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white + dark chocolate peanut butter cookie dough bonbons

white + dark chocolate peanut butter cookie dough bonbons // the first messcacao butter // the first messrawsome vegan baking by Emily von Euwwhite + dark chocolate peanut butter cookie dough bonbons // the first messwhite + dark chocolate peanut butter cookie dough bonbons // the first mess

It’s a good week for treats–easy, no bakin’ ones smothered in homemade raw chocolate while we’re at it. We’re somewhat settled in the house, patches of new green grass are slowly becoming visible, I found a bar of cacao butter in the back corner of a cupboard, and there was sun today! All good things on the up and up. This is the kind of sweet I make most often–wholesome-to-healthy, easy ingredients, mostly mixed by hand, and a reliably delicious flavour combination. A tray of goodies like this offers some nice quiet moments with tea throughout the week. There’s also something really vibrational and connected-seeming about making your own chocolate for the good people in your life.

The idea for these sprang from my pal Emily‘s new book Rawsome Vegan BakingHer blog is a goldmine of genuinely healthy dessert, raw cuisine and green juice-lovin’ inspiration. She seems so jazzed on life and just offering her creativity to the world. Getting inspired by someone’s passion is always my jam, so when she asked to send a copy of her book, I was all in. I had been meaning to try my hand at some homemade chocolate with legit cacao butter for a while. Emily makes the process seem so approachable (like she does for all of her creations), so I knew that would be my starting point. From there I cobbled together a bunch of strategies from all of the cookie, crust, and bar recipes, and came up with these. It’s a raw peanut butter cookie base with melted cacao butter in the batter to give a white chocolate richness. I freeze little orbs of the dough and then smother them in the raw chocolate and a happy sprinkle of salted chopped peanuts. Simple, yes, but richly satisfying. Mark and I polished most of them off in one night :/ So yeah, Emily rules. And her tahini cups with coffee cream filling are next on my hit list.

A few things to mention before you scramble to the kitchen to make these (you really should):

My friends David + Noelle from The Rose Journals (one of my favourite blogs) worked so hard on a high-vibe treats-focused eBook of their own. It’s called Sacred Cookies and Elixirs and you can purchase it here. The photographs feel warm, the recipes well-tested and loved, and seriously? So. Much. Raw Chocolate. Perfect.

The second recipe for my Spring vegetable correspondence with BuzzFeed is up! It’s a simple greens + beans soup with ginger-y green tea broth. (link)

Sweet and lovely Emma from My Darling Lemon Thyme released her book this week! All you lucky down under dwellers get first grabs at it and I couldn’t be more envious. Emma’s work is so inventive and colourful, truly emblematic of the potential of whole foods. Plenty of information on how to get a copy here.

Saveur_2

Lastly, this is kind of crazy and wonderful. Saveur magazine nominated The First Mess in the special diets category of their 2014 Best Food Blog Awards! If you took the time to nominate this space, then I send some really heartfelt thanks (and hugs). I do love sharing wholesome bites to eat, treats to savour, stories and just life with all of you here, so this means a lot. There’s plenty of talented and wonderful people nominated this year, so I’m just glowing at the sheer consideration. If you’ve been enjoying this space, you can vote for me here or by clicking the image above through to April 9th (at the bottom of the page). It requires a minor registration bit, but there’s no spam emails or anything, I swear :)

mixing bonbons // the first messwhite + dark chocolate peanut butter cookie dough bonbons // the first messwhite + dark chocolate peanut butter cookie dough bonbons // the first messwhite + dark chocolate peanut butter cookie dough bonbons // the first messwhite + dark chocolate peanut butter cookie dough bonbons // the first mess
vegan white + dark chocolate peanut butter cookie dough bonbons recipe
adapted from a bunch of recipes in Emily von Euw’s Rawsome Vegan Baking
serves:
makes about 15
notes: You could take these into the effin’ stratosphere by garnishing with some crushed up salty pretzels. Just a thought. Also, DIY ALERT! You can make oat/raw buckwheat flour by grinding oats/buckwheat groats in a food processor, coffee grinder or blender.

peanut butter white chocolate cookie dough:
1 3/4 cups GF oat flour OR raw buckwheat groat flour
1/2 cup almond flour OR finely shredded coconut
pinch of fine sea salt
2 tbsp chopped raw cacao butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp peanut butter (or almond, cashew, sunflower seed etc.)
1/4 cp + 1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

raw chocolate:
1/4 cups melted raw cacao butter
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup raw cacao powder (Giddy Yo Yo is my fave)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

+chopped peanuts for garnish

In a large bowl, combine the oat flour, almond flour/coconut flakes and salt. Lightly stir to combine. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the cacao butter, coconut oil, peanut butter and maple syrup. Stir constantly until you have a smooth, homogenous mix. Take it off the heat and add to the flour mixture. Stir to combine, using your hands if necessary.

