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 recipes. —themessimake.com
canned garbanzo beans
cloves of garlic
crushed red pepper
salt (add more or less per your taste)
extra virgin olive oil
pita pockets - cut in half
large or 2 small tomatoes - sliced
cucumber - sliced
plain non-fat greek yogurt
tahini (sesame paste)
tbsp Zahtar or 1 tbsp ground cumin
A few turns of black pepper or 1 tsp crushed red pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
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.]
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.
Bake for 20 minutes, flipping them over halfway through.
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.
Cover and refrigerate in a glass jar until you're ready to use it.
Place sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and two falafel balls in a pita pocket. Drizzle with Tahini-Yogurt sauce [recipe below].