Happiest Hanukkah From This Crispy Latke, Egg & Cheese Sandwich

Egg and cheese sandwiches are often just that: egg and cheese on a roll or bagel or toast. Just as often, they co-star a choose-your-own breakfast meat, be it bacon or sausage or ham. But arguably the most festive version, especially during Hanukkah, f…

Egg and cheese sandwiches are often just that: egg and cheese on a roll or bagel or toast. Just as often, they co-star a choose-your-own breakfast meat, be it bacon or sausage or ham. But arguably the most festive version, especially during Hanukkah, features a crispy, chewy latke.

The latke, egg, and cheese sandwich on house-baked challah from B&H Dairy in Manhattan’s East Village has technically been available for years, yet only just became a permanent menu item.

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The WFH Snack You Can Make (& Eat) Between Zoom Calls

We’ve partnered with Hood Cottage Cheese to share a few of our favorite ways their creamy, protein-rich cottage cheeses—like their savory Cottage Cheese with Cucumber and Dill—make for a delicious, speedy snack.

Working from home in pajamas, with yo…

We've partnered with Hood Cottage Cheese to share a few of our favorite ways their creamy, protein-rich cottage cheeses—like their savory Cottage Cheese with Cucumber and Dill—make for a delicious, speedy snack.


Working from home in pajamas, with your dog napping next to you: Once upon a time, that would’ve sounded luxuriously relaxing, right?

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Avocado Club Sandwich

Here’s the most irresistible avocado sandwich: the Avocado Club! It’s filling and full of hearty flavor, the ideal easy lunch idea. No matter how many new recipes we find, Alex and always need more easy lunch ideas to keep things fresh. So here’s an easy lunch recipe that hit the spot with both of us: our Ultimate Avocado Sandwich, aka the Avocado Club! Contrary to what you might think, simply slapping an avocado on a sandwich is not as delicious as it sounds. Alex and I have had lots of sub-par veggie sandwiches that aren’t hearty or filling. So we created this Avocado Club: full of umami flavor and so satisfying that it surprised us both. The combination of smoky, rich, hearty, crunchy and savory is so irresistible…you’ll want to eat it all over again once it’s gone. Ingredients in this avocado sandwich What makes this avocado sandwich the ultimate sandwich? Well, often veggie sandwiches are just comprised of crunchy veggies and no savory elements, making them crunchy and unsatisfying. This Avocado Club combines the best hearty and rich flavors to make a killer sandwich. Here’s what you need: Bread: A hearty, whole grain bread with lots of nuts and […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s the most irresistible avocado sandwich: the Avocado Club! It’s filling and full of hearty flavor, the ideal easy lunch idea.

Avocado sandwich

No matter how many new recipes we find, Alex and always need more easy lunch ideas to keep things fresh. So here’s an easy lunch recipe that hit the spot with both of us: our Ultimate Avocado Sandwich, aka the Avocado Club! Contrary to what you might think, simply slapping an avocado on a sandwich is not as delicious as it sounds. Alex and I have had lots of sub-par veggie sandwiches that aren’t hearty or filling. So we created this Avocado Club: full of umami flavor and so satisfying that it surprised us both. The combination of smoky, rich, hearty, crunchy and savory is so irresistible…you’ll want to eat it all over again once it’s gone.

Ingredients in this avocado sandwich

What makes this avocado sandwich the ultimate sandwich? Well, often veggie sandwiches are just comprised of crunchy veggies and no savory elements, making them crunchy and unsatisfying. This Avocado Club combines the best hearty and rich flavors to make a killer sandwich. Here’s what you need:

  • Bread: A hearty, whole grain bread with lots of nuts and seeds is delicious, or do an artisan bread or sourdough loaf
  • Avocado: Of course, make sure it’s perfectly ripe before you attempt this sandwich.
  • Tomato & lettuce: Same deal: make sure it’s ripe and juicy. If it’s the off-season, hydroponic greenhouse grown tomatoes have the best flavor.
  • Mayonnaise: The mayo brings massive savory flavor and moisture to the sandwich: do not omit! Use vegan mayo as necessary.
  • Cheese: Use both cheddar and provolone for contrasting color and flavor.
  • Coconut bacon (or bacon): The best part! Coconut bacon is so smoky and savory, you’ll forget this is a vegetarian sandwich (see below). Or you can use regular bacon if this is part of your diet.

Put it all together, and you’ve got a sammie that’s so savory and delicious, you’ll want to keep eating it over and over. (At least we have!)

Avocado sandwich

How to cut an avocado…the safe way!