Line a sheet with parchment and set aside. Form the peanut butter cookie dough into balls and place them on the sheet. Once you’ve gone through all of the dough, place the sheet pan in the fridge for 20 minutes or so.

Make the raw chocolate. Put an inch or two of water in a medium saucepan and bring it to a faint simmer. Place all of the raw chocolate ingredients in a medium, non-reactive, bowl that will sit over the pot without touching the water. Place it on top of the pot in a bain marie-style situation and stir until you have a smooth liquid chocolate. Remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside.

Remove the white chocolate peanut butter cookie dough bits from the fridge and start dipping them in the chocolate, returning them to the parchment lined sheet once coated. I use two forks to push them around in the chocolate and place them back on the pan. Sprinkle some chopped peanuts on top and repeat with remaining dough. Place the finished bonbons in the fridge to set the chocolate. Once set, keep bonbons in a covered container in the fridge.

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Katie @ Whole Nourishment02/04/2014 - 8:12 am

Congratulations on the nomination! And these bonbons look divine. I also am more drawn to treats that can be put together quickly and are also wholesome. These definitely fit the bill!

Aimee @ Simple Bites02/04/2014 - 8:45 am

You know you have my vote!!

Wishing I had a few of these to snack on today as I bemoan the absence of spring once again.

Abby @ The Frosted Vegan02/04/2014 - 8:54 am

Congrats on the nomination, you so deserve it!! Also, these bonbons are calling to me like WHOA.

ashley - baker by nature02/04/2014 - 9:01 am

Congrats on the nom! And wowzers!!! These bonbons have my heart! Happy I found my way to your lovely blog this morning :)

Hari Chandana02/04/2014 - 9:15 am

Looks so beautiful and tempting.. great photography!

Erika02/04/2014 - 9:32 am

Super congrats to you! annnddd I could use a few of these bonbons this morning.. Love this!

Deena Kakaya02/04/2014 - 9:47 am

Congratulations on the nomination! I’m drawn to these multi-impact gorgeous little bites particularly as no baking is involved! I will be trying these out x

Meredith02/04/2014 - 10:04 am

This is amazing, because not only am I obsessed with chocolate + PB, but i literally bought raw cacao butter two days ago. SO excited to try these. You never fail to speak to my heart, Laura! <3

Sini | my blue&white kitchen02/04/2014 - 10:09 am

Congrats on the nomination! I’ve enjoyed your blog so much and was truly excited to see you being a finalist. You’re such an inspiration, Laura. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work and your thoughts with us.

Alysa02/04/2014 - 10:13 am

These sound fantastic. That book looks super interesting too.

congratulations!!!! i could eat the dough by itself and chocolate definitely makes everything better,

Ashley02/04/2014 - 10:48 am

Congrats! Vote coming your way, well done lady!

Meike ° eat in my kitchen02/04/2014 - 11:07 am

Congrats on the nomination! I love peanut butter cookies, I will try yours! Thanks for sharing!

Grace02/04/2014 - 11:08 am

Congratulations Laura! So exciting!! You’ve been such an inspiration to me, I just love your style and recipes. These bonbons are to die for delicious looking!

The Rose Journals02/04/2014 - 11:15 am

So fricken proud of you! EEEEEE!!! Sending our absolute love and support! <3

dana02/04/2014 - 1:40 pm

These look absolutely incredible. I want like 15. Also, congrats on the nom! You totally deserve it. Keep up the beautiful work, friend!

Kathryn02/04/2014 - 3:31 pm

Hurrah for the nomination! SO pleased for your Laura + definitely ready to celebrate with you and one of these delights!

Teffy02/04/2014 - 4:29 pm

Oh wow those look so so incredible!!! Perfect snack to indulge on with no guilt.

{Teffy’s Perks} X

Ashlae02/04/2014 - 5:50 pm

You inspire me big time, girlfriend. Best special diets blog, fo sho! <3

Katie @ Produce on Parade02/04/2014 - 7:28 pm

Dang, these look insane. All whole foods too, which is always good. Congratulations on the nomination! That’s incredible!

