Baked Falafel!

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I love falafel. But I don’t love the heavy, bloated feeling of having eaten a lot of fried food. Solution? Baked falafel! My boyfriend and I modified a recipe from The Picky Eater. It was easy and a good template, though I think in future I’ll make some modifications. But first, the recipe:

The Ingredients – Falafel

  • Whole-wheat pitas
  • One 15-oz. can chickpeas, well drained
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • Pam/nonstick spray
  • Spinach (toppings – not to be included in the falafel mixture)
  • Diced tomatoes (toppings – not to be included in the falafel mixture)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place all ingredients for falafel (except for the pitas, baking powder, and nonstick spray) in a food processor, and give them a good chop.
  • Transfer into a bowl, add the baking powder and stir together.
  • Spray a baking sheet thoroughly with nonstick spray. One at a time, take spoonfuls of mixture in your hands and form 15 balls, each about the size of a ping pong ball, and place them on the baking sheet.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • While your falafel patties are baking, chop your veggies and warm up your pita bread over the gas stove.
  • Remove baking sheet from the oven, and carefully turn each ball over, gently reshaping if the bottoms have flattened.
  • Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes, until golden brown and slightly crispy.
  • Cut the whole pitas into halves, fill with spinach, falafel balls, diced tomato, and diced tomato.
  • Nom.

My partner’s not a big fan of sauce, so we just spread hummus on our pita instead. We used roasted red chili hummus because we like our food a little spicy, but I’m sure anything would be delicious. Picky Eater recommends getting hummus and watering it down a little, if you want a sauce.

If I do this again I’ll cut way down on the parsley and lemon, as I found those flavors too aggressive. In essence this is a simple recipe though – just blend, bake, and assemble. Be warned that the falafel tend to flatten out, though. Ours were somewhat flattened and became much moreso upon baking, though this ended up working well for stuffing into the pita.

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