Fast and Easy Vegan Falafel

Fast and Easy Vegan Falafel

Fast and Easy Vegan Falafel

Fast and Easy Vegan Falafel


  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1 ⁄ 2 cup quinoa
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 ⁄ 4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ⁄ 2 cup chickpea or all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin avocado oil, plus more as needed


  1. Line a large platter with paper towels or a tea towel.
  2. Bring 1 cup water and 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon of the salt to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Stir in quinoa and bring back to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the grain is tender, light, and fluffy. Stir, remove from heat, and set aside to cool completely.
  3. Combine green onions, garlic, and cilantro in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 30 seconds, or until chopped. Add chickpeas, cumin, remaining 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon of salt, cooked quinoa, and lemon juice. Process until smooth. Test consistency and add flour by the tablespoon until the mixture holds together for cooking.
  4. Spread flour in a shallow dish and lightly dust your palms with some. Scoop 1 or 2 tablespoons of the mixture into your hands and roll it into a ball, dusting it with flour after it is rolled. Set on a plate or baking sheet. Repeat until all of the mixture has been formed into balls. You should have about 24 balls.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Using a spoon, add 3 or 4 balls to the pan and fry, turning often with a fork, for about 4 minutes, or until golden brown all over. Lift out and place on the platter.
  6. Continue cooking remaining balls in batches, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.


Serve as an appetizer or snack with Cucumber Relish, Peanut Sauce, or Chipotle Dipping Sauce.


Cooked falafel can be tossed with salads, added to Tomato Sauce, or stuffed into pita pockets or taco shells along with lettuce, tomato, and onions.

Makes About 24 Small Falafel

This recipe was originally posted at The Reducetarian Foundation is a vehicle for spreading the personal, environmental, and animal welfare benefits of eating fewer animal products and for conducting empirical studies on how best to communicate this information to consumers, business leaders, and policy-makers. Check ’em out!

Call for Vegan Recipes

Call for Vegan Recipes

So it is official. After 30+ years of being vegetarian, I am now on Day 2 of being vegan. I gave myself a day before I blurted out to the world because I was afraid I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to put it out there and then pull it back. Day 2, I’m still afraid I cannot do it! BUT!

I do know now that I *can* do it for one day.

And, that’s all I have to do today. So… easy, right?

But like everything else, it takes the support of a village. So, I ask of you, for your vegan recipes. Not the super fluffy fancy hosting soiree’s kind of vegan recipes… the ones that are fairly easy to cook, easy to serve to family, and of course: delicious. Even just simple tidbit tips or flavor pairings .. or anything, really. The best ones will go in the resources section here on cancerzen, so others can benefit, too.

Comment below, on Instagram or Facebook, or email



Heal Your Self (the movie)

Heal Your Self (the movie)

Heal Your Self speaks to some of the greatest authorities on health today who talk about Food and Nutrition, Emotional and Environmental Stress, The Power of the Mind, Self-Education, Meditation, Love, plus practical steps you can take.

Not really date night material – but it was definitely encouraging to see so many people able to do it, just by eating right and taking care of themselves. It’s not hard!  It’s free on Amazon Prime Video.

Heal Your Self speaks to a group of people who, when faced with serious illness, did just that. They decided to take their health into their own hands. They decided to take responsibility not just for their illness, but for their recovery.

Check out the trailer below:

How Processed Food Is Different from “Real” Food (and why it matters)

How Processed Food Is Different from “Real” Food (and why it matters)

You’ve heard someone say they avoid “processed” foods, and maybe you’ve even said it yourself. But how do you know if you really are avoiding processed foods? What determines if a food product is considered processed or not?

Some people, like those who follow the teachings of Dr. Sebi, consider a very short list of foods (foods that exist today exactly as they existed hundreds of years ago) to be fit for consumption. Others follow the more relaxed guideline of shopping primarily from the perimeter of the grocery store, leaning heavily towards produce and refrigerated foods.