Heard those stories of people cutting their hands when trying to cut an avocado? Don’t worry: there’s a safe way to cut an avocado and remove the pit. Once we learned this trick, we’ve used it countless times when making our favorite avocado recipes. Here’s what to know (or watch this video):

  1. Cut in half: Using a large chef’s knife, cut lengthwise around the avocado. Twist the two halves to separate them.
  2. Remove the pit: Place a towel in your hand and put the avocado on top. With a gentle but quick motion, tap the knife into the avocado pit, then twist it to remove it.
  3. Safely pull the pit from the knife: Do not attempt to remove the avocado pit with your hand! Instead, pull the cutting board close to your body, then place the pit against the far edge of the cutting board and pull back to release it from the knife. (Watch the video for this part!)
  4. Remove from the peel and slice: Use a large spoon to scoop out the avocado from the peel. Place the avocado with the cut side down, then cut it into slices.
Coconut bacon

The flavor maker: coconut bacon (or use standard)

Over here we eat vegetarian or plant-based most of the time, so we have a few tricks up our sleeve when it comes to adding a savory bacon flavor. There are three different ways to make vegan bacon, and they would each work well in this sandwich! Here’s a little breakdown on the types of vegan bacon, with coconut bacon as our top choice here:

  • Coconut Bacon: It’s easy to make with large coconut flakes and tastes amazing. You can barely detect a coconut flavor: it’s savory and smoky, with a nice crunch. Go to this Coconut Bacon recipe.
  • Shiitake Bacon: You can also make bacon out of shiitake mushrooms! It’s incredibly delicious, but doesn’t have the crunchy texture contrast. But if you prefer, go to Shiitake Bacon recipe.
  • Tempeh Bacon: Another option is using tempeh, a pressed soy cake that’s an alternative to tofu with more texture. We use it in our Vegan BLT and it would be great here. Go to Tempeh Bacon recipe.

Variations on this avocado sandwich

If you’re not into the Club sandwich vibe for this avocado sandwich, there are lots of variations! Overall, we like to include hearty, savory ingredients to keep the sandwich satisfying. Here are a few other flavors that pair well with avocado:

  • Cream cheese or goat cheese: Substitute a creamy cheese instead of the cheese slices.
  • Hummus: Want a vegan avocado sandwich? Hummus brings in savory notes that can stand in for cheese. (Go to Hummus Sandwich.)
  • Avocado egg sandwich: Add a fried egg or chopped hard boiled egg to make an avocado egg sandwich. (Go to Pesto Breakfast Sandwich and add avocado.)
Avocado sandwich

Make it a meal: a few great sides!

Honestly: we more often eat this avocado sandwich for dinner! The Avocado Club concept makes it seem fancy enough to write on a meal planning chalkboard, right? If you’re planning it for dinner, here are a few nice ideas for side dishes:

This avocado sandwich recipe is…

Vegetarian. For vegan, plant-based and dairy-free, use vegan mayo or hummus and skip the cheese.

Print

Avocado Club Sandwich


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 sandwiches
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here’s the most irresistible avocado sandwich: the Avocado Club! It’s filling and full of hearty flavor, the ideal easy lunch idea.


Ingredients

  • 1 handful coconut bacon (or cooked bacon)
  • 4 slices bread
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 large ripe tomato
  • Mayonnaise
  • 4 large leaves romaine lettuce
  • 1 slice cheddar cheese
  • 1 slice provolone cheese

Instructions

  1. Make the coconut bacon in advance and store in the freezer until ready to serve (no need to defrost). Alternatively, cook the bacon. 
  2. Toast the bread (optional but recommended).
  3. Slice the avocado and slice the tomatoes. Sprinkle the tomato slices with a pinch of salt. 
  4. Slather both sides of the bread with mayonnaise. Layer the bottom bread slice with cheddar and provolone cheese, then tomato slices and avocado slices. Top with a sprinkle of coconut bacon and the romaine lettuce. Add the other slice of bread and serve. 
  • Category: Sandwich
  • Method: Sandwich
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Avocado sandwich

More avocado recipes

Want more with everyone’s favorite fruit? Here are a few more of our favorite avocado recipes:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Vada Pav Is the Perfect Vegetarian Sandwich

In Chaat, just released in October, Maneet Chauhan and Jody Eddy take you all over India. The cookbook is divided into four sections: The North, The West, The South, The East. Which means you can travel from Amritsar to Mumbai to Chennai to Kolkata—all…

In Chaat, just released in October, Maneet Chauhan and Jody Eddy take you all over India. The cookbook is divided into four sections: The North, The West, The South, The East. Which means you can travel from Amritsar to Mumbai to Chennai to Kolkata—all by reading and cooking and never leaving your house.

In the excerpt below, Chauhan speaks to the vast, vibrant range of chaat in Indian markets, train stations, and homes. Also included, three recipes from the book: Vada Pav, a dreamy potato sandwich; Panch Phoron, a five-spice blend; and Khaman Dhokla, a super-popular street snack. Which will you make first?

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Ultimate Hummus Sandwich

A hummus sandwich is the best healthy easy lunch idea! This plant based recipe takes just a few minutes to make with colorful crunchy veggies. Looking for healthy and easy lunch ideas? Here’s a genius idea for busy days or even a lightening fast weeknight dinner. This Ultimate Hummus Sandwich! That’s right: hummus on a sandwich. You don’t have to reserve hummus just for carrots and pita triangles! It works as a sandwich spread that’s full of plant-based protein to keep you full for hours. Throw it on bread with all your favorite crunchy veggies and it’s a lunch or snack that couldn’t be easier to whip up. Here’s all you need to know about making the ultimate hummus sandwich of your dreams. Ingredients for the ultimate hummus sandwich This hummus sandwich make look like just a random assortment of vegetables with hummus, but it’s more than that! Here are some things to note about getting just the right combination of flavors and textures in a hummus sandwich: Hummus: Use your favorite hummus brand, or even better: make a batch of homemade! The flavor varies widely in store-bought brands, so choose wisely. Bread: We suggest using a crusty artisan bread. […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

A hummus sandwich is the best healthy easy lunch idea! This plant based recipe takes just a few minutes to make with colorful crunchy veggies.