Erin02/04/2014 - 8:55 pm

These look incredibly yummy – I could eat the pictures they are so amazing too! :)

Tieghan02/04/2014 - 11:32 pm

Congrats!! So exciting and you know I will be voting! :)

Jacqui03/04/2014 - 12:14 am

Of coarse I’m reading this on a late Wednesday night, with a major craving for chocolate, and (somehow) there’s none in the house… and these bonbons are pushing that craving over the edge! A huge congrats on the nom. it’s well deserved!

Emma Galloway03/04/2014 - 1:56 am

Thanks so much for the sweet shout out love! I’m so thrilled for your Saveur nomination too! All the best xx

Lindsey03/04/2014 - 7:59 am

I’m seriously digging the sound of these and how wholesome/easy to make they seem. And you seriously cannot go wrong with homemade raw chocolate + peanut butter!
Super congrats on your nom, Laura; you + your blog are most deserving!

Jeanine03/04/2014 - 1:54 pm

Congrats Laura!!! So excited to see you there. (oh, and yum!)

Beauty beauty beauty. I’ve never seen a stick of cocoa butter look more lovely. I’m in love with the way you shot this post and I’m in love with the recipe! I love finding truffle recipes that act more as energy health power bombs. I try to reduce the sugar in my life as much as possible and these are a perfect example of how you can live a healthier life and eat wholesomely while still enjoying delicious treats. <3

Allison03/04/2014 - 4:50 pm

Your photos are beautiful- I really like how you incorporated the newspaper! It is different and unexpected, but adds so much! Thank you for all that you do!

Kimberley04/04/2014 - 8:28 pm

I was so happy to see you nominated – every single recipe you make inspires me! And these. I’m all over them. xo.

[…] white + dark chocolate peanut butter cookie dough bon bons. i want a mouthful of […]

Deepa @onesmallpot05/04/2014 - 4:53 pm

I’m new to your blog and I think it’s beautiful. Congratulations on your saveur nomination. Will be trying out these gorgeous treats as soon as I get my hands on some cacao butter.

[…] the other day I saw this post and felt inspired to make some truffles. They’re not raw, and I most certainly did not make […]

[…] otro día vi este post y entonces decidí hacer unas trufas. No son crudos y desde luego no hice mi proprio chocolate, […]

ATasteOfMadness07/04/2014 - 1:25 am

It’s almost unreal how good this looks! Anything containing chocolate, and I come running.

Hazel07/04/2014 - 5:05 pm

Should I use the coconut oil that tastes like coconut, or the refined kind? These look amaze balls!

Laura Wright07/04/2014 - 5:07 pm

Either one would be great, Hazel. I kinda prefer the coconut-ish tasting version personally :)
-L

Laura @ Blogging Over Thyme08/04/2014 - 10:00 pm

Congrats on the Saveur nomination!!!! You totally deserve it. Your photos are always phenomenal. And these bon bons–they look totally amazing.

Kathryne09/04/2014 - 12:19 pm

Ok, first of all, these bonbons look amazing. Second, I was so happy to see your blog’s name on the Saveur list. Your posts are the best of the best! Brava! Good things to come. :)

Trisha10/04/2014 - 5:43 am

these looks so tasty. Great photos – i really need to get this book! x

Meredith14/04/2014 - 2:17 pm

Quick question: Will this recipe for raw chocolate work on its own in bar form, or is it specifically designed to be a chocolate coating? Thank you!

I have my eyes on10/10/2014 - 11:41 am

[…] these days, seriously, I could just eat it all day. You can imagine my excitement when I found this White and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter BonBons, I mean, is like the perfect combination. Can’t wait to try […]

green curry kale + crispy coconut tempeh

green curry kale + crispy coconut tempeh // the first messgreen curry kale + crispy coconut tempeh // the first messgreen curry kale prep // the first mess
My phone number has a Toronto area code. Still. This general handyman sorta guy that’s been working on my house pointed it out to me the other day. I left the city over three years ago and I’ve been saying that I’ll change the number forever, but this might have to be the week that I actually do it. I used to have this underlying idea that some day I would go back, and for no real reason other than the possibility of it. After an emphatic conversation with a friend last weekend, I know that over time I’ve been embracing the quieter aspects of my home here. Way beyond being just okay with it.

I used to take the bus between there and home with frequency. It’s a 2 hour ride on a bad day. The start of the trip would be all herky-jerky stop + go lurches and glaring headlights if you sat on the wrong side. Somebody would have inevitably brought street meat on board and, yes inevitably, that unmistakable aroma of boiled off cuts with mustard would just hang. Headphones on, shoulders hunched toward the window, phone and a book within reach, chamomile with honey in a paper cup firmly grasped, and always a long scarf in my lap just in case the next passenger over blasted the A/C. I could never just fall asleep.