Like most things, rather than try to define an exact set of rules, I like to think of it as more of a sliding scale. Also as with most everything in health and nutrition, making a small shift towards “better” is better than changing nothing at all. So, naturally, I’d recommend sticking to food that is as close to its original form as possible.

An apple is a fruit, not a flavor.

What makes a food considered processed

There are many ways a food product can be processed and modified, ranging from removing nutritional benefits to adding potentially harmful chemicals and additives to the food.

For example, consider an apple. Just as nature made it, it is perfect, and best suited for consumption. With the skin on, adding fiber to help slow the sugar spike from the fructose. It has nutrients like vitamins, plus the phytonutrients that help protect from disease.

Next we can look at processing that removes nutrients and benefits of the original food, like applesauce, or worse, apple juice. Sure, they still provide basic elements like vitamins, but they’re lacking phytonutrients and, without its skin, the spike from the fruit sugar is steep and quick leaving you less satisfied long term. At this point (as long as it is organic) the food isn’t going to do harm, it just isn’t as nutritionally valuable.

Going even further… extreme processing. I’m talking to you, apple-stuff in a toaster strudel and apple flavored candy. Not only are these items void of any nutritional benefits from apples, they also have added sugars as well as potentially toxic chemicals. These only serve to cut costs for the producer but can cause serious concerns for your health.

>>> Don’t eat these, these aren’t food! Only eat food!

A professional’s opinion: Technical Differences Between Natural and Processed Foods

I recently came across an article about an editorial published in the JAMA Pediatrics Journal, written by Dr. Robert Lustig, a longtime childhood-obesity researcher, and author of New York Times bestseller Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease. In the Journal, Dr. Lustig discusses common differences between natural and processed foods, and how the processed foods affect your body differently than actual food.

Dr. Lustig explains that processed foods are defined in terms of the food engineering that goes into making the products. To him, processed food meets many of the criteria below.

You can bet your food is processed if:

  • It’s mass-produced
  • It’s consistent from batch to batch
  • It has a long shelf life or freezer life
  • It stays emulsified (meaning its fat-based and water-based components stay mixed together, rather than separating),
  • It uses specialized ingredients (especially anything you’ve not heard of as being food: apples, cinnamon and sugar are food. Di-phosphate-mono-something-or-other is not!)

How processed foods affect your body differently than natural foods

⇒ Not enough fiber

Fiber is important to health because it plays a key role in how food is absorbed in the gut. In the intestines, fiber forms a gelatinous barrier that coats the intestinal walls. This barrier slows the absorption of glucose and fructose into the blood, which helps prevent blood sugar levels from spiking.

⇒ Not enough omega-3 fatty acids

The body converts these fatty acids, which are found in foods such as fish and nuts, into docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties.

⇒ Too many omega-6 fatty acids

Conversely, these fatty acids, though similar to omega-3s, are converted in the body to a proinflammatory compound called arachidonic acid. Lustig noted in the editorial that the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in the diet should ideally be one to one; however, the typical U.S. diet has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 25 to one, which favors a proinflammatory state. This inflammation can cause oxidative stress and damage to cells in the body.

⇒ Not enough micronutrients

Processed foods contain too few vitamins and minerals, known as micronutrients, many of which act as antioxidants, which help prevent cellular damage.

⇒ Too many trans fats

Trans fat molecules are structurally different from other types of fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Because of this difference — a double bond found in the molecule — the body is unable to break down trans fats, Lustig wrote. Instead, the trans fats end up in a person’s arteries and liver, where they generate damaging free radicals.

⇒ Too many branched-chain amino acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. The “branched-chain” in the name refers to the chemical structure of the amino acid. Several amino acids that the body needs, including valine, leucine and isoleucine, have branched chains, Lustig wrote.

And although branched-chain amino acids are needed for building muscle, when a person eats too many of them, the excess molecules go to the liver, where they are converted to fat, he wrote.

Main article and images by Susan Lawrence
Portions of the summary of Journal Editorial originally posted by Sara G. Miller, Staff Writer at
Data based on content in the JAMA Pediatrics journal by Dr. Robert Lustig.

OMG This Soup! (Recipe!)

