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When I was writing my book, Chickpea Flour Does It All, I wanted to include a variety of recipes for kitchen staples that would make weeknight dinners more practical—so that regardless of the time of year, you could always have a go-to meal.
In my own life, I generally make a few go-to staples on Sunday of every week—it makes dinners and Not Sad Desk Lunches much easier to put together.
Take falafel, for instance. Falafel is the perfect compact meal: full of protein, tons of flavor, and, most importantly, can be repurposed into a variety of meals throughout the week. Typically, falafel are made with chickpeas, but this recipe uses toasted, nutty chickpea flour with mung beans and quinoa to form its base instead.
I like starting the week with a simple falafel plate served with an easy blender romesco sauce and a light salad. And the falafel recipe provides plenty of leftovers for things like falafel tacos, falafel and slaw sliders, falafel toast with fried eggs, and chopped falafel salad.
On Sunday, or at the beginning of the week, start by making:
- 1 batch of quinoa and chickpea flour falafel (or your other favorite falafel recipe)
- 1 batch of romesco sauce
- A basic vinaigrette
Quinoa and Chickpea Flour Falafel with Romesco Sauce
For the romesco sauce:
- 2 bell peppers
- 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed
- 1 tablespoon tahini paste
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
For the falafel:
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup whole mung beans
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal
- 1/2 cup parsley, plus extra for serving
- 1/4 cup chickpea flour, toasted*
- 1 shallot, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons sea sat
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
At the store, stock up on:
- Salad greens
- Tahini (or make your own!)
- Hearty rolls or buns
- Greek or dairy-free yogurt
- Prepared or homemade slaw
- Bread for toast
- Cucumbers, herbs, red onion, and other salad ingredients
Once you've done that, putting it all together is easy:
1) Falafel tacos
Top warm tortillas with salad greens, falafel, a simple avocado and radish salad, and some chopped cilantro. Then douse the whole thing with tahini sauce.
2) Falafel and slaw sliders
To 1/4 cup of unsweetened Greek or non-dairy yogurt, add 1 tablespoon of the romesco sauce and stir to combine. Spread a good amount of the romesco yogurt on each side of toasted rolls or hamburger buns. Add two or three warm falafel and top with slaw.
3) Falafel toast
Heat a couple of falafel in the oven, then mash onto toast. Top with greens, a fried egg, za’atar, and salt. This is also a good time to use up any extra avocado you may have.
4) Falafel salad
Toss chopped cucumbers, herbs, red onion, leftover radishes or other vegetables with salad greens, then top with some crumbled or cubed falafel. Add a tablespoon or so of leftover tahini sauce to your basic vinaigrette for a creamier dressing.