You never quite know when inspiration will hit in the quest to find great solutions to food for busy lives. Nor can you always anticipate where you'll be when that nugget of knowledge slaps you around the face.
One of my latest moments of foodie realization came while at the supermarket checkout. And in the spirit of 'caring is sharing', it turned out to be an exchange of great ideas.
So ... I was doing one of those trolley dash visits to the supermarket - only there was no trolley involved, so it was more of a dash really. You know the kind of dash that I mean ... the kind where you're in a rush, you only need a couple of things, so it's not worth getting a trolley. Or a basket. And there begins the problem. As soon as you have no convenient way to carry your shopping you will ALWAYS see item after item that you could do with buying until ... before you know it, you have a teetering pile of boxes and packets and bottles which then need to be balanced all the way to the checkout. We've all been there.
And at the checkout on this particular day, I met a friend who had also done a dash. When you're only buying a few things, I guess you're much more likely to chat about what's in your dash. And so we did. We had both bought a couple of dull, everyday items but then we each also had a winner of a foodstuff in our haul.
I had bought a selection of different brands and flavours of Pot Noodles - none of which were the 'original' but all were the same principle of 'just add water'. People who know that I'm a keen foodie might be surprised to see these in my trolley (or on this occasion, balanced on top of a pot of yoghurt and a large bottle of semi-skimmed milk) - but here's why I'm a fan ... We have 2 teenage sons who eat a lot of food, who are constantly hungry and who I'm always keen to encourage to be more independent in preparing their own snacks. Yes - Pot Noodles are not the most balanced and nutritious of snacks (but incidentally if you check the labels there are some which contain hardly any mystery ingredients) but both teenage sons can prepare them themselves, it's quick (very important for any teenager) and it's a step towards them being more self-sufficient. Today Pot Noodles, tomorrow cooking a full-blown plate of spaghetti bolognese. These are the two brands that we tend to go for -
And there and then, at the supermarket checkout, my friend embraced the idea and also became a fan of Pot Noodles for her 'soon to be teenagers'.
So that was the first exchange of great food ideas.
And with no delay came the second. My friend had bought two large bags of falafel from the deli counter (one for her family and one for her neighbours). She explained to me how useful they are to have in the freezer for an easy dinner - stuffed in arabic breads (known as pita breads outside of the Middle East) with some salad - and that this particular supermarket did the best ones. She'd done the research, so I didn't have to. I like that. I love a dinner that involves stuffing something into bread or wrapping wraps around a filling and I couldn't believe that I'd never done this one before. So I too embraced a new idea and became a fan.
And a Falafel Stuffed Pita Bread really is a winner of a dish. It's not too hard to find ready-cooked falafel that only need warming in the oven, in most supermarkets and to be honest, I wouldn't bother to make them myself. Instead, I would focus on teaming them with a great wrap/flatbread, some fresh salad and most importantly, a killer dressing.
And ... ta-dah ... my number 1 dressing recommendation would be the Tahini dressing from my recently posted Roasted Aubergine with Date Molasses, Tahini & Mint. The recipe makes more dressing than you'll need for the Roasted Aubergine dish so you'll be all set up for a Falafel Stuffed Pita Bread to die for.
Four options? Who could ask for more ...
And I'm going to embrace the speed and simplicity of these Falafel Stuffed Pita Breads by sticking to short and simple explanations around why you'll love this perfect family dish -
- You can throw it together in a flash.
- It's SO tasty.
- It's a good way to use up any leftover dressings you might have from other dishes.
- It's flexible - vary the salad vegetables and choose your favourite dressing.
- It's a handy vegetarian dish to have in your repertoire.
- It's healthy ... especially if you pile up the salad.
There's no need for a recipe for a Falafel Stuffed Pita Bread, just follow these simple steps -
- Buy your falafel
- Warm it in the oven (according to the packet instructions)
- Grab your bread of choice (Arabic, pita, flatbread or wrap)
- Throw together a salad
- Select your dressing (tahini, harissa oil, cacik or hummus)
- Fill the bread with the falafel, salad and dressing
So ... you can always be sure that if you enter a supermarket without a trolley, or a basket, you will need one. But you can never be sure of where your next great foodie realization will come from. Keep those eyes peeled ...