Hummus Sandwich

Looking for healthy and easy lunch ideas? Here’s a genius idea for busy days or even a lightening fast weeknight dinner. This Ultimate Hummus Sandwich! That’s right: hummus on a sandwich. You don’t have to reserve hummus just for carrots and pita triangles! It works as a sandwich spread that’s full of plant-based protein to keep you full for hours. Throw it on bread with all your favorite crunchy veggies and it’s a lunch or snack that couldn’t be easier to whip up. Here’s all you need to know about making the ultimate hummus sandwich of your dreams.

Ingredients for the ultimate hummus sandwich

This hummus sandwich make look like just a random assortment of vegetables with hummus, but it’s more than that! Here are some things to note about getting just the right combination of flavors and textures in a hummus sandwich:

  • Hummus: Use your favorite hummus brand, or even better: make a batch of homemade! The flavor varies widely in store-bought brands, so choose wisely.
  • Bread: We suggest using a crusty artisan bread. If you’re an overachiever, you can make homemade! Try our Sandwich Bread, Whole Wheat Bread, or No Knead Bread.
  • Pickled Vegetables: This is the flavor maker! Using pickled vegetables brings in the best nuance of tangy, sweet, and salty flavor.
  • Raw Vegetables: You can use any combo you like. We used cucumber, red onion and tomato.
  • Cheese: Add cheese for a vegetarian sandwich, or keep it as a vegan sandwich and omit!
  • Sprouts or Microgreens: The finishing touch! It’s optional, but adds nice texture.
Hummus sandwich

The flavor maker: pickled vegetables!

Let’s talk about those pickled vegetables again! This is a trick we picked up from an Italian sandwich shop we visited in Traverse City this summer (Folgarelli’s: we highly recommend it!). One of their vegetable sandwiches had a garlic cheese spread, raw vegetables and the kicker: marinated vegetables from the Italian deli. They added such great tangy, nuanced flavor that it made the entire sandwich taste better!

You can use either mixed pickled vegetables or marinated vegetables. Try pickled cauliflower and carrots (or this recipe for homemade), or whatever you see that strikes your fancy. Or grab some marinated vegetables, jarred or from the antipasto bar if your grocery has one.

Tip: remove excess moisture!

The most important part of this hummus sandwich is this: make sure to remove all excess moisture from the vegetables before you start. Pickled vegetables have quite a bit of moisture (since they’re canned in brine), and so do veggies like tomatoes.

All you have to do is squeeze out the pickled veggies in a paper towel or clean dish towel before building your sandwich! You can also blot the tomatoes with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

Hummus sandwich

Step it up with homemade hummus

Step up your hummus sandwich by using homemade hummus! It’s the best way to bring in big flavor. Or, use one of our hummus flavors below to mix it up. Here are some ideas:

Variations: more hummus sandwich toppings

It goes without saying that you can vary the toppings in this hummus sandwich to your liking! This is more of a concept than a recipe that has to be followed exactly. Here are some ideas on how to branch out and create thousands of hummus sandwich variations:

Hummus sandwich ingredients

Make-ahead info for a hummus sandwich

Last thing to note about this hummus sandwich. It is best made right before eating! Because hummus has moisture and the veggies have moisture, it gets a little too soggy in the fridge. If you want to bring it to an office or outside of the house, here’s what to do:

  • Slice the veggies in advance and place in a container. Assemble the sandwich right before eating.
  • Try making the sandwich as a wrap. A wrap can better hold up to storage than bread.

This hummus sandwich recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free and plant-based.

Print
Hummus Sandwich

Ultimate Hummus Sandwich


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 sandwiches
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

A hummus sandwich is the best healthy easy lunch idea! This plant based recipe takes just a few minutes to make with colorful crunchy veggies.


Ingredients

  • 1/4 medium cucumber
  • 1 small tomato 
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped jarred pickled vegetables (we used pickled cauliflower and carrots)
  • 1 cup hummus
  • 2 slices provolone cheese, optional (omit for vegan)
  • 4 slices bread
  • Microgreens or sprouts, optional
  • Other optional toppings: avocado slices, roasted red pepper, lettuce, feta or goat cheese crumbles, fresh herbs, etc.

