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Zucchini Falafel: The Not-So-Ultimate Fail

by Borderstan.com — September 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm 0

"falafel"

Zucchini is a good way to start. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT]borderstan.com

No expert always does things perfectly, and that applies equally to food bloggers, famous chefs, and aspiring cooks. Learning how to cook well involves experimenting, trying new recipes and, yes, failing.  Many attest to fear of cooking, believing that they might fail before they have event picked up a spatula.  I can tell you from firsthand experience: you probably will mess up, and that’s perfectly fine.

Our mistakes enable us to learn and to come up with our own solutions to a greater extent than consistent success.  In this way, by taking risks with recipes and thinking outside the frozen dinner box, we strive for ingenuity and sometimes even stumble upon innovative new flavor combinations.

Plus, at the end of the day, it is just food.  You can plaster a smile on your face and eat your botched tomato sauce or burnt quinoa anyway, or simply throw it out and order Chinese takeout.  Cooking failures are not going to ruin your life (though maybe your new saucepan), so don’t let your fear of making bad food stop you from even trying!

While I tend to love simple, well-executed healthy recipes, I too have been seeking a more creative approach to my cooking by blending flavors and ingredients in new ways.  One way I do that is by browsing through recipes and food blogs online, some of which come from staff recommendations. I came across these zucchini falafel and decided to try my hand at the recipe; one I had never attempted or thought of on my own.

Well, it turned out quite horribly.  I was off to a fine start squeezing the water from the zucchini and following the procedures as pictured in the recipe, blending herbs and spices and incorporating the squash into the chickpea meal.  However, as soon as I tried to form the patties, it all fell apart, literally, crumbling in my hands.  The balls would not form.  I sort of made mounds on my cookie sheet and hoped for the best.  Once I went to flip the patties, they made a flaky mess all over the aluminum foil.

Any suggestions as to how I can improve my falafels in the future?  I think that maybe next time I will need some sort of binding like an egg, or perhaps my chickpeas were too dry from sitting in the fridge overnight.

So, baked chickpea and zucchini crumbs finally finished, I repurposed my bungled falafel as a sort of crunchy salad topping.  While not my finest moment, I am not ashamed to share that my cooking is not always flawless.  But that’s okay.  Perfection is overrated; failure is real.

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