A Jazzed Up Favorite

I love to experiment – when you hand me a vegetable, I try to find a recipe that has a unique approach yet still relies on the natural flavor of that particular vegetable. From purees to roulades, I’ve always been drawn to finding interesting contexts for otherwise plain ingredients (though there really is nothing more beautiful than plain ol’ roasted cauliflower, a personal favorite). You’ve heard me rant about my admiration of Middle Eastern dishes (hummus!), but I’ve always shied away from the infamous deep-fried dish: falafel. Yet then I found a fall-inspired version that takes a healthier route (baked), and knew I had to give these Sweet Potato Falafel a try.
I am seriously obsessed with sweet potatoes…more than your average person probably should be. There is something about their slightly nutty and sweet taste that renders me helpless. I can eat these basically any day…all day. Anyways, sweet potatoes (often mislabeled “yams,” an African crop to which they have no relation) receive their beautiful orange flesh from beta cerotene. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin A, B6, and C, packs a healthy serving of dietary fiber, and is believed to help stabilize blood sugar (and yes, this list is my personal justification for being obsessed with sweet potatoes).
Falafel is conventionally made with chickpea flour, aromatics, and spices – the flour is just basically finely ground chickpeas, which can easily be accommodated using a food processor. Yet I thought it could be nice to have this stuff on hand, so I went on ahead an purchased a package. These are essentially a piece of cake once you have all the add-ins assembled – no mincing required! And for such minimal effort, they are unbelievably delicious (and nutritious)! If you like sweet potatoes as much as I do, I highly recommend trying this delicious twist on the Middle Eastern standard – click HERE for the recipe.
For the musical pairing, I wanted to showcase a piece that reflected my love for sweet potatoes as well as the unique approach of these falafel – that led me to Ian Clarke’s Zoom Tube (for solo flute). This piece is inspired by rhythmic blues and relies on a number of extended flute techniques, from semi-tones to percussive vocalizations. Though these techniques can take a while to perfect, it’s ridiculously fun to play. This jazzy piece felt all too perfect for these jazzed up falafel – enjoy!


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