spinach, all topped with a sweet and spiced tahini dressing.

Preparation time
15 Minutes
 
Cooking time
25 Minutes
 

Ingredients

Serves 4 People

For the falafel:

  • ½ red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ fresh green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 50g toasted cashew nuts
  • 50g coconut cream
  • 25g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 x 400g tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp oil

For the couscous:

  • 200g couscous
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • a pinch of chilli flakes

For the pan-fried spinach:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 100g baby spinach
  • ½ lemon, juice only

For the tahini dressing:

  • 100ml water
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 3 tbsp light tahini
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

To serve:

  • 100g hummus
  • red cabbage sauerkraut (optional)
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Directions

1. To make the falafel, put all the ingredients except the chickpeas and oil in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the chickpeas and pulse until well combined, but make sure there are still some big pieces of chickpeas still visible. Roll the mixture into little balls – you should get around 16 balls or so. It’s easier to fry them if you flatten the falafel balls into discs.

2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Working in batches, add the flattened falafel balls and cook just until they start to turn golden, then flip over and cook the other side until that’s golden too. Keep moving them around with a wooden spoon to make sure they don’t burn.

3. To prepare the couscous, fill the kettle and boil it. Put the couscous, cumin, salt and chilli flakes in a saucepan or large heatproof bowl. Pour over enough just-boiled water to submerge the couscous, with about 2cm of water sitting on top of the couscous. Cover the pan with a lid or cover the bowl with cling film and leave to sit for 5 minutes.

4. To prepare the spinach, heat the oil in a medium-sized pan over a high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the spinach and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, until the spinach has wilted right down and become lovely and soft and tender. Remove the pan from the heat and squeeze over the lemon juice.

5. To make the tahini dressing, put all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth.

6. To serve, put the couscous in the bottom of each of your serving bowls. Top with some of the spinach, a few spoonfuls of hummus, four falafel balls and some sauerkraut (if using). Finally, drizzle some of the tahini dressing across the top and scatter over the sesame seeds.

We love to eat this way. It’s usually a nice mix of colours and textures, plus it’s a great way to eat a variety of food. Bowl food not only tastes great, but is usually healthy too. It has become really popular lately, with lots of restaurants serving bowl food now. We serve a Buddha bowl in our café and it’s one of our most popular dishes.

Tips Bowl food usually consists of a few key components. This is how we break ours down:

  • A grain or starch of some sort, such as quinoa, brown rice, wholemeal couscous or sweet potato wedges
  • Some protein, such as refried beans, toasted chickpeas, tofu or tempeh
  • Something green, such as steamed kale, pan-fried spinach or alfalfa sprouts
  • A dip, such as hummus, guacamole or salsa
  • Avocado slices, as it adds some variety in texture and colour
  • A fermented food, such as kimchi or sauerkraut
  • Nuts and/or seeds to scatter on top for added texture
  • Sauce to drizzle on top, such as a thick dressing like tahini
 
SuperValu Red Onion Net
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SuperValu Garlic Prepack
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SuperValu Chilli Selection
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SuperValu Goodness Cashew Nuts
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Blue Dragon Coconut Cream
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SuperValu Fresh Coriander
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SuperValu Lemons Loose
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Linwood Milled Organic Flaxseed
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SuperValu Ground Cumin
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SuperValu Sea Salt
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SuperValu Chick Peas
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Only €2.59
SuperValu Olive Oil
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SuperValu Goodness Cous Cous
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Supervalu Chilli Flakes
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SuperValu Washed Baby Spinach
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Meridian Light Tahini
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Schwartz Chilli Powder Mild
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SuperValu Ground Black Pepper
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The Happy Pear Happy Hummus
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SuperValu Goodness Seasame Seeds
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