Instructions

  1. Chop the veggies: Peel and slice the cucumber (or peel alternating strips as we did here). Thinly slice the tomato. Slice the red onion. Chop the pickled vegetables. 
  2. Toast the bread: If desired, toast the bread.
  3. Remove excess moisture: Meanwhile, place the chopped pickles in a paper towel or clean dish towel and squeeze out any extra water. Place the tomatoes on a paper towel or towel and blot them to remove excess moisture.
  4. Build the sandwich: Place the cucumber slices on the bottom of the sandwich to act as a moisture barrier. Top with a layer of hummus. Add the cheese (optional), pickled vegetables, red onion, tomato, and microgreens or sprouts (if using). Spread the remaining hummus on the top slice of bread and place it on top. Note: This sandwich is best made right before eating. If you’re bringing it outside the house like to work, we recommend chopping the components in advance, then building the sandwich right before you eat it. To make it in advance, you could make it as a wrap.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Sandwich
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Hummus sandwich

More great sandwich recipes

The sandwich is one of the easiest ways to a healthy lunch or easy snack! Here are some of our favorite sandwich recipes:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Tuna Melt

Tuna melts are easy to make at home! Make some tuna salad, sandwich with cheese, and grill on the stovetop until toasty. Makes a simple lunch or a light dinner. Continue reading “Tuna Melt” »

Tuna melts are easy to make at home! Make some tuna salad, sandwich with cheese, and grill on the stovetop until toasty. Makes a simple lunch or a light dinner.

Continue reading "Tuna Melt" »

Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese

This Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese is totally indulgent. It’s like your favorite restaurant appetizer turned into a meal (because you were going to eat that spinach artichoke dip as your meal anyway, right?). I’ve taken a basic spinach artichoke dip recipe, tweaked the ingredients to be a little more like a melty grilled cheese than […]

The post Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese is totally indulgent. It’s like your favorite restaurant appetizer turned into a meal (because you were going to eat that spinach artichoke dip as your meal anyway, right?). I’ve taken a basic spinach artichoke dip recipe, tweaked the ingredients to be a little more like a melty grilled cheese than a gooey dip, then stuffed it between two pieces of my favorite homemade focaccia. It’s a golden brown, crispy, melty, gooey delight.

Originally published 7-30-2016, updated 6-14-2020.

A hand picking up half of a spinach artichoke grilled cheese with cheese stretching between the pieces

Is This a Melt or a Grilled Cheese?

Okay, so technically this type of sandwich is called a “melt.” A melt is a grilled cheese that has other ingredients added, like vegetables or meat, whereas a grilled cheese is a cheese-only grilled sandwich. While the difference between a melt and a grilled cheese often sparks heated debates, I want people to be able to find this recipe on the internet, and the data shows that people are searching for “spinach artichoke grilled cheese,” not “spinach artichoke melt” (literally zero Google searches for that term per month). The English language is fluid, and the use of the term “melt” is declining. So here we are! 

Do I Have to Use Focaccia?

I made this sandwich with my homemade focaccia, but you can use any bread that you’d like. I love the focaccia because it’s really sturdy, which you want in order to hold up to the hefty filling, and it crisps up so well because of it’s olive oil soaked exterior. 

If you’d like to use a different kind of bread, you’ll probably want to smear a little butter on each slice to get that nice golden brown crispy exterior. You can also stuff this filling into a tortilla and cook it up like a quesadilla!

Can I Use Fresh Spinach?

Yes, if you prefer to work with fresh spinach, simply chop it up and sauté it briefly in a skillet to cook out some of the moisture, then continue with the recipe as stated.

How Much Does This Recipe Make?

This recipe makes about 2 cups worth of sandwich filling, which will get you either two large grilled cheese sandwiches, or four smaller sandwiches. 

Can I Make the Spinach Artichoke Filling Ahead?

Live alone? Don’t feel pressured to eat all the Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese filling in one sitting (No, that’s not a dare). You can keep the sandwich filling in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days and make sandwiches or quesadillas as you see fit. 

Two spinach artichoke grilled cheese sandwiches on a serving tray with a cup of tomato soup.

Pictured with Tomato Herb Soup on a small enamelware tray (affiliate link).

 
A hand picking up a piece of spinach artichoke grilled cheese with cheese stretching from the slice

Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese

Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese is like your favorite restaurant appetizer turned into a meal. Rich, creamy, cheesy, and totally veggilicious!
Total Cost $3.63 recipe. /$1.82 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 large sandwiches
Calories 571.63kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 lb. frozen chopped spinach $0.50
  • ½ 12oz. jar quartered artichoke hearts in water $1.30
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella $0.85
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.22
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise $0.20
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (optional) $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02
  • Freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 pieces focaccia* $1.19
  • 2 tsp butter (optional) $0.26

Instructions

  • Thaw the spinach, then squeeze out as much water as possible. You should have about 1 cup chopped spinach before squeezing the water out and about 1/2 cup after squeezing.
  • Drain the artichoke hearts well, then chop them into small bite-sized pieces. Add the chopped artichokes to a large bowl with the spinach, mozzarella, Parmesan, mayonnaise, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper. Stir the ingredients until evenly combined.
  • Spread about 1/2 tsp butter on each slice of bread. Pack about 1 cup of the cheese and vegetable mixture between two slices of bread, buttered sides facing out.
  • Place the sandwiches in a large skillet and cook over medium-low heat until the outsides are golden brown and the filling has melted. Serve immediately.

