Falafel with Yogurt Sauce- Recipe by Shobha Tallapaka
(Find the full recipe in The Official Bright Line Eating Cookbook, Page 73)
When I first got “The Official Bright Line Eating Cookbook” I was so excited to get started. I had listened to the whole thing several times on Audible but had never tried the recipes as those are provided in a separate pdf you have to download and I just never got around to it. So when I decided to buy the hard copy, I was stoked. I flipped to the recipes section, which starts with breakfasts, and wham! Falafel with Yogurt Sauce…
I thought, “What? Why?”
I know, I am showing my ignorance here. But to me, this seemed like a strange recipe to start the book off with, especially for breakfast. I have only had falafel a couple of times in my life, most recently I believe was circa 2006 when as an exchange student living in Brisbane, Australia, I stumbled out of a bar and in to a food truck at 2:00 in the morning. Falafel? Yes, please.
No questions asked.
This recipe looked like a challenge. Part of the Bright Line Eating method is to prepare, “simple”, “not sexy” foods. Things that don’t take a lot of math to work out the portion sizes, ingredients that are hard to categorize or can’t be brought down to their basic components. This recipe did not feel like one of those. It seemed exotic and like a lot of work. Again, I am a country kid from Western Colorado, Mexican cuisine is about as far from apple pie and steak and potatoes as I ever got growing up.
But I decided I won’t be intimidated. I would get the ingredients and work my way through the recipe.
Here is what I found.
This recipe is not basic. It is actually pretty involved. To be honest, I would not recommend this recipe if you are just starting out. I have been at this way of life almost two years now and I have built up some resilience to feeling triggered when “baking”, but it took time. The reason SPT (Susan Peirce Thompson) recommends simple food is that baking things, even if they are BLE compliant can trigger some people into going off plan. Also, especially if you are hungry, making elaborate and complicated meals can wear down your will power, so proceed with caution. At one point in my journey, I had to step away from all things that even looked remotely like “baked goods”.
Also, fun fact: Before Bright Line Eating, the only time I ever really ate chick peas was served on cold salads obtained from over priced salad bars and drowned in too much ranch, sunflower seeds and bacon bits during some attempt in my former life to “be healthy”. Guessing how many cans of chick peas are needed to constitute 13.5 oz was not in my skill set. Suffice it to say I learned the hard way, you’ll need two cans of 15 “net” ounces to get what you need after draining.
Also, this recipe calls for 1.5 oz of “green chilis and cilantro”. In my real life I am an engineer and this did not compute. Was that 1 oz of green chilis and 0.5 oz of cilantro? Vice versa? Perhaps it was intended to be split 50/50? I need specifics or else I go off and make up my own recipes which is not the goal here. In the end, I went with the 1/0.5 split first noted, but mostly because I got tired of chopping cilantro. You can apparently decide this one for yourself.
A note on the cucumber. I personally feel like the “yogurt sauce” as the fruit/veggie portion is a tough sell for me. I wasn’t sure how much sauce was supposed to go on each falafel and I ended up with a ton of left over, which basically meant I was shorted on my fruit serving and I saved the other serving for another day, but the sauce won’t save. It also tasted a lot like my moms cucumber salad, (minus the vinegar) and really did not thrill me.
As for the kids, this was a flop. If I am an unlikely candidate to choose falafel for breakfast, they are next to impossible. A big part of my “why” with Bright Line Eating was because at one point before I started, my then 6 year old daughter made me pick the “green stuff” (aka parsley) out of her pasta because she was so averse to vegetables. Needless to say, I took it on the chin that my parenting style, the life I was leading, was not an example I wished for my children to follow. So I set out to change my nutrition, my palate and my life, dragging them along as I went. I am happy to report, they have come so far, and now they have many veggies they like, cucumbers being an absolute favorite. But this recipe did not make the mark. In the end, I tossed the yogurt sauce and I ate the remaining portions of falafel over the next several breakfasts begrudgingly because I still hate to waste food.
All in all, this recipe won’t be making it into our rotation if for no other reason than it took me over an hour to complete. I just don’t have that kind of time in the morning, especially if I am the only one in my family who will eat it. I am glad I tried it, it was good to branch out a little and learn about a new type of food (did you know that at one point falafel was on the breakfast menu at McDonalds Egypt (The “McFalafel”)? But in the end, I think I will leave the falafel making to the food trucks.
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