Half an hour into the trip, the stop and go fades and you see the tight tetris-like bedroom communities from the highway. A defunct auto plant, at least 3 Costco stores with jammed parking lots, a shallow river, fuel-efficient cars with one person in them in all the lanes over, commuter trains, mega-churches, these things flapping in the wind outside of storage units. The chatter on board begins to fade and my tea cup is almost empty.

A generous hour goes by and the ditches that pass below, even faster now, are deep with tall grass and weeds. You can see the lake, vineyards, greenhouses, the made-to-look-folksy-but-they’re-actually-brand-new road stops, the giant glowing cross that tells us we’re almost home, the shades of green and depth of space. It’s a sense of relief that creeps up slow, but is felt hard when it arrives. I hadn’t taken this trip in a good long while, but found myself on that bus last week, going through all of the same postures after a day about town. I have my home and tiny new roots that are starting to take, but that relief came through just as strong.

Our kitchen is renovated to the point of serviceable now and this is the first thing I made in it. Kale, go figure. (except we totally had pizza + Ashlae’s sea salt chocolate chip cookies too) I massaged it with lime juice and olive oil (this one–so good) to soften and then added cilantro leaves to the point where they became part of the salad itself. The dressing is coconut milk based, so, very fatty on the palate and completely satisfying in all of the obvious ways. I bash up lemongrass, green onions, ginger, lime peels, coriander and green chili in a mortar + pestle until I get a bit of a paste going. This gets stirred into the coconut milk with an extra hit of lime and even more cilantro (cilantro haters, this salad ain’t for you). The leaves are bathed in that spicy, sharp, and luxe mix. The last touch is small dices of tempeh crisped up in coconut oil. Mark said they were kind of like meaty croutons and I’m inclined to agree. This is a really easy and  tasty way to prepare tempeh if you’ve been feeling hesitant (which I totally understand because it’s a fermented soy cake that looks like brains). I’m going to try it crisped with garlic and smoked paprika for a kale/hearty greens caesar-ish salad topper next time.

So yeah, kind of a quick and easy one today with equally breezy photos. But! A few little notes before I go.

This feels so silly to say, but BuzzFeed asked me to be their “Spring Vegetable Correspondent” for the next few months and I happily obliged. I’ll be sharing really easy, vegan recipes that let the vegetables do the talking. The first post is here. Respond with YAAASS or a GIF if you’re a bit freaky.

I lean on chickpeas a lot here, so when the The Guardian asked to use one of my recipes in their “10 Best” column, I was delighted. Lots of good (omnivorous + veg) recipes here.

An interview and some very kind words over at Modern Thought (link).

My friend Kasey, along with her partner Matt, runs the incredible site and subscription service Turntable Kitchen (as I’m sure you’re all aware of at this point–pretty legendary!). They pair music and food in a way that’s thoughtful, accessible and fun. And cool thing? They’re releasing a cookbook of sorts! It’s a selection of 80 recipes from their Parings Box subscription service in, yep, a beautiful wooden box that allows you to add new bits and physically separate your faves–something that a traditional book doesn’t necessarily make room for. You can check it out here.

Happy weekend to you all. I’ll be back with some (raaaw!) dessert next week :)

kale // the first messgreen curry kale + crispy coconut tempeh // the first messgreen curry kale + crispy coconut tempeh // the first messgreen curry kale + crispy coconut tempeh // the first mess
green curry kale w/ crispy coconut tempeh
serves: 4-6
notes: For the dressing component, I got real physical and just bashed everything up in a mortar and pestle. This may be sufficient for some, but depending on the intensity/freshness of your ginger and lemongrass, you may want to blend all of the dressing components instead, or do the whole thing up in a mini food processor and do yourself a little strain afterwards. Taste as you go and judge from there.

1 bunch of kale, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
3 green onions, sliced + divided
3 big handfuls of cilantro leaves, divided
2 limes
olive oil
salt + pepper
2 inch piece of lemongrass (the bulb-ish part at the bottom of the stalk)
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1/2-1 thai green chili (depending on your tolerance)
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2-1 tsp tamari soy sauce
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk, stirred
1-2 tbsp coconut oil
1 standard package of tempeh, cut into small pieces
sesame + hemp seeds

In a large bowl, toss the kale leaves, green parts of the sliced green onions (you’ll be reserving the white parts for the tempeh + dressing) and two handfuls of cilantro leaves. Squeeze the juice of one lime over the salad, add a bit of olive oil, some salt, and pepper. Toss everything together to combine, massaging the oil/lime juice into the kale leaves in order to soften them. Set this portion of the salad aside.

