Falafel, Fresh Breath and Incentives to Cook…

Hi everyone and please click on the title of this post to read more. First off, please check out the article I wrote which is being posted on www.sirensmag.com about kitchen phobes. I hope you like it. On to the blog post…. I thought I would talk about incentives today, of all sorts. My six year old boyer-than-boy son whose main pastimes include Wii boxing, messy eating and terribly poor hygiene has fallen madly in love for the first time with a little girl in his class who we will call “Vicki” (all names have been changed to protect the innocent). He desperately wants to win her over and is figuring out ways to do so.

Some may simply say that this is cute, but I, not being one to pass up a great opportunity, am milking it for all it’s worth. We now engage in discussions about how little girls LOVE clean teeth and fresh breath so he had better brush and gargle well with his kid’s mouthwash. The results have been nothing short of miraculous; He went from fighting about this ADL (Social Work jargon for “attention to daily living”) every single day to running upstairs after breakfast and before bed to make sure his teeth sparkle and his breath is as minty as can be. Call it manipulative or Machiavellian but it works.

Let’s bring this concept home; What is our incentive to do anything in life that we may be resistant to pursuing? If we have no incentive, we will be much less likely to take the time to invest in achieving our goal. If, for example, we would love to be able to make a festive birthday lunch for a group of our friends, have our kid’s playdates over for dinner and provide a dinner that will not cause us to wonder if the kid will run home telling their parents that their friend’s mother gave them mac ‘n’ cheese (not the “Deceptively Delicious”- Jessica Seinfeld kind with hidden squash in it but the Kraft kind), or if we want to simply make a good, healthy meal for ourselves, we need to visualize scenarios in which we are cooking and feeling good about it. Feeling good about whatever it is that makes us feel good whether it be entertaining well, caring for our health or avoiding being judged, is our incentive!

Let’s make 2009 the year of accomplishing our goals of all sorts while making a concerted effort to keep our incentives in mind, to keep us going. The following recipe is one that fits right in with a New Year’s incentive plan for economical, easy, healthy eating for ourselves and our families: falafel. Watch the video below to see what they look like and for the locals, please see some info below regarding donating to our local Human Needs food pantry.


2 cups cooked chickpeas or garbanzo beans.

1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
6 TBS, chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
Oil for frying

Combine chickpeas, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper (to taste) in medium bowl. Add flour and baking soda.

Place all in a food processor or mash well with a fork. Form into 1 1/2 ” patties, pan fry in some oil until browned on both sides, maybe about 3 minutes on each side and then bake on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Martin Luther King Day of Service

Please join the district-wide effort to celebrate the life and service of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This year Montclair would like to give back to the community by raising awareness for our local Human Needs Food Pantry. Items will be delivered the week of January 19th.
9 Label St
Montclair, NJ 07042
(973) 746-4669

We are looking for donations that can support this organization through the winter months! Please consider donating any of the items below :

Items Most Needed at this time:

* Baby Formula

* New Underwear

* Towels/Sheets

* Baby Wipes

* New Socks

* Coats

* Diapers

* Gloves/Mittens

* Bathing Supplies

* Cereal

* Pasta

* Sauce

* Canned Vegetables

* Canned Fruit

* Peanut Butter

* Rice

* Stuffing

* Tuna




4 Responses

  1. It breaks my heart a little to see the baby items on the Human Needs Pantry list. It is just all too easy to imagine the struggling young parents worrying about how to afford formula and baby wipes. Do you think the organization would prefer the items or the money?


  2. Hi and thanks for the comments. I don’t know if $$$ or supplies is better but I don’t think the pantry would give the $$$ to a family. just my guess.

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