Notes

*If you're using focaccia, you may not need to butter the slices. See the text above the recipe for other bread options.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 571.63kcal | Carbohydrates: 46.98g | Protein: 22.9g | Fat: 32.84g | Sodium: 1520.98mg | Fiber: 7.87g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Two spinach artichoke grilled cheese sandwiches stacked on a serving tray next to a mug of tomato soup

How to Make Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese – Step by Step Photos

Thawed and squeeze frozen spinach in a bowl

Begin with about 1/4 lb. frozen chopped spinach. Thaw the spinach, then squeeze out as much moisture as possible. You’ll want about 1 cup unsqueezed, or 1/2 cup after squeezing dry.

Chopped artichoke hearts

Drain one 1/2 of a 12oz. jar of quartered artichoke hearts (packed in water), then chop them into small pieces.

Spinach artichoke grilled cheese filling ingredients in a bowl

Add the chopped artichokes to a large bowl with the spinach, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan, 2 Tbsp mayonnaise, 1/8 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper, ⅛ tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper.

Mixed spinach artichoke grilled cheese filling

Stir the ingredients until they’re evenly mixed. There should be just enough mayo to make the ingredients all stick together. You can refrigerate the filling at this point and use it later, or throughout the week.

Spinach artichoke filling added to pieces of focaccia

If you’re using focaccia, slice the pieces in half so you have a top and bottom piece. If you’re using regular bread, you’ll want to spread a little butter on the outsides of each piece of bread. Fill each sandwich with about 1 cup of the filling.

Spinach artichoke grilled cheese sandwiches being cooked in the skillet

Cook the sandwiches in a large skillet over medium low heat until each side is golden brown and the filling is melted. 

Two spinach artichoke grilled cheese sandwiches on a serving tray with a cup of tomato soup

Buttery, crispy, artichokey goodness!

The post Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Croque monsieur

France has been creeping (or bursting, in some cases) out of lockdown. As of May 11th, people can come and go without carrying a written permission slip. The outdoor markets, hairdressers, and other types of shops have reopened, under the advisement of the health ministry, who is encouraging people to wear masks and practice social distancing, keeping 1 meter (3-feet) apart from others. Some stores…

France has been creeping (or bursting, in some cases) out of lockdown. As of May 11th, people can come and go without carrying a written permission slip. The outdoor markets, hairdressers, and other types of shops have reopened, under the advisement of the health ministry, who is encouraging people to wear masks and practice social distancing, keeping 1 meter (3-feet) apart from others. Some stores (and people) have been strict about this, while others remain cavalier.

No one quite knows where this is going, with many proclaiming “It’s over!” while I’m remaining prudent. But on June 2nd, restaurants and cafés may be allowed to reopen.

While everyone waits, some restaurants in Paris have started serving food-to-go, either to pick up sur place, or be delivered. We’ve had food delivery services for a number of years, which are popular, but their offerings lean heavily on burgers, poke bowls, and bagel sandwiches, which aren’t very inspiring to me. In response to the virus, better-quality restaurants have gotten on the bandwagon and even my local French bistro is serving la cuisine française for pick-up…although bringing home a Steak-frites and Frisée salad in a box isn’t quite the same as sitting inside with a carafe of vin rouge.

For the record, I would love it if restaurants were allowed to put tables on the sidewalks and squares, distanced apart, which clients from any of the nearby restaurants would be allowed to use. (And while we’re at it, and since it’s my fantasy, let’s make the tables no-smoking, too.) Diners could still interact and remain “together,” as if they were inside, but if restaurants can only operate at half-capacity, most dining rooms are just too small and the profit margins are just too tight to make a go if it if they can only fill half of those seats.

In other news, I know a lot of you out there have been making your own bread. And I can’t think of a better use for it than to make yourself a Croque monsieur.

Continue Reading Croque monsieur...

Classic Falafel

Here’s how to make falafel: the authentic way! It tastes just like a restaurant, herby and fried to crispy perfection—with a baked variation, too. Once you’ve had really good falafel, you crave it. This fried chickpea fritter is stuff dreams are made of, stuffed into a flatbread with cool cucumber or tangy tahini sauce. You get the crunch of the fried outside, the soft herby interior, and the sauces that run down your chin and stick to your fingers. Homemade falafel is not quick and easy; it’s a masterpiece that tastes just like your favorite restaurant. Here’s what you need to know about how to make falafel at home! How to make falafel: an overview! This recipe is years in the making, like our margherita pizza and sourdough bread. Alex and I have done extensive research and learned from the masters to create this best classic falafel recipe. This recipe is a process, designed to honor the falafel you get at your favorite Middle Eastern restaurant (not replace it!). This is your chance to back out if you’re looking for an easy dinner recipe! Go to our Falafel Salad, Raw Falafel Bowls, or Falafel Burger: they’re easier and have similar […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s how to make falafel: the authentic way! It tastes just like a restaurant, herby and fried to crispy perfection—with a baked variation, too.

