Perhaps I should have called this the green dinner, as everything ended up being green! I started off the falafels in the Cuisinart with garbanzo beans, parsley, onions, garlic, and some flour to bind everything together. Once the falafel mixture was ready, it went into the fridge to sit for awhile.
While the falafels were resting, I started the cucumber salad. First I peeled the cucumbers and chopped them up. I added just a tiny bit of chopped onion to add some heat, then lots of lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper.
I decided to bake the falafels rather than frying them, so I placed scoops of the falafel mixture on a baking sheet and sent them into the oven. While the falafels baked, I started the rice cooking in veggie broth and some lemon juice. When it finished cooking, I mixed in lots of lemon zest and parsley. By now the falafels were done baking, and though they weren’t quite as crispy as when they are fried, I felt much better about eating them!
Everything was delicious (and green tasting!), and a little bit of chili-garlic sauce on the top added a nice bit of spice.
Lemon Orzo Soup - a Light but Comforting Treat!
Last night’s dinner was inspired by a lemon chicken soup that I had many years ago. It was lemony, warm, and comforting and I’ve been trying to reproduce it ever since. Minus the chicken, I think this soup is pretty close!
The Distracting Lemon Zest
I started off with some minced garlic in olive oil. I burned the first batch of garlic due to distraction from lemon zest and Jon, but the second batch spent just enough time in the oil to heat through and flavor the oil.
Lemon Zest and Garlic Sauteing
Next I added the lemon zest to heat for just a few moments before adding lots of veggie broth and lemon juice. While this simmered away, I cooked the orzo and defrosted some vegan “chicken” that I had in the freezer. The “chicken” went into the soup right away to absorb the lemony vegetable flavors.
Lemons Ready to be Juiced!
Once the orzo finished cooking, I juiced the 2 lemons that had contributed their zest to the soup. Jon loves lemons, so he was definitely enjoying the fresh lemony flavors emanating from the kitchen.
I wanted to thicken the broth just a little bit, so I added some cornstarch mixed with cold water. To finish the soup, I added the freshly-squeezed lemon juice, salt, lots of pepper, basil, and a little sugar to balance out the flavors. After mixing in the orzo, it was ready to serve! Jon said “mmm…lemons” when I set his bowl in front of him.
Light and Comforting Lemon Orzo Soup