Sweet Potato Falafels & Roasted Peppers Quinoa Buddha Bowl

Falafels need to be reinvented, redefined, and remodelled. Even though you may find a few places where they are preparing them in a healthy way, this once healthy food has now become synonym of that greasy junky food people eat because they feel less guilty than eating a burger. Usually eaten in a wrap, I am today offering you another way to enjoy those little balls of happiness: a Buddha Bowl. There is not real definition of what a Buddha Bowl is. What you’ve got to know is that a Buddha Bowl basically is a bowl which you throw a whole lot of goodness in, drizzle some sauce on top and parachute a few seeds or sprouts. Here you are.

I am almost certain you’ll find
something delectable in those

I am not trying to be bold by saying I’ll revolution them. But I am almost certain you’ll find something delectable in those. This amazing recipe transforms the sweet potato in a crispy yet mushy treat, which is not deep fried in very questionable oil but simply baked. It keeps the fat content quite low so that people that are trying to cut on fats a little may still enjoy them. They are super-healthy and you will not even see the difference!

Sweet potatoes have healing properties,
eliminating free radicals from the organism

Just so you know, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (with their high beta-carotene content) and vitamin C. They are powerful anti-oxidants (reducing the severity of inflammations – from asthma to arthritis) and even have healing properties, eliminating free radicals from the organism. Free radicals are chemical substances that damage cells and are usually associated with heart disease, diabetes, cancers, and so on. And guess what? Beta-carotene and vitamin C have both been shown to help fighting those conditions. In a nutshell, eat sweet potato!

Spring Equinox Buddha Bowl

Portions: 4 servings
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

For the falafels:

4 to 5 sweet potatoes (around 600g), peeled and cut in small bites
1 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of ground coriander
2 tsp of dry basil
1 tsp of cardamom (optional)
Juice of half a lemon
1 clove of garlic, pressed
1 tbsp of tahini
3 tbsp of chickpea flour (or rye/spelt/etc.)
Salt & pepper
Sesame seeds to coat
500g of quinoa + 1 litre of water + a pinch of salt

For the baked peppers:

3 red bell peppers, rinsed
3 tbsp of olive oil + some to drizzle
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
½ tbsp of soy sauce
Salt & pepper
A few fresh basil leaves, sliced

For the tahini sauce:

3 tbsp of tahini
Juice of one lemon
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
½ tsp of ground cumin
2 tbsp of olive oil
4 – 7 tbsp of water (depending on how thick you want the sauce

To garnish:

Cherry tomatoes
Onion Sprouts
Pomegranate

Method

(1) Preheat your oven to 220°C. Place all the peeled and cut pieces of sweet potato in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer until tender.

(2) In a large mixing bowl, mash the sweet potatoes. Add the rest of the falafels ingredients, except the sesame seeds. Once nicely mixed, place in the fridge to firm up for about an hour.

(3) Prepare your quinoa: bring the quinoa, water and salt to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer until all the water has been absorbed. Cover and set aside.

(4) Take the falafel mix out of the fridge, it should be sticky, not wet. Take large spoonfuls of batter and create falafels, rolling them in sesame seeds first and then placing them on a baking tray, covered with parchment paper.

(5) Place them in the oven for about 25 to 35 minutes, depending on whether you like them crispy and on your oven as well. Check them out after 25 minutes though.

(6) While in the oven, prepare the peppers: Slice them in half, core them, and place them on a baking tray, covered with parchment paper. Drizzle some olive oil on top, salt and pepper, and place in the oven (if the falafels are in the middle, these should go beneath) for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the skin is nice and burnt.

(7) Take the falafels out of the oven and let them cool down. When it’s time for the peppers to come out, either wrap them up in foil or place them in an airtight container for about 20 minutes, so that you can peel them off more easily.

(8) Once peeled, slice them, place in a mixing bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and mix correctly to coat. Set aside.

(9) Lastly, make the tahini sauce: mix all the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. As easy as that!

(10) Place some quinoa in a bowl, add a few falafels, some peppers, cherry tomatoes, spouts, pomegranate and drizzle some tahini sauce on top. Enjoy!


Almond, Chocolate & Sweet Potato Blondies

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. And when you need to reduce your sugar intake, well, you come up with the most delicious ideas. Because (healthy!) sweets truly are bare necessities in one’s life. For someone that usually eats energy balls on the reg, that prepare choc brownies when invited for a dinner party or just because he fancies it, that has a love/hate relationship with honey, maple, dates and so many more healthy sugars, it truly was a great challenge to bring new twists to my regular desserts and snacks.

As I was preparing some sweet potato puree for the fam and our “Buddha Bowl” evening, I wondered if I could use this sweet-tasting puree for dessert purposes. Knowing that it was working with brownies, why wouldn’t it with blondies?! It took me some time to define the right ingredients and to pair the nicest flavours together but I guess I have found my happiness so far.

Those blondies are THE absolute best

when it comes to eating sweets.

They are soft and chewy, which is totally indispensable; very sweet despite their low extra-sugar content (it makes a little less than a teaspoon of maple by portion – great right?!), since the sweet potato itself already is very sweet-tasting. These babies are a powerhouse, nutritionally full of healthy fats, vitamins A, magnesium, potassium and calcium, and some plant proteins. I am quite sure you could make them even more interesting by adding superfoods – maca, baobab or other powders – or other adaptogens – lion’s mane, ashwagandha, etc. I absolutely adore those as an afternoon pick-me-up, to fill me up for the rest of the day, or as a dessert obviously. And if you’re afraid it will taste like vegetable – well I promise it does not!

Moist, decadent, satisfying,

full of textures and flavours,

you’ve just been served by the heavens!

Almond, Chocolate & Sweet Potato Blondies

Portions: 16 pieces
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

Dry ingredients:

1 tbsp of coconut flour (or arrowroot flour alternatively)
50g of brown rice flour (or spelt)
125g of almond meal (almost with a flour texture)

Wet ingredients:

2 tbsp of chia seeds + 1 tbsp of milled chia seeds + 4 tbsp of water
175g of sweet potatoes, cooked and pureed
125g of almond butter (or the one you would prefer)
50g of dates, mashed to paste
3 – 4 tbsp of maple syrup
2 dl of plant milk (almond, oat, spelt, etc.)
125g of crushed pecans
100g of dark chocolate, sliced in little nibs

Method

(1) Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line up a brownies tin with parchment paper. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.

(2) Peel and cut the sweet potato in cubes. Place in a large volume of water, bring to a boil and cook until very soft. Puree and take only the amount you need for the recipe (eat the rest!). Mix the whole and mix chia seeds together with the water and let sit for about 10 minutes.

(3) In the meantime, mix the dates in a food processor (or with a fork!) and add the almond butter, maple syrup, plant milk and sweet potato puree. Mix until fluffy.

4) Serve immediately, with the toppings of your choice. I personally love some more maple, a few frozen or fresh berries, some nut butter & a few seeds on top. Enjoy!

(5) Spread nicely in your brownies tin, evening out the surface. Place in the middle of the oven for about 25 minutes up until 30. A knife inserted in the centre must come out clear and the surface must be hard to touch and golden brown. Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.