I don’t eat fried food that often, but when I do, falafel is something I like to go for. I thought this recipe for baked falafel in “Clean Eating” magazine looked like a good, healthy alternative to try (as usual, I changed the recipe a little). Start making this one ahead of time, since the falafel mixture is supposed to be refrigerated for a couple hours.
2 cups of chickpeas, rinsed and drain (this was one can of chick peas)
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 tbsp. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, divided
5 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1.5 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp. baking powder
4 tbsp. whole-wheat flour
Olive oil cooking spray
For Tahini Sauce:
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt (I used a 6 oz. container)
3 tbsp. tahini paste
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. each of sea salt and ground black pepper
Whole-wheat pita bread, and chopped tomato and cucumber as garnish
(4 servings, with each serving being 3 falafel balls and 3 tbsp. of tahini sauce)
Place the chickpeas, onion, garlic, 3 tbsp. each of parsley and cilantro, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and cayenne in a food processor, and pulse mixture together (I really need to get a bigger food processer, since I wasn’t quite able to fit everything in my Mini Prep). Add baking powder and flour and pulse until those ingredients blend in.
Transfer mixture into a bowl and refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Then scoop out chickpea mixture and form it into balls. The original recipe said that you could add up to 2 tablespoons of additional flour, but I didn’t need to. Though I did sprinkle a little more cumin and cayenne pepper into the mixture because I like the spices. Place falafel balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and lightly spray with cooking spray. Bake for 15-18 minutes, turning once and re-spraying with cooking spray.
While the falafel are baking, make the tahini sauce by whisking all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
I would recommend following the baking time for the falafel- I let mine bake a little longer to get the outsides more crispy, but then they weren’t as fluffy in the center as I think they would have been otherwise. They were still very yummy, though! I also think they would taste good with more parsley and cilantro blended in (I’ve eaten falafel that’s more green in color).
Serve with a piece of pita bread, chopped tomatoes and cucumber, and sprinkle with remaining parsley and cilantro (I made pita pockets out of mine).