Cut 3 little strips of zest off of the remaining lime and cut them up rough. Throw them into a mortar and pestle. Add in about half of the leftover green onion whites. Slice the piece of lemongrass, ginger, and chili and add those too. Finally, add the coriander and a bit of salt. Start bashing the ingredients together until you have a chunky paste. I like to squeeze a bit of lime into the mortar to help aid this process along. Once you have a decent paste, scrape it into a measuring cup and stir in the coconut milk along with the tamari. Chop up the remaining cilantro and and stir it into the mix as well. Check the dressing for salt, pepper and acidity level at this point. Adjust to your liking and set aside.

Heat the coconut oil in a large saute pan over medium. Add the remaining green onions and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the pieces of tempeh + some salt and pepper. Toss/stir the pieces of tempeh around here and there until all sides are browned and lightly crisp, about 8 minutes. It should sizzle and pop. Add a squeeze of lime at the end and toss them to coat.

Spoon the coconut dressing over the salad and finish with the crispy tempeh pieces. Garnish the salad with sesame/hemp seeds and serve.

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Abby @ The Frosted Vegan28/03/2014 - 8:40 am

Your words are always so lovely (along with your photos!). Congrats on the Buzz Feed gig!

molly yeh28/03/2014 - 10:33 am

these photos are gorgeous! yay for new kitchens :) i’ve also had that area code thought, it’s quite scary… but isn’t the quiet life SO NICE AND WORTH IT?!

happy weekend to you, miss laura!

mich28/03/2014 - 10:33 am

First photos in the new house! I recognize that porch :)

Here’s to many more meals and celebrations there. I can’t wait to share one with you!

Kathryn28/03/2014 - 10:48 am

Spring vegetable correspondent = best title ever.

Ashlae28/03/2014 - 11:24 am

We moved out of Ohio six years ago, but I have yet to change my Ohio phone number – and I’m not sure I ever will. Like my last name that I won’t be changing when Thom and I officially seal the deal, I have a weird attachment to it that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to shake.

In other news, I can’t think of anyone better to be a Spring Vegetable Correspondent than the Queen of Cruciferous Veg, herself. Fist bumps to you, lady! And you broke in your kitchen with the sea salt chippas? *blushing* Wanna see more of that kitchen.

Jo from yummyvege28/03/2014 - 11:54 am

This is just what I was looking for! I have a packet of tempeh in the fridge and was trying to think of ways to jazz it up!

[…] still my vegan heart … This green curry kale salad looks […]

[…] green curry kale and crispy coconut tempeh. […]

Sini | my blue&white kitchen29/03/2014 - 9:23 am

This salad calls my name. It looks so unbelievably good! Can’t wait to have a bowl of it…Maybe next week? And congrats for all the accomplishments: a new kitchen, BuzzFeed, the Guardian, etc. Wow!!

Have a lovely weekend,
Sini

Ami@naivecookcooks29/03/2014 - 10:43 pm

Lovely salad and I liked the way you described your journey!

SouthernSpoon30/03/2014 - 7:03 am

This looks incredible– green curry salad, love it. Congrats on all the press opportunities, and a working kitchen!

Hilary30/03/2014 - 6:27 pm

I read your interview with modern thought – just thought I would point out that if you ever find some large property to put your kitchen/barn/farm area – SIGN ME UP! I’m in the area and would be all in. :)

Kiran30/03/2014 - 7:50 pm

I’m so happy I ran across your website!! I’ve tried three recipes so far and they were hugely successful with my whole family. Thank you!!

Katie @ Produce on Parade31/03/2014 - 1:00 pm

“Spring Vegetable Correspondent”?! Whoa, that’s pretty freaking awesome for a title. I think you should make a name tag and wear it about. I would. ;) Congratulations!

ATasteOfMadness31/03/2014 - 3:59 pm

YuM! I’ve got to start buying more kale. This looks SO good!

Hannah31/03/2014 - 6:44 pm

This was delicious! I love everything coconut and this was no exception :) can’t wait for the Caesar salad. Love you Laura!

Heather01/04/2014 - 3:00 pm

I made this over the weekend and it was a hit! Crunchy and warm. It did all sorts of good things for me.

