The best. dinner. EVER.

So I know I've been posting a lot of recipe stuff lately, but I'm getting all the cooking (and eating) out of my system before I go back to school and can't cook at all!

Tonight, we chose two recipes out of Cooking Light, so they're deffo healthy and ZOMG you should all go make them RIGHT NOW. And the dinner/dessert combo sounds weird together, but honestly? Everything was so fabulous that it didn't matter. I'm not kidding. Go make these things. Like now.

Falafel-Stuffed Pitas (4 servings, a.k.a. enough for 4 full pitas)

Ingredients in falafel:
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large egg
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1 tablespoon olive oil

Ingredients in sauce:
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame-seed paste)
1 garlic clove, minced

Remaining ingredients:
4 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas, cut in half
8 curly leaf lettuce leaves
16 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomatoes

To prepare falafel, place first 8 ingredients in a food processor; process mixture until smooth. Divide mixture into 16 equal portions* (note--we got 14) and shape each portion into 1/4-inch-thick patty. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until patties are browned.

To prepare sauce, combine yogurt, lemon juice, tahini, and 1 garlic clove, stirring mixture with a whisk. Spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce into each pita half. Fill each pita half with 1 lettuce leaf, 2 tomato slices, and 2 patties.

This really wasn't that difficult. Next time, we're going to double the falafel and triple the sauce for 4 people (and have some extra). There's 15g of protein per whole pita and 403 calories (and since this was a full dinner for me, not bad!). Seriously, this was awe.some.

Now, dessert!

Sticky Date and Coconut Cake

*Coat the bottom and sides of the pan with cooking spray so this puddinglike cake doesn't stick. Prepare the topping while the cake bakes in step 3.*

Ingredients in cake:
1 cup chopped pitted dates
1 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons butter
Dash of salt
6.75 ounces all-purpose flower (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Ingredients in topping:
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons fat-free milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. To prepare cake, combine first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes or until dates are tender.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Stir in date mixture, granulated sugar, vanilla, and egg until well combined. Pour batter into a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes* (note: it was still very goopy after 20 minutes. That's okay!).
4. To prepare topping, combine brown sugar and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute. Pour brown sugar mixture over cake; bake at 350 degrees for an additional 13 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack. Run a knife around outside edge. Cool completely on a wire rack. Yield: 12 servings.

Ohhhh, this was SO good!!! I was a bit put off by the dates and coconut at first, but this was AWESOME!