The Midnight Chef

If you follow me on twitter you’ve probably notice that I not so occasionally cook and bake at oddball times. On an average day, I get back to my apartment sometime between 8-9pm, which means I’m usually ready to eat dinner ASAP and not spend time chopping, sauteeing, etc. So I’ve taken to prepping meals either before work or right before I go to bed…

I had plans to run and go to a pilates-type class on Monday evening, so that morning I prepped dinner in advance. The parsley looked really good at the supermarket and I already had some canned chickpeas on hand, so I decided to make some homemade falafel balls.

Baked Falafel (serves 2)

Into a blender went –

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/2 bunch of parsley, leaves only

1 onion, roughly chopped

1 garlic clove

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 Tbs flour

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne

salt and pepper to taste


Once everything was more or less chopped and combined, I formed the chickpea mixture into 8 balls and popped ’em in the fridge until I returned home that evening. I baked them at 400 F for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy (flip the falafel over after 10 mins of baking).

And to serve, I placed 4 of the  falafel patties on top of a big bowl of romaine and dried cranberries topped with Leslie’s tahini dressing (best dressing EVER!). Easy, healthy, yum.

And I like to see the nutrition facts of the food I buy and prepare, so voila! I crunched the numbers – lots of fiber and protein!

This week’s CSA veggie pick-up just happened to include all of the ingredients for The Kitchn’s herb garden potatoes with fresh spinach and lemon dressing. And the most difficult part of this recipe is boiling water. Seriously so easy to make! And I made sure to sample the finished product (at midnight) – two thumbs up. The only changes I made were using 1/4 cup of olive oil vs. 1/3 cup and substituting a small onion for the shallots.

I might add some bacon to it for tonight’s dinner….

And I haven’t forgotten about the pumpkin-cayenne brownies – I’ve been eating many a few every night. Soon there won’t be any left – so much for sharing!

On the training front, I’ve returned to running semi-usual mileage this week. Here’s what I’ve done so far (and what I plan to do…):

Monday, Sept 26 – 7 miles in CP with Meggie + a pilates-esque workout at Strengthen Lengthen Tone. I am comically bad at exercise that is not running, but I lasted through the whole class. Victory of the week.

Tuesday, Sept 27 – 5.5 miles in Prospect Park, by myself. Glutes and hamstrings were sore from the previous night’s class.

Wednesday, Sept 28 – 10 miles over the Manhattan + Brooklyn Bridges w/ Elyssa and co.  and then uptown to the office

Thursday, Sept 29 – 10 miles total including 6 miles at Half-Marathon pace

Friday, Sept 30 – 4 miles easy

Saturday, Oct 1 – 16 miles total (including 13.1 miles as part of Grete’s Gallop in CP) – might do some of these miles around Marathon pace…

Sunday, Oct 2 – REST

Total: 52.5  miles

Hopefully the Fall weather returns soon…otherwise I may revolt. NO MORE HUMIDITY!

 Does anyone else cook at weird times? What should I make next? 

  • YUM!!! I am totally making those tomorrow night when I get home. I love the idea of baked instead of fried.

  • Well, considering my culinary prowess is null, me cooking at any time is a weird time. Thanks for the miles on Monday! I’m requesting a repeat running rendez-vous soon!!! So, we can chat about accepting and embracing pain in races and all that jazz.

  • Also, next you should making something autumnal with like apples or pumpkin or something. Apple cobbler? With ice cream? Invite me? Yes?

  • Dbsturtz

    The falafel looks delicious. I’m going to try it using gluten free flour. Will let you know how it is! Are you racing Grete’s? Let’s make running plans soon 🙂

  • Anonymous

    I’m doing Grete’s as a long run with some marathon paced miles toward the end. Are you racing? Hopefully I’ll see you at some point on Sat!! 🙂

  • The baked falafel looks like YUM. I’m no vegetarian, but dealing with raw meat kind of grosses me out, so I don’t cook it often. Totally stealing this one!

    Have fun running Grete’s! One of my favorite NYRR races that I ever ran. Had I known I wouldn’t be around to run it again, I totally would have stuck around for the edibles last year. #eatersremorse

  • Page

    Never had a falafel but damn it, I just might have to try these now! Thanks for the recipe.

  • I was craving falafel this week. Thank you for the recipe!

    As for baking at “weird” times… I don’t start my day job until 10am now (which is weird for me after a decade of 8-5) so I bake before work now. Early morning used to be grab-coffee-and-go time, now it’s bake-pumpkin-bread (while sipping coffee) time.

  • Jen

    What time do you go into work? I can’t believe you don’t get home until so late! I definitely cook at “odd” hours (i.e. middle of the night). It relaxes me and when I can’t sleep I’m often found in the kitchen. Last night/morning I was making granola and pumpkin ice cream at 1 am.

  • RunTheLongRoad

    this humidity sucks.  at least “fall” weather is returning this weekend.  i am also bad at anything non-running.  i feel like such an impostor in a yoga class!

  • Anonymous

    ooh I totally want to make those balls. I don’t cook at oddball hours, but just make mass quantities of things on the weekends. thanks to this weather, my apartment was like a sweatshop last weekend. But, it’s going to be perfect on Saturday morning! See you there!!

  • Anonymous

    i usually get to work around 9 or 9:30am and stay until 6:30 or 7pm, so that’s not too bad, but then I have a 45 min commute home and sometimes after work appointments (or happy hours!) 🙂

  • Those falafel balls look so good! I LOVE falafel, but hate when they’re super-greasy (pan-fried in oil). So I’ll have to try out this baked version. My favorite time to experiment with cooking/baking is on weekend mornings before my husband gets up, while watching DVR’d reality TV 🙂
    You should make some really good sports-watching appetizers since baseball playoffs are starting!!

  • ooh, love your falafel recipe. i’ve got some parsley hanging out in my fridge. might have to make these!

    i am all about the late-night/ early morning baking/ cooking for potlucks and things, but never for myself usually. it’s a good idea, though, to make weeknight meals less of a pain. i should hop on the weirdo cooking hour bandwagon…

  • Caetie

    Falafel looks great!

    What do you use to crunch the nutrition numbers? Would love to try that with other meals.

  • Anonymous

    i use the recipe analyzer found here:

    it’s fun to play around with!

  • Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes

    I love falafel.  These look awesome!

  • yep i cook whenever i want to – whatever time works out!  great recipe, parsley is something I’ve just begun to appreciate!

    wow – great runs too!

  • I love falafel but have never actually made it myself – which seems stupid after I see how easy this recipe looks! I’m going to have to try it soon.

    I sometimes get the urge to bake at weird times. My sweet tooth usually gets the best of me at odd hours (this is probably not a good thing for my health…haha).

    Keeping my fingers crossed for some cooler/less humid temperatures this weekend!

  • i recently made falafels too and i loved them. i used the recipe from appetite for reduction.  Since it’s fall, I just making something with fall squash…last year I had a butternut squash + brussel sprouts risotto that was pretty awesome.

  • I can totally relate to cooking at ridiculous hours. Often, I can’t fall asleep without cooking/baking something before bed so I’ll make something to bring to work for lunch the next day! When I was little, my parents would come downstairs in the morning to find a pile of cookies or a cake that their 11 y/o daughter had baked at 2am hahaha. I’m definitely nocturnal.