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Cravings Made Healthy: Sweet Potato Falafel

Vegan chef Jenné Clairborne shares a simple recipe perfect for lunch or dinner.

Cravings Made Healthy: Sweet Potato Falafel

We should always be nourishing our bodies with nutritious food, good sleep, exercise, and love, but it’s even more important during pregnancy. Fitting it all in can seem daunting, especially for the modern pregnant New Yorker. Sometimes what you need is a shortcut to nourishment––I must admit, I’m not aware of any shortcuts for sleep, exercise, or love. However, limiting your time in the kitchen, and sitting down to a fantastic meal is totally doable––as you’ll see with my yummy sweet potato falafel recipe!

This sweet potato falafel is perfect for lunch or dinner. For maximum pregnancy appeal, serve the falafel in a romaine or lacinato kale leaf, or over chopped greens, with tahini sauce, and your favorite falafel fixin’s. Sweet potato falafel are one of my favorite recipes. You’ll want to make these over and over again!

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Sweet Potato Falafel

Optional expansions: add 1 tsp of smoked paprika, 1 tsp lemon zest, topping the falafel with sesame seeds before baking.

serves 2-4

1 medium sweet potato, baked or steamed in the skin

14 oz can chickpeas, rinsed

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp ground cumin

1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 350° and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor, and pulse until the ingredients are combined. Be careful not to over blend or puree. The ingredients should hold together, but maintain their texture. Use a cookie scoop (about 2 tbsp) to scoop falafel balls and place directly onto the baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Also, check out my new digital book 5 Ingredient Vegan which was written with women like myself in mind. We want to eat healthy, but aren’t willing to sacrifice on flavor, and spending hours in the kitchen is just not going to happen. The book is also for the woman who wants to cook amazing plant-based dishes, but would rather not start by making complicated 20 ingredient recipes.

After 4 kids, this is still the best baby gear item I’ve ever purchased

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work.

I have four kids 8 and under, so you might expect that my house is teeming with baby gear and kid toys.

But it turns out that for me, the more kids I have, the more I simplify our stuff. At this point, I'm down to the absolute essentials, the gear that I can't live without and the toys my kids actually play with. And so when a mama-to-be asks me what things are worth registering for, there are only a few must-haves on my list.

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer seat is on the top of my list—totally worth it and an absolute must-have for any new mama.

In fact, since I first splurged on my first BABYBJÖRN bouncer eight years ago (it definitely felt like a splurge at the time, but the five star reviews were really compelling), the bouncer seat has become the most-used product in our house for baby's first year.

We've actually invested in a second one so that we didn't have to keep moving ours from the bedroom to the living room when we change locations.

BABYBJÖRN bouncer bliss

baby bjorn bouncer

The utility of the seat might seem counterintuitive—it has no mechanical parts, so your baby is instead gently bounced by her own movements. In a world where many baby products are touted for their ability to mechanically rock baby to sleep, I get that many moms might not find the "no-motion" bouncer that compelling. But it turns out that the seat is quite reactive to baby's little kicks, and it has helped my kids to learn how to self-soothe.

$200

Lightweight + compact:

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer is super lightweight, and it also folds flat in a second. Because of those features, we've frequently stored it under the couch, in a suitcase or in the back of the car. It folds completely flat, which I love.

Entertainment zone:

Is the toy bar worth it? The toy bar is totally worth it. Not only is the toy bar adorable, but it's one of the first toys that my babies actually play with once they discover the world beyond my boobs. The toys spin and are close to eye level so they have frequently kept my baby entertained while I cook or take a quick shower.

Great style:

This is not a small detail to me–the BABYBJÖRN bouncer is seriously stylish. I am done with baby gear and toys that make my house look like a theme park. The elegant European design honestly just looks good in my living room and I appreciate that parents can enjoy it as much as baby.

It's adjustable:

With three height settings that let you prop baby up to be entertained, or lay back to rest, we get years of use. And the bouncer can actually be adjusted for bigger kids and used from newborn to toddler age. It's that good.

It just works:

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work. But I have used the seat as a safe space to put baby while I've worked (I once rocked my baby in it with my foot while I reported on a breaking news story for the Washington Post), and as a cozy spot for my second child to lay while his big brother played nearby. It's held up for almost a decade with almost-constant use.

So for me, looking back on what I thought was a splurge eight years ago, was actually one of the best investments in baby gear I ever made.

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Meri Meri: Decor and gifts that bring the wonder of childhood to life

We could not be more excited to bring the magic of Meri Meri to the Motherly Shop. For over 30 years, their playful line of party products, decorations, children's toys and stationery have brought magic to celebrations and spaces all over the world. Staring as a kitchen table endeavor with some scissors, pens and glitter in Los Angeles in 1985, Meri Meri (founder Meredithe Stuart-Smith's childhood nickname) has evolved from a little network of mamas working from home to a team of 200 dreaming up beautiful, well-crafted products that make any day feel special.

We've stocked The Motherly Shop with everything from Halloween must-haves to instant-heirloom gifts kiddos will adore. Whether you're throwing a party or just trying to make the everyday feel a little more special, we've got you covered.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand.

It is these life-changing experiences that have inspired me to draw my everyday life as a stay at home mom. Whether it's the mundane tasks like doing laundry or the exciting moments of James', my baby boy's, first steps, I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked.

Being a stay-at-home-mom can be incredibly lonely. I like to think that by drawing life's simple moments, I can connect with other mothers and help them feel less alone. By doing this, I feel less alone, too. It's a win-win situation and I have been able to connect with many lovely parents and fellow parent-illustrators through my Instagram account.

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