Today is my birthday. I am not someone who does not like people to know it is their birthday, Obviously. I am a little like a 10 year old when it comes to my birthday, and I'm not ashamed to admit that. I don't mind getting older. Actually, I enjoy it. I like that I am slightly wiser (emphasis on slightly), but I have more energy than I did 10 years ago, and I hope that 10 years from now I will be lucky enough to say the same thing.
I don't love the spotlight aspect of birthdays (I really don't), and I don't necessarily want gifts of free things, or 15% off at Anthropology (however, I will not turn them down). I love my birthday because it is the one day all year when I get to connect with all the people in my life that I love.
I love all the phone calls, texts, facebook messages and conversations that you don't always get to have on a normal day. I love getting friends together and celebrating, eating great food, and having a good time. That's what it's all about.
So before I run off to do birthday things, I wanted to share this recipe that I have been dying to get out to you. I know you love falafel as much as I do, and tacos, I know you love tacos too ... so this is how we are going to celebrate my birthday today.
Throw some spicy harissa in there, and avocado (OF course) .... and we're having a birthday party in a warm corn tortilla.
falafel tacos with avocado + green harissa
*This harissa recipe is adapted from this recipe from Bon Appetite, and the falafel recipe is inspired by this recipe from Sprouted Kitchen
for the falafel:
1/2 cup of pine nuts
1/2 cup of cilantro
1/4 cup of chives
1 16 oz can of organic, low sodium chickpeas
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne (optional)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon of brown rice flour (or chickpea flour)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (plus a little more for brushing on top)
for the green harissa:
2 tablespoons of cumin seeds
1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
1/2 cup of cilantro
1/2 cup of parsley
the zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon (3 tablespoons of lemon juice)
1/2 a teaspoon of salt
for the tacos:
several corn tortillas (lightly toasted, if you like)
1 avocado, sliced
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
some additional (optional toppings): green onion, tzatziki, cucumbers, toasted sesame seeds
Make the falafel, and set it in the fridge for 1-2 hours:
- Place the pine nuts and the chickpeas in a food processor and pulse several times until the nuts are evenly ground. Then add in the rest of the ingredients. Run continuously until you have a smooth mixture that is still has slightly chunkiness to it.
- Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet. Using your hands, shape the falafel by rolling about a teaspoon sized amount of the mixture between the palm of your hands and line them up on the baking sheet. Do this until all of the mixture is formed and then place the falafel in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. **If you do not have the time or do not want to wait around, you can cook them right away but they might not come out as firm as if they were to sit in the fridge for a bit.
- Lightly toast the cumin and coriander seeds over low heat for a couple of minutes until they are fragrant. Remove them from the heat and allow them to cool.
- Place the toasted cumin and coriander along with the rest of the ingredients (except for the olive oil) into a food processor. While the food processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil until you have the consistency you lie.
- Preheat the oven to 400º.
- Brush the tops of the falafel with olive oil.
- Bake the falafel for about 30 minutes until they are brown and crisypy. If you like, flip half way through but be careful because they might be a little delicate at that stage.
- In a corn tortilla, spread the harissa first, then top with the avocado, tomato, and a couple of the falafel patties along with any other toppings of your choice.