This week I had an amazing inspirational experience. Since I've moved to Stockholm I've become friends with Agnes from Cashew Kitchen, who is an incredible food & lifestyle photographer and blogger... seriously, you should check out her beautiful Instagram feed. She lives not far from me and has become not only a friend but also a bit of a mentor/teacher to me. Last year I asked if I could assist her on a photoshoot sometime, and we set a time for the new year when she would do a smoothie shoot that required some extra hands in the photos. So this past week I went over to her place feeling a little bit nervous about working with someone so talented. I love this creative world I've found myself venturing into but it's still new to me and, to be honest, sometimes I still feel like a fake.
So Thursday morning I arrived at Agnes' amazing little apartment and we staged 3 photoshoots where I was hand/background 'modelling' in the photos to give them some human life. Well working with someone else was an AMAZING experience. I, of course, learned so much from her but also felt extremely inspired and rejuvenated with what I'm trying to create. I'd been thinking a lot lately about how to create more human life in my photos, and she seriously did an amazing job of capturing just that. It is such an infectious experience working and collaborating with others. I have the tendency of getting caught up in my own stuff and am not always pushing to work with others, but it really reinforced to me that this is what it's all about... learning, growing & discovering from others.
The following day I was planning on doing this falafel photoshoot, but had not yet given any thought to what it was going to look like. But as I was leaving Agnes', I knew I wanted to try to capture myself in the photos. So I walked straight to the local camera store and bought a remote for my camera so that I could take the shots from afar.
Friday morning I headed to the grocery store, bought my supplies, made the recipe and got everything all set up. With the camera on the tripod and my big toe on the remote trigger, I just started playing around with capturing the feeling of human life along with the food. I am so proud of how this shoot turned out, I really feel like I stepped into a new level with my photography & styling.
What I want to leave you with is this: look for opportunities to work with others and to learn from people you admire because this is what really shapes you and helps you grow. Sure, we all want to grow our instagram following and our email lists, but focus on growing yourself. Of becoming the better version of yourself. This is what FEELS amazing and helps you build confidence in who you are and what you're trying to contribute to the world.
So as promised, this is my second On a Budget Recipe, with the aim to keep my recipes healthy, simple and with easy to find, affordable ingredients. Below the recipes you'll find tips for making them gluten free and vegan.
Don't forget, you can search #gloriousonabudget on Instagram for my budget friendly recipes or meal ideas, and use the hashtag to share your creations! You'll find the full recipes here in my blog and in the recipes section of my website.
oven baked falafel wraps with tzatziki
serves 4 | makes 25 - 30 falafels
1 small yellow onion
2 x 400g canned chickpeas
2 - 3 garlic cloves
1 cup spinach
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp paprika (optional)
2 tbsp spelt flour (or flour of choice)
1 tbsp olive oil
sea salt & black pepper
8 small or 4 regular pita wraps
2 cups spinach
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp lemon juice
sea salt & black pepper
1. Preheat your oven to 200C | 400F.
2. Peel and roughly slice onion, then place it in your food processor and pulse until finely diced. Add in drained chickpeas, garlic cloves, spinach, cumin and paprika, process until chickpeas are finely diced. Add in olive oil and flour, process until the mixture is well combined but still has some texture. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Pour a little olive oil on a lined baking sheet. Scoop a heaped tablespoon of the mixture, roll into a ball and place on the baking sheet. If they are having trouble keeping their shape, add another tablespoon of flour. Continue rolling all falafel balls. Gently roll the balls around on the baking sheet to lightly coat with oil. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile prepare the tzatziki. Grate cucumber and then wrap it in a clean dishcloth to squeeze out excess water. In a bowl combine yogurt, grated cucumber, minced garlic and lemon juice. Stir to combine well and season with salt and pepper, set aside.
5. Prepare the toppings by dicing the tomato and cucumber.
6. After 20 minutes in the oven, turn over falafels and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
7. Warm the pita bread in the oven for the last 2 minutes. Serve pita topped with falafel, spinach, tomato, cucumber and tzatziki. Enjoy!
Tip: Make it gluten free with chickpea flour or other gluten free flour, skip the wrap and add more veggies
Tip: Make it vegan with soaked cashew tzatziki