April 6, 2014
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Author Notes: Falafels are one of our favorite foods to eat. They're packed with amazing flavors and us vegetarians get a good amount of protein from them. My mom makes the falafel balls from scratch at home but I just bought the frozen kind from Trader Joe's or Costco. The thing that kept me from making them at home was the idea of frying them. I don't like frying things. I've had my own home for almost 4 years now and I have never fried anything in my kitchen. I always seek the alternative. Don't get me wrong, I occasionally indulge in fried food at restaurants (mainly, French Fries and Vegetable Samosas) but I don't like the act of frying, the smell that lingers or, the more obvious reason, the nutrition facts of fried food -- yikes! However, when I saw two fellow bloggers make baked falafels, I was inspired and immediately jumped on the bandwagon and attempted my own version. Here's a mash up of Recipris and Sprouted Kitchen's

Serves: 3

Baked Falafels

  • 2 cups canned garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt (add more or less per your taste)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 pita pockets - cut in half
  • 1 large or 2 small tomatoes - sliced
  • 1 cucumber - sliced
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the ingredients in three steps in the following order: first -> toasted walnuts, second -> parsley + onion + garlic, third -> garbanzo beans + crushed red pepper + salt + baking soda + lemon juice + extra virgin olive oil. Pulse until everything is well incorporated but make sure you don't over do it or the mixture will become too mushy and difficult to work with. [Side note: I made the mistake of putting everything in the food processor at once - mainly for photographing purposes. It was a huge mistake. The ingredients didn't blend too well. I had to pick out the walnuts, chunky onion and garlic pieces and blend them separately. It just ended up taking more time than anticipated.]
  3. Make 2 inch balls using your hands or use a small ice cream scoop and scoop the mixture onto a parchment or aluminum foil lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping them over halfway through.

Tahini-Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup plain non-fat greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 tablespoon tbsp Zahtar or 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • A few turns of black pepper or 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and run the blender until everything is well incorporated. You can choose to whisk all the ingredients by hand if you want.
  2. Cover and refrigerate in a glass jar until you're ready to use it.
  3. Place sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and two falafel balls in a pita pocket. Drizzle with Tahini-Yogurt sauce [recipe below].

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