Falafel

The trick to perfect home-made falafel is in the beans. Get Raw-Chickpea Falafel and Lemon–Tahini Sauce recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
If you’ve made falafel at home and been disappointed, you’re not alone. You might think you need special equipment, or some secret ingredient, or years of experience. The truth is far simpler.

I’ve tried many falafel recipes, and the results were so unsuccessful that my go-to “recipe” was dried commercial mix rehydrated with pureed soft tofu. The from-scratch problem was always moisture: cooked chickpeas, whether prepped at home or poured from a can, always made the falafel mixture too moist. I’d add binders, like flour or breadcrumbs, but these made the falafel too dense and doughy. Then I stumbled upon a falafel recipe that calls for rehydrated but uncooked beans. On my first attempt, the texture and density issues were gone. Practice led me to develop a flavorful, crisp, vegan falafel perfect for stuffing in Sourdough Pita Bread with a range of condiments and easily frozen for quick meals.
Learn to make Raw-Chickpea Falafel and Lemon–Tahini Sauce

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Pot Beans

Put the most flavor in your beans. Get Seasoned Pot Beans and Red Beans and Rice recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.I didn’t get hooked on dried legumes until I discovered pot beans. The preparation style evolved from frijoles de olla, traditionally cooked in earthenware pots in Mexico. Instead of cooking dried beans in 2 stages—once in pure water until soften and again with ingredients that give them flavor—everything is thrown into the pot with the soaked beans. As soon as they’re done, dinner is served.

Pot beans absorb broth and seasonings yet remain adaptable to almost any bean dish. Suddenly, cooking up a pound of dried beans seems worthwhile. Imagine: Before going to bed Sunday night, you spend 3 minutes setting the beans to soak. After work Monday, you give them a rinse and toss them back into the pot with some onion, carrot, garlic, herbs, and stock. About an hour later, you have your first meal: Seasoned Pot Beans. You also have the basis for many quick meals the rest of the week. Huevos rancheros. Beans on toast. Asian bean dip. Hummus. Quesadillas. Corn, Bean, and Pepper Salsa. Burritos. Myriad soups. Sourdough Empanadas. Louis Armstrong’s favorite Louisiana-style red beans, perfect for Fat Tuesday. The list goes on—and I’ll be adding to it all month.
Learn to make Seasoned Pot Beans and Red Beans and Rice

Digging into Dried Beans

People seem to have a love it or leave it relationship with beans. If you love them, you’ve probably had them cooked right. Read more about cooking beans.People seem to have a love it or leave it relationship with beans. If you love them, you likely have an underlying reason: they’re cheap yet filling, you’ve cut other proteins from your diet, or you grew up in a household, community, or culture that saw beans as a staple. Madhur Jaffrey starts her 750-page World Vegetarian cookbook with a section on dried beans. Louis Armstrong loved his beans so much he closed letters with “Red Beans & Ricely Yours.”

But the primary reason people love beans is that they’ve had them cooked right. Well-cooked legumes don’t just pack a nutritional punch; they have delicious flavors and textures and can be adapted to any meal, from breakfast to dessert. Unfortunately, people who rarely eat beans often only do so by cracking open a can and being immediately disappointed by the texture and taste—and the aftereffects. “The more legumes you eat the more you can eat them,” Jaffrey writes in her chapter on dried beans. And the more you know about how to cook beans, the more likely you are to eat them.
Read more about cooking beans

The Sourdough Giveaway Successes

As the first Twice as Tasty Sourdough Giveaway Experiment comes to a close, there’s only one word to describe it: success. Read more about the experiences of new sourdough bakers. (Photo by Vicki Faulkner)As the first Twice as Tasty Sourdough Giveaway Experiment comes to a close, there’s only one word to describe it: success. When I announced that I would be sharing my sourdough starter for free, people immediately began sending me their SASEs and joining in the project. When I extended it a second month, even more envelopes requesting sourdough began to appear in my mailbox. Many of the new proud owners of a sourdough starter have been sharing their experiences and photos with me over the last month. I’m excited to share some of these with you and show you how easily new bakers took to their sourdough starter.
Read more about the experiences of new sourdough bakers