Baked Falafel Pockets with Tzaziki

Baked Falafel ~ The Luminous Kitchen

I am sitting here in our room in Sydney on the 22nd story of an apartment block looking out over the beautiful Sydney skyline. I don’t think I have ever stayed this high up in a building before and it is quite magnificent.

We just finished up at a 4 day Tony Robbins event: Unleash the Power Within and while I have listened to his cd’s over and over before, seeing him live and the intensity and passion that he brings to the stage is incredible. I feel as though I have just walked out of a 50 hour rock concert! I highly recommend going to one of his live events if you get the chance to.

I will share more about our experience there in a post later on in the week , but first Corey and I are flying out this afternoon to Cape Town to visit my family and attend a friend’s beautiful wedding. I am so fricken excited because it’s been a year and a half since I was at home.

Before I go I want to share this recipe with you for baked falafel. If you have ever tried to make falafel this way and not the traditional way of deep frying them then you may have experienced what I did the first.. oh say 6 times I tried it before I figured out where I as going wrong. In order to still create crispy falafel that aren’t complete mush on the inside you have to use your processor is a specific way. You want to have your herbs finely chopped and the garlic minced, but then when you combine it all you want to just use the pulse action on your processor so that the mixture is still chunky.

I use canned chickpeas and that doesn’t help with the mush aspect so I dry them in the oven first to remove excess moisture. I often make a big batch of these and freeze them to use another time.

Baked Falafel
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 handful fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tbls buckwheat four
  • 2 Tbls coconut oil
  • salt and pepper to season
  • Tzaziki
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • ½ English cucumber
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 6 pita pockets
  • salad
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Drain the canned chickpeas well then spread them out on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper and place in the oven to dry out for 15 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Remove the chickpeas from the oven and allow to cool slightly before combining them with the other ingredients in a food processor.
  4. Process on pulse until the ingredients come together, but the mixture is still quite chunky.
  5. If the mixture is too "wet", mix in 1 more tablespoon of buckwheat flour.
  6. Divide the mixture up evenly into small balls then, using your hands, roll the balls, until tightly packed.
  7. Heat a non stick frying pan over medium to high heat. Add a little coconut oil, then fry the falafel balls in batches until crispy on each side.
  8. Transfer the crispy falafel to a baking tray lined with grease proof paper and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until heated through.
  9. To make the tzaziki, grate the cucumber, then wrap the grated cucumber in a few pieces of paper towel and squeeze out the excess liquid. Stir the drained cucumber through the yogurt along with the minced garlic and salt and pepper.
  10. Serve the falafel with salad in a pita pocket with the tzaziki.

baked falafel: The Luminous Kitchen

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Gluten Free Base


White Chocolate Cheesecake - Gluten Free Base ::

I have always been a pretty emotional person, but these pregnancy hormones are wreaking havoc on my tear ducts. Seriously I was just cried watching The Bachelor. WTF? When most people are squirming watching the cringe worthy show I am tearing up. That’s it I’m hardening up.

Corey and I are heading down to Sydney tomorrow to see my best, Tony Robbins!!!!! I could pee I’m so excited. I’ve put it out there on Instagram to send me good juju because you have no idea how much I want a hug from him and I don’t want to have to photoshop myself in on a photo of him. I’m not that good at photoshop. Even if I can just shake those gigantic hands my life will be complete. Can you tell I’m a huge fan?


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My Problogger Smack Down


Jo Anderson The Luminous Kitchen

Ok it’s confession time.… I have been living way too much up in my head and not truly leading with my heart. This weekend at Problogger I had a bit of a smack down from  some pretty amazing bloggers.

It can be so easy to get caught up in the online world and thinking that you have to show a certain side of yourself to gain a following, when what you really need is to show all of yourself : the good the bad AND the ugly because thats how we connect …

with REAL.


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Smokey Beetroot Dip

Smokey Beetroot Dip ~ The Luminous Kitchen

I love this smokey beetroot dip. It’s as easy to make as hummus ( just takes a little longer to roast the beetroots) and it’s great to keep in the fridge to have with carrot sticks or crackers in the afternoon when the 3 o’clock munchies hit.


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You Eat The Way You Live

Jo Anderson ~ The Luminous Kitchen


Geneen Roth is an American bestselling author and authority on compulsive eating. She believes that our relationship to food, money and love is an exact reflection of our deepest held beliefs about ourselves and the amount of joy, abundance, pain and scarcity we have ( or are allowed to have) in our lives.

She  says “You eat the way you live”

When I first heard her say it, this simple phrase took up residence in my head. It sashayed it’s way around trying to attach to memories of dark places, eating disorders and self hatred. It burrowed its way in deep and still I could not make sense of it.

Until finally I was able to unhook from my stories, detached from myself and take a good hard look under the hood that I had kept so brilliantly closed for so long and finally I understood what it meant for me.

When I live my life fully, follow the good, trust my heart, have faith, but detachment from all outcomes , I eat well. When I express my soul’s desires, I eat well. I eat to nourish and fuel myself because I am sustained by so much more.

I eat badly when I’m not living in alignment with my values and my beliefs, when I hunger for more from life, but allow fear to restrict and confine me, when I listen to the stories and ignore my calling. I eat badly when I don’t value myself.

This good or bad has nothing to do with what I am eating and everything to do with how I eat it.

I used to feel powerless like I was at the effect of life and not attracting the life I desired. Even when I thought I was creating life on my own terms I really wasn’t. I was locked into the WHEN and IF game.

“When I lose 5kg I will feel free, sexy, feminine” and  “I will be so good if I just have 3 green smoothies today”  The more I focussed out there the less in touch within I felt.

