Falafel with Cucumber Feta Sauce

In my head, I like to pretend I’m fearless. The kind of Taylor Swift fearless where I dance in storms wearing my best dress and sing my fearless little lungs out about it.

Alas, when it storms, I doubt I’ll be in my best dress… more than likely, I’ll be wrapped tight  in a snuggie some where indoors. And alas again, I have a wretched voice for singing.

Biggest alas of all… I am far from fearless.

Rather than coming back to reality feeling well-rested and ready to take on the world after a week relaxation and gluttony, I resurfaced from under the covers after Thanksgiving break drenched in frets and woes about the days and weeks and months to come.

I’m scared I’m going to flunk this semester. I’m scared by how fast this semester flew by. I’m scared that I’m too attached to the people and things around me. I’m scared that I’m not going to have a job when I graduate. I’m scared I won’t have a job ever. I’m scared of a lot more things that aren’t going on the internet. Ya’ll, I’m scared stupid.

But you know what, fear ain’t nothing but a feeling.

When you’re feeling cold, what do you do?    If you’re one of those who believes in real clothes, you put on a sweater.  If you’re me, you put on your unflatteringly fluffy teal bathrobe.
Regardless, you take action to make yourself feel warm.

When you feel hungry, you eat. When you feel fatty, you eat salad for a day and hang out on the elliptical for 15 minutes longer than usual. When you feel sickly, you pop some meds.

It’s the same game when you feel scared… you just have to keep moving, you have to cope with it, you have to  expel the feeling.
p.s. by you, I do mostly mean me.   Not trying to judge your life here.

So, how to resolve fear?

Give yourself a petite confidence boost by surmounting a relatively insignificant fear. Like if you happen to be horrified of boiling vats of oil… fry something. Fry falafel for dinner.  Yes, you fry those chickpea patties,  toss some diced diced cucumbers and crumbled feta in with plain yogurt,serve it up to a happy-falafel loving fool and allow yourself to succumb to the delectable satisfaction of stepping away from fear without a single 3rd degree burn.

Before you can look up another oven-baked version of a fatty fried favorite, you’ll be frying up the leftover pita into chips and dreaming all sorts of other deep-fried fantasies.        #doughnuts.

Sometimes, overcoming fear is  simply a matter of stepping up to the stove and making what it is you’re hungry for, whether the heat scares you or not. Building the life you want could start with a change as simple as redecorating the guest bathroom… or it could be a huge move, cutting someone out, bringing something new in, or just hosting a cookie swap this holiday season. Point is–stop wishing and start cooking.

Now, serious question…do people under the age of 35 host cookie swaps? Cause I really wanna. And you’re totally invited.

Falafel with Cucumber Feta Sauce

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/8 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • a small pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil for frying

In a large bowl mash chickpeas until thick and pasty; don’t use a blender, as the consistency will be too thin. In a blender, process onion, parsley, cilantro and garlic until smooth. Stir into mashed chickpeas.

In a small bowl combine egg, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon juice and baking powder. Stir into chickpea mixture along with olive oil. Slowly add bread crumbs until mixture is not sticky but will hold together; add more or less bread crumbs, as needed. Form small balls and then flatten into patties.

Heat 1-2 inches of oil in a dutch oven  over medium-high heat. Fry patties in hot oil until brown on both sides. Remove to paper towel-lined plate to drain. Serve with cucumber feta sauce along with pita bread, sliced radishes, tomato and additional cucumber slices.

For the cucumber feta sauce

  • 8 oz plain yogurt
  • 1/2 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
  • 3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork to evenly combine; chill for at least 30 minutes.

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