So I’m starting to get this meal-planning-on-a-budget thing down.  I’m having so much fun being more creative in the kitchen.  This week I made a yummy taco salad with black beans, carrot soup and falafels.  This homemade falafel meal is so delicious, light and cooling for the summer.  I created it by being open to play (and possibly failure!) while experimenting with the ingredients I had.  It worked out great so I just had to share.
Baked Falafels with Fresh Hummus & Cooling Cucumber Sauce
For Falafels:
1 15 ou can chickpeas
1/2 large onion (finely chopped)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
2 t cumin
2 T unbleached flour
salt & pepper to taste
(serves 3 – double recipe for more servings)
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mash until you get a thick consistency.  I actually used my Vita-mix which gave me almost the consistency of hummus.  It was a little creamier but either way will work.
Use a spoon to make the balls and place on a plate.  Flatten slightly.  Lightly brush olive oil on both sides and place on a cookie sheet.  Broil each side until light golden brown (about 3 minutes on each side.)
Cooling Cucumber Sauce
1 small cucumber (peeled and finely chopped)
1 6 ou plain yogurt (I used coconut milk yogurt to make this non-dairy)
2 t mayonnaise
1 T fresh dill 
salt & pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients for sauce together and place in fridge until ready to serve.  I made a salad with fresh lettuce,  tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden and topped with the cucumber sauce.  Save some extra to dip the falafels in.
Serve with my Fresh Hummus and the rice of your choice.  
(I used jasmine rice and cooked according to package.)

This was yet another yummy meal using the beans I bought in bulk (and veggies from my garden) and they have provided several delicious meals.  More recipes to come!  (Did you see my black beans and rice recipe from a few weeks ago?)
Your Personal Reflection:  Let yourself be creative in the kitchen and see what you discover!

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