Winter bliss bowl with green pea falafels, vegetables and pickled onions
Why eat warming foods in winter? Well, besides being nicer to eat something hot when you are cold to the core, warming foods stimulate circulation and aid digestion. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it’s thought that your gut requires your food to be at body temperature (37°C) before it begins breaking it down, absorbing and passing the waste out. Which means more energy is used to warm up the food before the digestion process even begins, so warm and moderately spicy food supports the digestive process.
These lovely bliss bowls are the perfect winter comfort food with roast vegetables, hearty falafels and a digestive pickling of onion. Versatile and nutritious, perfect for an easy dinner on a chilly night in front of the fire or watching a movie.
Perks of pickled onions
- Pickling is an ancient technique of preserving food in brine or vinegar, but these days they are consumed for their flavour and health benefits to the digestive system.
- Onions are considered a superfood with high levels of antioxidants and a myriad of nutrients like potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and quercetin, and the fibre pectin.
- Pickled onions that are fermented also contain the beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus, a probiotic that is responsible for maintaining a healthy digestive system.
What are legumes?
- Legumes are a plant-based protein, high in nutrients, and an excellent food for vegetarians and vegans.
- Chickpeas and green peas are both high in fibre and protein so they make you feel full and help keep your blood sugar balanced and appetite under control, as well as promoting healthy digestive function.
- A cup of chickpeas provides a whopping 14.5 g of protein and 12.5 g of fibre, while a cup of green peas gives 4 g of both fibre and protein.
- Chickpeas are a good source of folic acid, vitamin B6, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, vitamin K and choline.
- Green peas are fairly low in calories and also contain several vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
Ingredients and instructions
Quick pickled onions
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- Add the vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a medium sized saucepan.
- Place over medium heat and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Place the thinly sliced onions into a medium sized glass jar and pour over the pickling liquid until completely covered. Set aside to pickle for at least 30 minutes.
Note: Pickled onions will keep in a glass jar or airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Smoky yoghurt dressing
- ⅓ cup plain yoghurt
- Juice 1 lemon
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground paprika
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- 1 x 400 g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup (180 g) frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon besan or plain flour
- 1 cup firmly packed parsley, roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup firmly packed mint leaves
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt flakes
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Zest of one medium sized lemon
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Salt flakes to season
- Preheat the oven to 220°C fan-forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper and drizzle with olive oil.
- Blitz the falafel ingredients together in the bowl of a food processor for a minute or so, until the mixture is finely chopped and able to be pressed together into balls but the texture is still a little rough.
- Scoop up a heaped tablespoon of the mixture into the palm of your hand and squish together to form a falafel ball. Carefully transfer to the baking paper lined tray. Repeat with the remaining mixture; it should make 10-12 falafels.
- Drizzle the top of the falafels with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt flakes.
- Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes or until the falafels are golden brown, turning them over carefully after 20 minutes.
- Serve the bliss bowls by smearing a generous tablespoon of hummus in the bottom of a bowl, and top with your choice of roasted vegetables (such as pumpkin and broccoli) and freshly chopped vegetables such as radish, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Add two or three falafels, a drizzle of the smoky yoghurt dressing and a tablespoon of the quick pickled onions. And eat. Bliss!
Makes 4-5 bliss bowls.