Falafel. It is an interesting food to be sure, and to be honest a food I have only enjoyed a few times in my life. As I was sitting around wondering what to make for lunch (a frequent thought process) this idea came to mind.
I wanted something healthy but hearty. It also had to be a meal put together with items from the pantry and fridge. I wasn’t about to run out to the store just to make something for lunch. So, the non-traditional falafel was born. I have to admit, the flavors are complex and a little interesting, but overall I really enjoyed my creation and was excited I had enough for lunch the following day.
-1-16 ounce can of chickpeas
-1 tsp lemon juice
-1/2 tsp each of coriander, cracked peppercorn (ground fine) cumin and salt
-2-3 leaves torn basil
-1-2 Tbsp olive oil
– 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (a little more or less depending on texture)
1. Open a can of chickpeas, drain and rinse.
2. Pour chickpeas into food processor and pulse a few times to break up.
3. Add the lemon juice, seasonings, basil and breadcrumbs to food processor and pulse a few more times.
4. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while pulsing. You want the mixture to still be slightly course not a paste. Check consistency and add more or less olive oil or breadcrumbs. If over processed the mixture will mimic hummus which while tasty isn’t what we are looking for.
5. Heat oven or toaster oven to 375F.
6. Form chickpea mixture into falafel balls about 1.5 inches in diameter. I was able to make 12 falafels out of this recipe.
7. Spray cooking sheet and falafels lightly with a baking oil/spray.
8. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. You will want to flip halfway through. They should be golden brown when done.
Note: I decided to bake mine on the side of healthy conscious. The texture is more dry and crumbly. You can also decide to fry which will provide a more cohesive texture.
Now the fun begins. You can choose to eat the falafel alone, with roasted veggies or my favorite inside a pita. I used eggplant, sweet potato, red bell peppers, onions and mushrooms inside of mine. I tossed the veggies with olive oil, salt, rosemary and lemon juice and then roasted in the oven until done, about 20-30 minutes depending on how thin you’ve sliced your veggies. Inside I added some fresh butter lettuce, spinach and a spread made from sour cream, honey and tahini. You can add whatever you like. The falafel is pretty versatile and will meld with multiple flavors so get creative.
As always eat healthy stay fit,