Michelle01/04/2014 - 5:16 pm

This was timely! I’m looking for delicious kale recipes!

phi01/04/2014 - 8:24 pm

i love the green on blue! and tempeh on kale! sooo good.

xoxo

[…] EAT. Trying out my cooking skills with this delicious looking curry kale recipe […]

Kimberley04/04/2014 - 8:59 pm

Hi, also this. I have this thing where I want to love tempeh but it has to be made just so. And bringing the words coconut and crispy into the mix will surely take it there.

Dee04/06/2014 - 11:40 pm

I’m a huge fan of The First Mess and have successfully made many of your recipes, but I have to question the use of raw lemongrass and ginger in this dressing? Even after pounding and running through the food processor, I was left with tough, fibrous and aggressive pieces of lemongrass as well as the overwhelming spice of raw ginger!

I ended up straining the dressing through cheesecloth, though, and this dish was scarfed up just like the others!

Laura Wright05/06/2014 - 7:54 am

Hi Dee! Bummer that your first interaction with this recipe was kind of on the underwhelming/weird side. I find ginger and lemongrass have varying degrees of intensity every time I go to use them. Maybe yours were super hot and mine were a bit tired? Either way, I found really pounding the living crap out of both in the mortar and pestle was sufficient, but I like your straining idea. I’m going to make a note in the recipe because I think some people might run into the same problem. Thanks for your helpful feedback!
-L

Kasey09/06/2014 - 11:41 pm

How did I miss this beautiful post?! Thank you so much for the kind words about the Cookbook in a Box my friend. We so appreciate it, and I apologize for not seeing it sooner (ah, life). This place you’ve created is beyond inspiring. Whenever I visit, I want to just spend days and days here. xoxo

Larissa22/06/2014 - 10:47 pm

This is the first recipe I’ve made from The First Mess and I had to restrain myself from devouring the entire bowl!

Thanks for the fabulous recipe, looking forward to many more!

[…] Water Toner Decor: Tulum Print by Max Wagner Recipe: Green Curry Kale + Crispy Coconut Tempeh via The First Mess Design/Photography: Julia Kostreva’s Notebooks DIY: DIY Patterned Flatware Pouches via […]

[…] Green Curry Kale and Crispy Coconut Tempeh from The First Mess […]

[…] Kale & Crispy Coconut Tempeh (thefirstmess.com) […]

spring onion falafel with millet + some accompaniments

spring onion falafel with millet + some accompaniments // the first messspring onion falafel with millet + some accompaniments // the first messfalafel prep // the first mess
There are plenty of things keeping me up at night lately and while I’ve already cut my caffeine consumption down to one coffee a day, I’m finding some true release in a put-it-all-out-there strategy. Sleep has been noticeably more solid and it’s funny how the universe provides some answers, just so long as you make your being/wants known. We’re on the tip of the very cusp of a new season (so close) and everything feels possible. There’s work to do inside and out at our place (counters in that kitchen!), all sorts of food to make, places to go. I think it might get a little crazy soon, but I’m hoping I can be here as often as ever. I like the early bits of spring. It’s all tiny green buds, petrichor, lighter jackets and anticipation

One of my dearest friends shot me a text last week to tell me that a) my site was down and b) this was a bummer because he needed a falafel recipe. I got the site back up, but still no falafel recipe? Huh. Truthfully I had never made it before. I have this thing about certain takeaway-style foods where I tell myself there’s no point in trying to replicate them at home because seriously, how are you gonna do better? Deep frying at home isn’t something I aim to do often, but I had a homemade falafel experience on my mind. So I consulted about 15 recipes, decided to get real wild and just bake them.

It was easier than I thought! And once you serve them up with pita, lettuce, tahini sauce etc., you kind of forget that they aren’t fried. All of the flavour is totally there. I lightened my falafel mix with cooked millet, lemon and scallions, uuuum because spring or something. I love the toasty, corn-ish qualities of millet and knew that it would fluff things up a bit in terms of texture. I’ve got three little add-on recipes to accompany these too. The first one is my basic pickled red onions recipe/non-recipe. I use these on any and all savoury foods. The next one is some salty sweet rosemary peanuts. These are so punchy and right on a falafel salad, but really good on their own too. Last thing is a dill-y tahini sauce that you can just shake up in a jar. When I make any sauce/dressing (or food in general), I keep tasting and adding more salt, sweetness, acid, fat or spice to my liking until I’ve nailed it. This recipe follows that taste-as-you-go strategy and the jam jar mixing method makes that whole thing a bit easier.