Falafel

Once you’ve had really good falafel, you crave it. This fried chickpea fritter is stuff dreams are made of, stuffed into a flatbread with cool cucumber or tangy tahini sauce. You get the crunch of the fried outside, the soft herby interior, and the sauces that run down your chin and stick to your fingers. Homemade falafel is not quick and easy; it’s a masterpiece that tastes just like your favorite restaurant. Here’s what you need to know about how to make falafel at home!

How to make falafel: an overview!

This recipe is years in the making, like our margherita pizza and sourdough bread. Alex and I have done extensive research and learned from the masters to create this best classic falafel recipe. This recipe is a process, designed to honor the falafel you get at your favorite Middle Eastern restaurant (not replace it!).

This is your chance to back out if you’re looking for an easy dinner recipe! Go to our Falafel Salad, Raw Falafel Bowls, or Falafel Burger: they’re easier and have similar flavors. Consider yourself warned! Now: here’s the basic outline of what you’re getting yourself into with homemade falafel:

Soak the chickpeasOvernight (or at least 6 hours)
Make dough and rest it5 minutes active, 20 to 30 minutes hands off
Form the falafel5 to 10 minutes active
Fry the falafel10 minutes active
Falafel sandwich

Equipment you need

You’ll need just a few things to make authentic falafel at home! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Large food processor: This is essential because it’s what breaks down the dried soaked chickpeas. A blender or small processor just won’t do. (Definitely not a knife!)
  • Food thermometer (optional): It’s nice to have a thermometer to check the temperature of the oil you’re frying in.

Authentic falafel uses dried chickpeas

Authentic falafel uses dried chickpeas. Do not even consider using canned chickpeas or cooked chickpeas in this recipe! Say it with me: I will use DRIED chickpeas! The classic texture that’s fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside comes from using dried chickpeas.

Soak these dried chickpeas overnight, or at least 6 hours. This means you’ll have to think ahead. Soaking the chickpeas softens them to a texture where they can be blended into balls. You’ll notice they double in size after soaking. Soaking overnight: that’s inconvenient! you might think. But authentic falafel is not about convenience at all. It’s about pure, delicious flavor. And that’s worth waiting for.

Authentic falafel

Here’s the texture that the dough should be!

The key to perfect falafel is the consistency of the dough. Blend it too much and the balls will be too dense. Blend it too little and the’ll fall apart when frying.

When you process the chickpeas with the herbs and spices, you’ll want a blended and uniform dough. The best way to explain this is by looking at it. Below is what your dough should look like when you’re done blending:

Falafel dough consistency

Forming the falafel: it’s not like cookie dough!

Another place where you might trip up: falafel dough feels crumbly and wet. It’s not at all like cookie dough! There’s no gluten or binder, so it doesn’t stick together in the way you’d expect. That’s exactly what you want here.

Chill the dough for 20 to 30 minutes to help it become easier to form. Then form it into balls the size of a ping pong. Pat it firmly so it comes together, but don’t squeeze it so hard that it crumbles. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it once you do a few!

How to form falafel

How to fry falafel (most authentic method)

Phew, you’ve made it to the frying step! When fried correctly, the falafel only pick up a bit of the oil. Because falafel are plant-based and healthier than a meat alternative, we still count it as a healthy (ish) recipe! Here are some tips on how to fry falafel:

  • Use a food thermometer if you have one. This can help you get to the perfect oil temperature (350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • This method uses 3/4″ of oil in a pan. It’s not deep frying, but it’s legit frying. If that scares you, go to the alternate methods below.
  • Take precautions around hot oil. The pan we used for frying was non-stick, so the oil didn’t bubble at all. Don’t be surprised: it might not look hot, but it is! Take necessary precautions (that is, don’t let your kiddos near it, etc)
  • Drop in balls carefully, then fry until brown and crispy. With the correct oil temperature, the falafel come out crispy, not oily.
How to fry falafel

Alternate method 1: Skillet fried falafel

If frying scares you, try skillet frying instead! The main difference here is that it uses 6 tablespoons of oil instead of 3/4 inch. It’s more like sauteing each surface than frying. This method is nice if you don’t have a food thermometer. Here’s what to know about this method:

  • It makes disc shapes, not balls. Because you’ll only be cooking two sides, you’ll have to flatten the balls into discs. If you want the authentic ball shape, you’ll need to use the main frying method.
  • Continue to cover the bottom of the pan with oil for each new batch.

