A whisper from the woods

Food for Thought, January 2023

Jan 9, 2023

Welcoming the new year gently

Hey there.

Happy new year!

We are back after a few weeks off the blog. Sometimes, it can be helpful to take a step back to look at where we are and see where we want to go.

Last year went by incredibly fast. It is humbling to recognize how little control we have over time. Time just passes by, regardless of what we do with it.

Of course, we can choose how we use it and make it worthwhile.

January is often picked as a starting point for new challenges and commitments. When one is eager to experience change, it can be easy to choose unattainable goals disconnected from our actual capacity. But change doesn’t have to happen overnight. This time of the year can be used to reconnect with ourselves and others. It can bring a shift, but one we can honestly and generously commit to, and consequently, sustain long-term.

Imagine shopping for seasonal and local products more often, reducing food waste, or starting composting. One can commit to finding what products best work for its body and which don’t, or to appreciating all those who made it possible to have a meal to enjoy. Maybe we can simply smile at the cashier at the supermarket or offer our grannies a nice loaf of bread.

Whatever you feel brings you closer to a more peaceful, kind, and happy state of being.

What and how we eat can certainly have a big impact, but let’s kick off this year gently.

The recipe presented below was inspired by a recent, very simple yet happy memory.

Food is a gentle yet very strong thread connecting us all across the globe. From the workers who produce the crops to the retailers who sell them, and to the people we enjoy our meals with.

This is the tone for this new “season” of the Food for Thought blog.


Falafel is a Middle Eastern street food dish. Its origin is controversial, but it is thought to have first appeared in Egypt. Fun fact: although nowadays it is usually made out of chickpeas, originally, it might have been cooked with broad beans!

This recipe uses raw chickpeas instead of cooked ones, as tradition demands. One varying aspect is the cooking method. Falafel is usually deep-fried. To avoid this unnecessary and unwanted fat source, these falafel balls are going to be baked.

These are quick and easy to put together. You can make a big batch and freeze part of it for whenever you might need it.

Check out the full recipe below. If you make these, share your thoughts with us in the comment section below or by tagging us on social media*.

  • 300g raw chickpeas
  • 1 small onion (90g)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup (30g) of roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup (30g) of roughly chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • ½ tsp black pepper (you can use other pepper variety if you prefer)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • Salt to taste
  1. Soak the chickpeas the day before making the falafel. (This step is important. It will not only allow the chickpeas to absorb water and soften, but also to release some antinutrients into the water.)
  2. Discard the soaking water. (Do not use the soaking water as it contains antinutrients that can impair digestion and make you feel bloated.)
  3. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until you reach a crumble-like consistency.
  4. Refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour. (This step is optional. It is meant to help when shaping the falafel into balls, and it also allows for a more cohesive texture for baking.)
  5. Shape the dough into balls and place them on a lined baking tray.
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 180ºC, or until the falafel starts to get golden.

Serve it with a tahini-based dressing, as a starter, or a main dish inside a pita.

– – – –

Enjoy this recipe and have a fantastic year!

Stay tuned for more delicious plant-based recipes. There is one Food for Thought article being posted at the beginning of each month. In the mean time, you can find more inspiration and recipe ideas on my Instagram/Facebook page – Kind Dish.

You are also most welcome to share what topics you yould like to see covered on this blog, and what recipes you’d like featured.

Thank you for being here. We are looking foward to hearing from you!


*Tag us so that we can celebrate your cookings together!
Global Tree Initiative | @globaltreeinitiative
Kind Dish | @kind.dish




Please share this. Thank you!


  1. Anrich Bester

    Looks great, Kika!

    • Kika Gusmao

      Danke schön 😀
      If you make it yourself, do share it with us!


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