falafel prep // the first messspring onion falafel with millet + some accompaniments // the first messspring onion falafel with millet + some accompaniments // the first mess
spring onion falafels with millet + some accompaniments
serves: makes about 20 falafels
notes: I feel like quinoa or any other small, fluffy and spherical grain could work in place of the millet. Just make sure that all of the water is cooked out and the grain is as dry as possible when you go to mix it with the chickpea base. As always, garlic, cumin and any other spices can be added or subtracted to your liking.

falafel ingredients:
2 cups cooked chickpeas, dried with a kitchen towel
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled + roughly chopped
1/2 of a small cooking onion, roughly chopped
4-5 green onions, sliced, white bulb- parts and green tops separated
2 tsp ground cumin
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tbsp brown rice/oat/millet flour (or whole wheat, spelt, all purp etc. if you can handle gluten)
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup cooked, but still chewy, millet (1/3 cup millet + 2/3 cup water simmered until all the water is gone)
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a food processor combine the chickpeas, garlic, chopped cooking onion, the chopped whites of the green onions, ground cumin, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pulse until you have a chunky paste and there are hardly any whole chickpeas left. Add the flour and baking soda and pulse a couple more times to combine. You should have a wet and chunky paste. Scrape this into a large bowl. To this, add the cooked millet, sesame seeds, and sliced green onion tops. Fold it all together to combine.

Form falafels with your hands by grabbing about 2 tbsp of chickpea mixture at a time. Gently roll it into a football-ish shape and place it on the parchment lined pan. repeat with remaining chickpea mixture. Once you’re done, slide the tray into the oven and bake falafels for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned and slightly firm to the touch. Serve falafels in a pita, big lettuce leaf, or on top of a salad with any of the accompaniments below!

1. really easy pickled red onions
makes:
1 onion’s worth :)

1/2 cup white wine/cider/rice vinegar
1 cup+ water
2-3 tbsp maple syrup/raw honey
2 tsp sea salt
1 red onion, sliced into thin half moons

Combine everything but the sliced onion in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. While it’s heating up, pack the sliced onions into a clean jar. Pour the vinegar mixture over the onions and allow it to sit at room temp, uncovered, for an hour or so. Put the lid on and refrigerate onions until ready to use. These will keep for a few weeks (but they probably won’t last that long).

2. sweet and salty rosemary peanuts
makes: 1 cup

1 cup raw, unsalted peanuts
1 sprig rosemary
2 tbsp maple syrup
sea salt

Toss all of the ingredients together and spread them out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake them in a 350 degree oven until they’ve browned slightly and dried up a bit, about 7-10 minutes.

3. jam jar tahini dressing
makes: a generous 1/2 cup

1 clove of garlic, minced or grated on a rasp
juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp maple syrup/raw honey
splash of cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4-1/3 cup water (depending on how thick/thin you want this)
1/4 cup tahini
salt and pepper
2 sprigs of dill, leaves chopped

Shake up all of the ingredients in a tightly sealed jar. Check it for seasoning, adjust and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

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Kathryn20/03/2014 - 6:11 am

Man, I love that idea that everything feels/is possible. Life feels so full of hope and anticipation. I’m totally on the falafel train these days; excited to try your version.

Jo from yummyvege20/03/2014 - 6:37 am

Yum they look so good, I’m feeling inspired to bake today…

Abby @ The Frosted Vegan20/03/2014 - 9:24 am

I can’t get over how gorgeous this is! Here’s to all those feelings of hope and anticipation : )

Lindsey20/03/2014 - 9:42 am

Wow, if ever a word was attached to an olfactory memory, petrichor would surely be the poster-child for it. Thanks for this wonderful introduction to such awesome word!

Yes, spring is here, officially! And with it comes possibility, new adventures, fresh air and these falafels! Love the addition of millet, and totally love all the sides – high-fives for jam jar dressings and sauces! ! Cheers Laura!

Stephanie20/03/2014 - 11:03 am

These little falafel bites are adorable! I just made some chickpea patties a little while ago with very similar flavorings. I could not live without chickpeas– hence the 2 crates I buy at every Costco run. :) I’m with you on the pickled red onions. I make them ALL the time because they go on everything.

dana20/03/2014 - 11:06 am

Beautiful, Laura! Love the photography as well (per usual).

cheri20/03/2014 - 12:29 pm

I love that these are baked, and all the accompaniments.

Golubka20/03/2014 - 1:02 pm

I needed the recipe for your soba last week when the site was down. That made me realize how much I depend on it. In terms of falafels, I’m the opposite and do make them often, always looking for new recipes and accompaniments. Love your pickled onions and rosemary peanuts, something to try with the next batch for sure.

molly yeh20/03/2014 - 1:11 pm

i so know how you feel about wanting to leave some things to the guys at the take out restaurants, but i am also with you about the frying vs. baking. i think i’d eat a whole lot more falafel if it wasn’t deep fried… that’s actually the reason why my old falafel monday tradition flopped.

so this is my cue to go make this right now. and i’ve been meaning to buy some millet anyways…..

yay happy spring!