OMG This Soup! (Recipe!)

I will be the first to admit there was a time I would have refused to eat a soup if I knew it had squash in it. Or, really, any other vegetables. There is zero chance I would have tried a bite of your butternut squash, leek, and apple soup. No. Way.

But one of the amazing women who cooked for me while I was sick is such a phenomenal cook, that when she served it to our family at dinner I knew I had to give it a taste. I have never, ever, been so pleasantly surprised. What a delicious soup!

I asked my friend for the recipe, which led to my second good fortune of stumbling upon this super amazing healthy living blog called My New Roots. The author Sarah B. says she started the blog “because I wanted to share the incredible knowledge I had received through my education in Holistic Nutrition. I discovered so many things that I believed needed to be public information, not just for those who can go to school to study in this field. I wanted to set up a non-biased space for people to come and learn about how to take better care of themselves through diet and lifestyle, as I have seen immense changes in myself since making little, positive changes every day.”


As you can see I skipped the croutons, but doubled up on the pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and some green onions on top

So the recipe… can be found on this sweet holistic nutrition blog. I have made this 3 times in the last month alone. I cannot get enough. It is so satisfying, it just hits every note and I cannot believe *I* made it. And it’s not even that hard! I usually take two nights to make it, but that’s not necessary at all. For me, it’s convenient to chop and roast the vegetables while I am cooking dinner one night, and put them in the fridge overnight. The next night I can just blend it all up and heat it through and get right to eating!

Final thoughts:
  • This recipe is crammed full of nutrients your body will LOVE you for eating
  • This is also a perfect meal to bring to someone going thru cancer treatments right now. Don’t bring a big mac. Bring something nourishing, made with love, and delicious.
  • You will have leftovers. Easy lunch for a couple of days or dinner the next night.
  • The flavor is unbelievable. So fresh, and rich, and just perfect. Don’t skip the apple cider vinegar, or the seasonings. I couldn’t find my anise, so I used some extra cracked pepper. You can substitute somewhat and adjust the ratios, but don’t skip them entirely or else you will just have funky squash-applesauce.
  • If you try it out, comment below. Did you change anything? How did the family like it? Will you make it again?
Fooducate App

Fooducate App

The Fooducate App is a handy tool to easily see assigned scores of different foods, while shopping at the grocery store, helping you make good decisions, quickly.

The app provides a bar code scanner, so you can scan any product before it goes into your grocery cart. It helps in identifying the bad ingredients in food (GMO and other processed foods/chemicals) and it displays quick “grade” (from A+ to D, like grade school) to show you quickly if it’s a good option for you.

It also provides a quickly scannable list of WHY the food ranked like it did. For example, the item may be on the FDA’s toxicity watchlist, or it might be highly processed, contain a huge amount of sugar or high fructose corn syrup, or artificial flavors, or other known toxins. And if you are unsure what something means, the app explains the health effect it has.

I use the Fooducate app while grocery shopping with my children. When they bring random packages with bright colored cartoon characters on it to plea for purchase, I let them scan it and see for themselves what’s inside the shiny packaging. They know ahead of time there is no way I am buying a food that scores a C or below. And now they know why.

Another great resource is that if the product you want to buy has a low rating there is a tab that gives you other alternatives to choose from. What a time saver! The app also allows users to comment on the product. This can be quite helpful. If you are new to eating cleaner foods, it enables you to learn from other users.

They also provide a number of other tools for tracking calories, sleep, health, energy, fitness goals, etc., as well as a Healthy Recipe section and Diet Tidbit area with articles. In fact, they seem to be focusing their branding message more on diet and losing weight recently, which is not what I originally used the app for. They changed their logo to put a cute little sweatband on the head of the logo iconic orange, and changed their tagline language to promise it will help you eat better, lose weight, and get healthy. They now say Fooducate empowers you to achieve your diet, health, and fitness goals. This may or may not all be true, but for the purpose of avoiding hidden toxins and garbage in your food, it can’t be beat.

Visit the Fooducate Website here, and download the app for Apple or Android/Google Play.