Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Great Falafel Experiment

This week, I missed my meeting. I *hate* missing meetings more than you know. Even after all this time, I still love the weekly meeting. I have missed maybe 7 or 8 in nearly 3-1/2 years, two this month alone (one to illness, and this one).

Yesterday at work, we had not only Dress-Up Costume Day but Ethnic Luncheon Day. We were to bring a food that's either from our heritage, our specialty, or otherwise connected to us. For instance, two folks brought things from their spouse's heritage. Really, my heritage is "Southern" -- we've been over here for so long, there's no special dish that's been passed down over and over except for those delectable (read: fattening! tasty! bad for me! fantastic!) Southern casseroles and desserts. But I do love good Mediterranean food, so I thought I would bring that.

As luck would have it, I discovered a homemade falafel recipe in a magazine. VOILA! Inspiration struck me, and so I signed up to bring falafel, tabouleh, and hummus. I knew I'd bring the last two from a mix. I'm not dumb, but I figured I could at least do the homemade falafel. This was a recipe for baked falafel -- way healthier than fried!

What I learned:
1. Use a falafel mix.

Really. The recipe is fine if you make it as faux-burger patties. Or if you ball it up and deep-fry it. But otherwise, no. Not really good. And honestly, I just didn't have enough time to make umpteen falafel patties. And the recipe also had WAY too much turmeric; a half-teaspoon? No. A quarter-teaspoon, or even an 1/8-teaspoon would be plenty. This made the whole dish a nasty baby-poop-yellow. And worse, it wasn't even tasty. This one is getting tossed. Or revamped at least. Sorry to the author, but yeah, it was yuck. In good news, the tabouleh and hummus were GREAT. I still have a ton of it. I love hummus, but WOW do I still have a lot.

The other bad news is that I went on a slight eating binge yesterday. One of the coworkers brought lumpia (her MIL's specialty) and something I fell in love with over the summer when my friend Kathi made some for us on a trip. OMG, it's so good. Another coworker brought his wife's Croatian turkey roll-up dish, which appeared to be fairly healthy. And I can certainly vouch that it was very tasty! Another coworker brought noodle kugel .... tasty but OY VEY for the waistline. But so tasty......

Thankfully, this is stuff that only happens on rare occasions. I have tried to be better today.

******

Other news: I have been to Fitness 365 three times this week -- Tuesday at 7 (fairly quiet), Thursday at 5:30 AM (definitely quiet) and Friday night at 7:30 (DEAD). And by D-E-A-D, I mean I was the ONLY member there for the entire hour I spent there. I had every machine to myself.

I did the recumbent bike and 20 minutes was enough to send my legs into "no mas" mode. I did a circuit on the machines and then attempted to do 10 on the Precor elliptical. 2 minutes and I was definitely screaming "no mas!!" Holy cannoli........

I'm definitely going to enjoy my membership there!

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