Meredith20/03/2014 - 1:36 pm

These look great Laura! And the timing is perfect…I just bought a bunch of millet for the first time and have been looking for interesting recipes to try it out. Can’t wait to give these a go! Oh and beautiful photos, as always :).

shanna mallon20/03/2014 - 3:05 pm

I’ve been dreaming of making homemade falafel for a long while, and this post is reminding me why I need to just do it already! GORGEOUS photos. My mouth is watering.

sara20/03/2014 - 11:23 pm

gorgeous bowl that you’re mixing that falafel mush in, miss! so pretty. I am a baked falafel fan myself, but admit they hinge upon their sauce and fixins. Love the idea of the peanuts, must try that.
Good luck with the house but I am certain its coming along beautifully. I had to stop with ours, and just live in it as is for a few weeks because I was afraid there would be no end to the number of things we want to do around here (and the money going to hardware stores was disgusting me). Anyway. Love to you two and may is be as much adventure and little stress as possible. xo

Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody)20/03/2014 - 11:35 pm

This looks so healthy, tasty and satisfying. Can’t wait to try it out for lunch. :)

Teffy21/03/2014 - 6:11 am

Oh WOW! Looks so so good. I am a huge falafel fan. I’ve never actually made it myself, but this one would be the perfect one to start with.

{Teffy’s Perks} X

Sini | my blue&white kitchen21/03/2014 - 7:53 am

This post is a gem! The falafels and sides look amazing. I kinda want to run straight into the kitchen and make this for lunch.

Cheers to a spring full of possibilities,
Sini

Chelsea//TheNakedFig21/03/2014 - 10:40 am

I’ve only ever made raw falafel. Why has it taken me until reading this post to realize I should be making my own falafel? Thanks for sharing so many yummy recipes in one!

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Kate23/03/2014 - 7:18 am

I made this, using quinoa, last night for dinner with all of the little sides and they were amazing. The peanuts and onions added a lovely sweetness, the tahini sauce was very bright, and the falafel was light and filling without being heavy!

Amanda23/03/2014 - 10:03 am

Made these last night (+ pickled and dressing) and they were fucking ridiculous.

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Alison Chino24/03/2014 - 3:26 pm

YES PLEASE! These look amazing. I’m totally going for it.

Kathryne24/03/2014 - 8:01 pm

Man, I went through this phase when I was only getting four hours of sleep a night, but it wasn’t due to too much caffeine. I must have been running on stress and determination alone. I finally cleared some projects off my plate and I’m finding some balance—hope you don’t go nuts like I did while you’re working on those kitchen counters. :) This falafel looks delightful and I can’t wait to try those quick-pickled onions.

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Ileana25/03/2014 - 12:16 pm

What a lovely idea! I look forward to trying your clever recipe.

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Kirti26/03/2014 - 8:06 am

Can I just say I love your ideas and pictures? Also that I love the narrative?
In India (where I live), recipes/dishes with (red) millet are quite common. Especially in southern coastal India, where my husband is from. It is one of his favorite morning breakfast ingredients. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe. :)

Brian @ A Thought For Food27/03/2014 - 11:51 am

I love that counter! Oh my goodness. I want it bad. I won’t begin to tell you (or anyone else) how dated our (soon-to-be) kitchen is in our new house. I’m definitely planning on putting in similar counters when we redo it. Whenever that is.

ANYWHO! Ok, so I adore falafel and, like you, felt that it wasn’t something you made at home. BUT I’ve done a few versions… some baked with canned chickpeas (because I was lazy), some fried with fresh chickpeas (which were SO much better). But mine have never looked as beautiful as yours. Really, this is gorgeous.

Dawn27/03/2014 - 12:28 pm

I absolutely adore falafels and am always on the look out for recipes as I have never been content with the ones I’ve tried. They have always been too dry or bland. Can’t wait to give this a whirl.

On another note I hope that you are thinking about writing a cookbook as I would definitely be first in line to purchase a copy! Love your originality and inventiveness. x

Deena Kakaya01/04/2014 - 6:32 pm

Wow, your pictures look incredible! I don’t often see recipes using millet flour but I’m really impressed with the result of yours and especially that you’ve baked with them. Glad to have found your blog x

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