There come nights in every person's week where making dinner is a far cry from any sort of enjoyable activity. In fact, it seems downright dreadful. However, a tight budget seems to always motivate me to get into the kitchen and spark up something simple and quick! The first place I always look on these nights is my freezer--the black hole of odds and ends that we inevitably forget about. For a vegetarian favorite, we try to always store extra falafel -- a Middle Eastern staple made of chickpeas, veggies (peppers, onions) and spices/herbs (cumin, coriander, parsley). I bought falafel balls from Traders Joe's and saved them in the freezer for a lazy day, and surely enough that day soon came! There and then, falafel gyros became a dinner delight.
I heated the falafel in the oven with some sliced onions, then served in warm whole wheat pita bread with roasted red peppers, extra roasted onions, seeded and diced raw cucumber, hummus and my own makeshift cucumber dressing that is often found alongside Greek gyros. Authentic cucumber dressing would typically be made with plain yogurt and dill, but I used what I had on hand to create a similar effect.
-1/2 small cucumber, seeded and cut into very small dices
-1 clove garlic, minced
-2 or 3 Tablespoons light/reduced fat sour cream (depending on how creamy you like it)
-1/2 lemon juiced and zested
-Salt and pepper to taste
Some Middle Eastern and Greek inspiration served with a side of boiled corn like a true Hoosier, and you have yourself a delicious dinner in about 15-20 minutes. Even on a lazy night, a little bit of creativity can build you a better and healthier dinner than any take out!