I thought the emptiness could be filled with food so I used it, like a drug, to numb the feeling and to dim my light. I used food when I wanted to escape, to leave my body, to be living a different life.

There was no pleasure in eating. I didn’t know how to savor the crisp bite of a tart apple or revel in the silkiness of just one piece of chocolate melting over my tongue. I didn’t taste food because I used it to leave the present moment, to escape for just a nanosecond.

When I wasn’t using food to escape, I devised so many rules around how I was allowed to eat that there was no room left for enjoyment.

I didn’t recognize that what I really hungered for was connection, adventure, freedom, creative release and meaningful work. Once I did I set out discovering how to bring those into my life and the most magical things began to unfold.

Today I make it a conscious, daily effort to savor and enjoy food and to not use it. I eat healthy good food most of the time, but not always …do I get it right every day?  Absolutely not, but I try and that for me is eating well.

I don’t think we take enough time to focus and direct our light within these days. We watch contrived snapshots of peoples lives on Instagram and hunger for more from our own, yet because we are so disconnected and out of touch we can’t distinguish between real hunger and wanting more from life.

So open your heart wide and fully.. listen to that whisper within because it’s gentle tugging is pulling you in the direction of your wildest dreams. Stop the sabotage, stop the numbing. Embrace nourishment of your soul, of your body and of this one precious life.

You eat the way you live… You eat the way you feel about yourself.

It is a way of being first and doing second…. a journey with no destination. This is about living your life now, in this moment and loving it because you choose to.

So tell me, because I would love to connect over this topic,  how does the way you eat reflect in your life?

The Luminous Kitchen Wins an Award Woohoo


The Luminous Kitchen has won it’s first award thanks to Ness from Thank you so much for the nomination darling.

The Liebster Blog Award recognizes bloggers that have a growing audience and winning it requires me to do the following




// Link back and recognize the blogger who nominated me

Vanessa (Ness) Vickery from is a Nutritionist and soon to be Life and Wellness Coach. I am so inspired by Ness’s story and the gentle reminder that what we choose to fill our plates and bodies with has such a profound impact on our entire lives. I just love Ness’s healthy, down to earth recipes so make sure you check out her site for real food inspiration and get her gorgeous new free ebook, Healthy Dinner Eats. Thank you so much again Ness for nominating The Luminous Kitchen.//Answer 10 questions given to me by my nominator


//Nominate another 10 bloggers for the award

My nominees are

1. Vienda from

2. Meg from

3. Tegan from

4. Em from

5. Karla from

6. Renee from

7. Tara from

8. Carly from

9. Bec from

10. Claire from

//Create 10 questions for them to answer:

1. If you were to have a band what would you call it?

2. If you could learn any language instantly what would it be?

3. If you could pick another career other than the one you are pursuing what would it be?

4. What is one little known, strange fact about you?

5. If you could visit any country which one would it be?

6. If you could donate $10 000 to charity which charity would you pick?

7. If you could create one thing what would it be?

8. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life what would it be?

9. What does your ideal day look like?

10. What is one piece of advice you can offer to someone wanting to start a blog?

//Notify my nominees

//Get an award button and display it proudly

Here are the questions Ness asked me:

1. What inspired you to start your blog?

I worked as a self taught cook on yacht for most of my 20’s, but when we moved to Australia I knew I didn’t want to work in a restaurant kitchen. I had always drooled over beautifully styled foodie pics on Pinterest, but I let that voice in my head tell me I could never do that. When Corey and I started our health food biz, FoodActually, I wanted to take some photos of our products. A local in the coffee shop I was working in gave me a dslr camera and started to play and have fun with it, learning as I went. When I started taking a decent photo I wanted to find a way to share my recipes and photos with people. I also wanted to inspire people to take back their kitchens and showcase that cooking real food doesn’t have to be boring, tedious or tasteless.

2. Do you prefer beach or snow?

Coming from South Africa I haven’t spent much time in the snow besides a trip to Austria in 2012. I thought I would be so much better at snowboarding than I actually was. Picture it… me holding onto the face of a very icy, steep slope that Corey had convinced me to go down.. clinging to it face on like a crab and crying because I was convinced I would be stuck there forever all the while mini euro kiddies are flying passed me on skies. So I think its safe to say I’m more of a beach girl.

3. What is your favorite band/artist?

Ben Howard. LOVE

4. What skill would you like to learn?

I love that we live in a world where you can teach yourself how to do just about anything with the help of the internet and Youtube tutorials. Although it’s not my style of cooking I would love to learn some Heston techniques in the kitchen.

5. Where was the last place you travelled to?

The past year and a half have been all about grounding for me. Moving to Australia after years traveling on yachts I have needed to be in one place and embrace being all here even when my itchy feet have made me want to fly. So it was a while ago now but the last place I travelled to was the Maldives on honeymoon. Pure paradise.

6. What do you do to pamper yourself?

I love to exfoliate and dry brush and then smother my entire body in coconut oil

7. Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Early bird all the way. I wake up at 5.30 on Sundays … who does that? Its not on purpose by the way.

8. Who is your idol?

Hmm I have a few in different areas. Food Photography.. Katie Quinn Davies. I ADORE her work. Jamie Oliver… for his passion and the work he does in educating people about real food. I love me some Tony Robbins… the man is made of passion and purpose. Turia Pitt… for her fighting spirit.

9. What is your favorite childhood memory?

Camping all over Africa with my mom, dad and 3 sisters. African sunsets, close encounters with wildlife, endless fights in the back of the combi, the vile taste of malaria tablets and the sweet smell of campfires.

10. What is your favorite quote or affirmation?

“Everyone has oceans to fly if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries.” ~ Amelia Earhart.