Alternate method 2: Baked falafel

Baked falafel is not a traditional way to make it. The flavor and texture are not quite the same. But if you prefer not frying, this is your method! Here’s what to know about baked falafel:

  • It doesn’t get nearly as crispy as the fried method, as you might guess. But it’s still tasty!
  • It makes disc shapes, not balls. You can only get two sides browned in the oven method, so you’ll have to flatten the balls into discs just like skillet frying. They look a little less authentic but they still taste good!
Falafel in pita

Ways to serve falafel

Got those beautiful, crispy balls? Good! Here’s the best part: serving it! You can serve falafel as an appetizer with a dip. Or, we think the best way is in a falafel sandwich. (One of Alex and my top food experiences of all time is the falafel at L’As du Falafel in Paris. Transcendental!) Here are our best falafel sauces and accompaniments:

  • Cucumber Sauce or Tzatziki: This Quick Cucumber Sauce is easy to whip up while you’re waiting for the dough to chill. Or try the even more authentic tzatziki, made ahead.
  • Tahini Sauce: Lemon Tahini Sauce is creamy and tangy, another traditional option.
  • Cilantro Sauce: Falafel can also be served with a green cilantro sauce like Creamy Cilantro Sauce (vegan) or Creamy Cilantro Dressing.
  • Flatbread: Often it’s served in a pita pocket, but we think best way is wrapped in a soft flatbread. Try our Easy Flatbread Recipe if you’re really looking to impress! Also add crunchy veggies like lettuce, tomato and red onion.
  • Other ideas: Hummus makes a nice contrast. Harissa is good too; our best restaurant falafel featured this as part of the messy sandwich.
Best falafel in pita bread

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Falafel

Classic Falafel (Restaurant-Style!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 24 falafel
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to make falafel: the authentic way! It tastes just like a restaurant, herby and crisp fried to perfection—with a baked variation, too.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (not cooked or canned)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 1 cup packed cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1/2 cup packed flat leaf parsley leaves and tender stems (or substitute more cilantro)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Neutral oil (like canola or vegetable), for frying
  • To serve as a sandwich: quick cucumber sauce or tahini sauceflatbread (try ours!) or pita bread, tomato, romaine lettuce, and red onion

Instructions

  1. Soak the chickpeas (overnight, or 6 hours): Add the chickpeas in a covered container and cover with several inches of water and soak overnight or at least 6 hours at room temperature. Drain them in a strainer and shake dry before using.
  2. Make the dough and refrigerate (30 minutes): Peel the garlic. Peel and roughly chop the red onion.  Add the garlic, red onion, cilantro and parsley to a food processor and process 10 to 15 seconds until minced, scraping the sides as necessary. Add the chickpeas, cumin, coriander, baking powder, kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Process for 10 seconds, stop to scrape the sides, then process more until a dough forms. It should be the texture in the photos above (check to make sure before proceeding!). Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Heat the oil*: Add 3/4” of oil to a frying pan and heat over medium high heat until oil is 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. This takes about 8-10 minutes over medium high heat. (Make sure to take safety precautions when using hot oil.)
  4. Form the falafel (5 to 10 minutes): Meanwhile, press the dough into 24 to 28 balls about the size of a ping pong ball, around 1 1/2 tablespoons each, and place them on a baking sheet. Falafel dough is very crumbly, so it doesn’t stick together like a normal dough and it takes a little pressing to stay together. Don’t worry: this is just what you want for good falafel! (If the dough is really having problems sticking together, throw it back in the food processor and pulse a few more times.)
  5. Fry the falafel (8 minutes): When the oil is hot, fry one batch (about 12) of the falafel by dropping the balls gently into the oil with your fingers, keeping them as far apart as possible. Cook 1 minute, then flip with chopsticks and cook another 2 to 3 minutes until browned on all sides. Transfer to a towel lined baking sheet or plate. Repeat with the second batch.
  6. Serve: Serve with quick cucumber sauce or tahini sauce, or as part of a falafel sandwich.

Notes

*Alternate option 1: Skillet fry the falafel: Shape the dough into balls then flatten them into discs, about 2 inches in diameter and just under 1/2-inch thick. Heat 6 tablespoons neutral oil in a skillet or frying pan. Place a crumb from a falafel disk in the oil, and once it starts to sizzle, the oil is ready. Fry about 8 falafel at a time, for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until they are lightly browned all over, flipping with chopsticks. Transfer the cooked falafel to a plate. Add a bit more oil to keep the bottom of the skillet covered for the next batch.

*Alternate option 2: Bake the falafel: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Shape the falafel into discs as noted above. Place the discs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush the tops with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown.

  • Category: Main Dish or Appetizer
  • Method: Fried
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Falafel, Authentic Falafel, Best Falafel, How to Make Falafel, Falafel Sandwich

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Easy Flatbread Recipe

This easy skillet flatbread recipe comes out deliciously soft and chewy! Use this Greek pita bread for wraps, falafel, pizza, or simply eating with a meal. Here’s our new favorite bread trick: flatbread! This traditional bread is so easy to make, nothing like sourdough or artisan bread. Just mix up the dough, then cook it until golden and charred in a skillet! You need no yeast, no special flours, and no special equipment. You’ll be surprised at how soft and chewy it is, with the perfect flavor. Alex and I made these to go with our authentic falafel recipe: but the uses are endless. Try them as a wrap with hummus and grilled veggies, a flatbread pizza, or as a side with soup. Here’s what to do! About this flatbread There are hundreds of types of flatbreads that are served in cuisines all over the world (see this list!). This flatbread recipe is a basic Mediterranean style flatbread: it’s a vegan flatbread made with flour, olive oil, and salt. It’s most like pocketless Greek pita bread, used for serving falafel, gyros, and souvlaki. If you’re looking for an Indian style flatbread, we’ve got that, too! Head to Garlic Naan or […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This easy skillet flatbread recipe comes out deliciously soft and chewy! Use this Greek pita bread for wraps, falafel, pizza, or simply eating with a meal.

