Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Eats

I celebrated the Spring Equinox on Friday with a tasty menu, starting with this hearty Falafel Pita with Tahini Sauce and Spinach:

The falafel recipe came from Vegan with a Vengeance, and though I've only made falafel from scratch a few times, I think this recipe is my favorite. It's light and crispy with a hint of green parsley taste. Often I find the herb-y taste in falafel to be overwhelming, but not in this recipe. I stuffed the falafel into whole wheat pita pockets with spinach, chili-garlic sauce, and tahini dressing.

On the side, I served this Bulgar and Asparagus Salad from The Vegan Cook's Bible:

I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for asparagus to come back into season, and now the time has arrived! I LOVE ASPARAGUS!

This warm salad is the first dish I've tried from The Vegan Cook's Bible, a new book that came in as a review copy at work. Since I work at a newspaper, we occasionally get free vegan cookbooks in the mail! This book has an awesome glossary of the health benefits in fruits, vegetables, and herbs, as well as plenty of tasty veggie-heavy recipes.

For dessert, I finally made the Green Tea Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World:

Steph (aka Poopie Bitch) made these awhile back, and they soooo good. But I'd been unable to find matcha powder in Midtown (where I live). The only place that sells it is a million miles away in Hickory Hill (a suburb at least 20 minutes from where I live). But Steph was nice enough to give me some of her matcha so I could make these cakeys for myself. Hands down, one of the best cupcake recipes in the book.

33 comments:

Gina said...

Mmm, this altogether looks absolutely perfect! Those cupcakes look especially awesome :)

Anna Graham Shonle said...

The green tea cupcakes are my favorite as well. So delicious! I made them for St Patrick's day a couple of times and made green marzipan clovers for the tops. :)

VeggieGirl said...

FALAFEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm obsessed with it :-D

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Bianca, the cupcakes look just as beautiful as the ones in the cookbook!

T.Allen-Mercado said...

I'm a self proclaimed falafelophile; they're delicious, I could eat them everyday. I agree about the pungent spicy taste of the boxed ones-it is better to make your own.

Tara said...

Yum! That asparagus salad looks delectable, and everything else is very nom-able as well!

Kiersten said...

Your cupcakes look lovely. I never tried that recipe (I HATE the taste of tea, so I just can't bring myself to make it).

Hooray for spring asparagus! I love asparagus too.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

I've never used matcha powder but have been thinking I should give it a shot. Your falafel looks so good too!

jrsimon56 said...

Those green tea cupcakes rock. I've made 'em before and love the delicate flavors.

aTxVegn said...

I was wondering about the new cookbook - sounds really good (like I should buy it!)

I've not made these falafels or the cupcakes - two more items for my must make list!

Amey said...

I am also totally freaking out on asparagus lately. Mmmmmmmm! I mostly just roast it with a tiny bit of olive oil and a tiny bit of salt. It's so good!

Macie said...

I think that the green tea cupcakes are one of the few recipes that I still haven't tried from VWAV. They're so pretty, though! I'll have to get on it soon.

Liz² said...

what a beautiful, beautiful cupcake... I've been looking for matcha powder just so I can try that recipe. I love the little sprinkles!

shelby said...

I adore falafel!!! I haven't tried that recipe yet but now it's on my list =)

Mmm, I can't find green tea powder anywhere but those cuppers sure look tasty!

Laura said...

oooh that falafel looks devine!! i am in loooove with tahini, too, so that meal is making my mouth water!

A_and_N said...

Tahts a very refreshing meal Bianca :) We're big time fans of Mediterranean food here. Will certainly try the Vegan version sometime :)

miss v said...

what a cool job that you get free cookbooks!

i've not made the green tea cupcakes yet... still waiting for a cupcake-baking excuse. :)

The Voracious Vegan said...

Wow! What a post! There is so much fabulous food here. I love asparagus too!

That falafel looks so fresh and tasty. Perfect!

Green tea cupcakes, I must try these!

jessy said...

oooh, those green tea cuppies look perfect, Bianca! i'm in love with those adorable spinkles! that's so cool of Steph to hook ya up with some matcha powder!

we loooove the VWAV falafel recipe as well. i agree - it's not overwhelming on the herbs! i just love it! and the bulgar and asparagus salad looks oh-so awesome! mmmmmmmm! think i'm gonna have to check out that cookbook! i love veggie heavy recipes, fo 'sho!

happy spring times! superw00t!

poopiebitch said...

Ahhhh!!! Now I NEED falafel! Mmmmm.... falafel....

And where did you find that asparagus? I haven't seen any! Also, do you know when the downtown farmer's market is opening?

Those cuppers look yummy! I'm so glad you got to use the matcha!

Jen aka Jewbacca said...

((((groaning like everyone else)))) now i want a falafel sammich, damnit. i have yet to make that recipe. i'm looking forward to more low-cooking/no cooking dishes for the spring and summer.

Veganissexy said...

Oooh I have VCTOTW! I was a bit sceptical to try the green tea cupcakes, but you have me convinced. I'll give them a try :)

Laura said...

oh i'm so excited for those chips to arrive! thanks sooo much :)

Cyn said...

That falafel looks so pretty! Mine is always weird shaped and not nearly as lovely. And your cupcake looks great too - I love the green tea cupcakes.

meghantelpnerblog.com said...

Just came across your blog. Amazing looking food!

I make a really yummy vegetable falafel- mixing in zucchini and carrots.

Alison said...

I could live solely on falafel! I love it so much.

I remember when I was little my Grandma had a very impressive patch of asparagus. I never liked it until I got to be an adult (they say our taste buds change every 7 years, which would explain why I now like all the things I hated as a child). In the fall she would let the asparagus go to seed and it would grow taller than I stood. I'm sure it's still there, I haven't been back in years, but I think of it every time I see asparagus.

River said...

Best falafel ever! Wow, that stuff looks so good!

Asparagus = LOVE

You're so lucky to get free vegan cookbooks to review! I love your cupcake with all the cute sprinklies on top!

Juuice said...

Sweet blog!!! Check out mine :]

VeganCowGirl said...

Hey Bianca! I adore falafel - there is nothing more heavenly than a little taste of falafel balls! Yours look fantastic. I am soooo super duper jealous of you getting your crunking hands on matcha powder. I had a vegan kitchen disaster when I thought it would be cool to grind up some green tea and make the powder myself. Thanks for sharing!!! I used my VCTOTW this weekend too!!!

Sal said...

mmm falafel. I've never made them from scratch. It's on my list though when I get my cookbooks out of storage!!

I haven't made those cupcakes yet - I can't matcha either. They sound so good though.

jd said...

I sooo wish I would've seen this post yesterday!

I tried making falafel from an old recipe that I veganized and it was an absolute disaster! The falafel patties disintegrated as soon as they hit the hot oil. Ugh.

(For some reason, I didn't even think to look through my cookbook collection for a vegan version - after reading this post I see that "Vegan with a Vengeance" could have saved me!)

Anyway, enough falafel talk.

I also wanted to comment on how scrumptious those Green Tea Cupcakes look! And I'm curious about the Vegan cookbook...

I have Pat Crocker's Juicing Bible, and it's great, so I'm wondering if you'd suggest getting the vegan one. It sounds like you enjoyed the salad recipe, but what do you think of the rest of the book? Let me know when you get a chance :)

PS Sorry for the excessively long comment!

Vegan_Noodle said...

I love spring foods!! I had a falafel pita last night (though I didn't make it myself...)

I must try those green tea cupcakes!

Erin said...

Hooray for asparagus season! Get it while the getting's good. I'm actually having some for dinner tonight...