Easy flatbread recipe

Here’s our new favorite bread trick: flatbread! This traditional bread is so easy to make, nothing like sourdough or artisan bread. Just mix up the dough, then cook it until golden and charred in a skillet! You need no yeast, no special flours, and no special equipment. You’ll be surprised at how soft and chewy it is, with the perfect flavor. Alex and I made these to go with our authentic falafel recipe: but the uses are endless. Try them as a wrap with hummus and grilled veggies, a flatbread pizza, or as a side with soup. Here’s what to do!

About this flatbread

There are hundreds of types of flatbreads that are served in cuisines all over the world (see this list!). This flatbread recipe is a basic Mediterranean style flatbread: it’s a vegan flatbread made with flour, olive oil, and salt. It’s most like pocketless Greek pita bread, used for serving falafel, gyros, and souvlaki. If you’re looking for an Indian style flatbread, we’ve got that, too! Head to Garlic Naan or Vegan Naan.

Flatbread recipe

How to make flatbread: an overview!

Here’s the basic outline of what you’re getting yourself into with making flatbread. The process takes just 45 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to cook. The total hands-on time is about 30 minutes. In 1 hour, you’ll have deliciously soft flatbread!

Mix the dough5 minutes active
Form & rest dough5 minutes active, 30 minutes hands off
Roll dough5 minutes active
Cook flatbread15 minutes active

Cook it in a skillet or grill pan!

Flatbread is easy to mix up, and only requires a 30 minute “proof” or rest time. Compared to other bread recipes that require shaping and multiple proofs, it’s a breeze! There’s also no bake time. All you need to do is cook each piece in a skillet for about 2 minutes. It’s nice to have 2 people for this task (and it’s more fun!), but you can do it by yourself too.

How to get the grill marks like the flatbread in the photo the photo? We used a grill pan: it looks like a skillet but has ridges that make the lovely grill marks. You can also make this Greek pita bread in a skillet: then it will have more browned organic cooking spots like naan.

Flatbread

Ways to serve flatbread

How to serve this Greek pita bread style flatbread? There are a myriad of ways: here are our favorites!

How to store flatbread (and reheat it)

This homemade flatbread is nice because it stays good for about 3 days at room temperature, and the texture holds up well if stored correctly. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Room temperature storage (3 days): Place the flatbread in a sealed bag or container, and it stays good for 3 days. It gets dryer as days go by, so we suggest reheating it so it’s more pliable.
  • Reheating instructions: To reheat the flatbread, place it in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes until warmed and soft. Or if you want a quick fix, tear it in half and place it in a toaster.
  • Frozen (3 months): Or, you can freeze it! Let it cool to room temperature, then place it into a sealed bag or container.
Easy flatbread recipe

This flatbread recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

Print
Easy flatbread recipe

Easy Flatbread Recipe


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This easy skillet flatbread recipe comes out deliciously soft and chewy! Use this Greek pita bread for wraps, falafel, pizza, or simply eating with a meal.


Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (312 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Make the dough (5 minutes): In a large bowl, stir together the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt. Add the olive oil and water, and stir until the dough comes together. If it is dry, add a bit more water; if it is very sticky, add a sprinkle more flour. On a lightly floured counter, knead for about 30 seconds to 1 minute until all of the flour is incorporated and a dough ball forms.
  2. Form and rest the dough (35 minutes): Flatten the dough into a disc. Cut it into 8 equal pieces and form it into balls. Cover the dough with a damp tea towel and rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Roll the dough (5 minutes): Once the dough has rested, on a clean, lightly floured countertop, roll each dough into a thin circle, about 8” across.
  4. Cook the flatbreads (10 to 15 minutes): Heat a large skillet, griddle, or grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the pan lightly with olive oil and add one of the pieces of dough and cook until the bottom is golden and browned in spots, about 1 minute. Then turn and cook another 1 minute on the other side. Wrap it in a clean towel. Repeat with the remaining 5 flatbreads, adding each to the towel afterwards (this will steam them and keep them warm and supple).
  5. Storage: store in a well-sealed bag or container up to 3 days (or freeze for a few months wrapped in foil in a sealed bag or container). Before eating leftover flatbread, reheat it in a toaster or a 350 degree oven until warm and pliable.

  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Skillet
  • Cuisine: Bread

Keywords: Flatbread, Flatbread Recipe, Easy Flatbread

More bread recipes

There’s nothing quite like homemade bread! Here are a few more recipes to try:

  • Easy No Knead Bread This homemade no knead bread will wow everyone! It’s so easy to make and has the best flavor, crispy crust, and chewy interior. Great for beginners!
  • Easy Homemade Bread This homemade bread is easy to make and very versatile: it works for sandwiches, toast, and more! Or try the Vegan Bread variation.
  • Best Homemade Cornbread This cornbread is a quick bread that’s lightly sweet and perfectly moist. Try the Vegan Cornbread too!

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes