There’s something tantalizing about the fragrant aroma of middle eastern cuisine. While falafel in and of itself is a meat free option on the menus of most kabab houses, the remaining items are rather meat centric. Inspired by The Coup’s falafel quesadilla, this meal is a wonderful way to pack the punch and get all the flavor while skipping the animal products.
This recipe is a little involved if you’re making everything from scratch, but you can easily opt for canned chick peas and pre-shredded veggies to make this a quick weeknight option. In addition, the “build it yourself”nature of this dish is great for gathering around the table with friends and family. With the versatility of these falafel patties, you can use them to add calories, fiber and protein to a host of other mains- you can check out a few adaptations below. Best of all, these aren’t deep fried!
For the patties:
1 cup of cooked chickpeas
6 cloves of garlic
2 cups of roughly chopped parsley
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 ½ teaspoons of cumin powder – grind fresh in a coffee grinder for extra flavor!
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon cayenne powder
¾ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
A few good shakes of black pepper
4-5 tablespoons of Panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons of olive or avocado oil (optional).
1. You can use canned chickpeas here, I myself prefer to soak a cup in cold water with a pinch of baking soda overnight and cook until tender in a pressure cooker, about 20 minutes on medium-high heat. If you’re new to using pressure cookers, you can read more about how to cook with them here. Compared to canned chickpeas, this process removes more sugars and starches form the chickpeas making them more easily digestible while allowing for more control over your salt intake. By doing this you also avoid ingesting trace amounts of chemicals from potentially leaching into your food. Purchasing dried chickpeas over canned is also more cost effective, but canned beans are a great alternative and still provide ample nutrition that this boss food group has to offer, so don’t decide against cooking with them for that reason!
2. Using a food processor, combine and pulse parsley, lemon juice, spices and chickpeas until you have a batter like consistency, keeping it a little coarse for ease of preparation. If the consistency is too think to blend well add 1-2 teaspoons of water.
3. After mixing, combine Panko bread crumbs and oil of choice with the chickpea batter.
4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
5. Roll about a golf ball sized amount of the mix in your hands, lightly flattening until they look something like chunky chocolate-chip cookies and place on parchment paper. Lightly drizzle about another tablespoon of oil on top of your falafel patties (optional) and cook for 15 mins on each side. Let cool for 5 minutes after you’ve finished baking them.
For the toppings:
Sliced garlic dill pickles
Finely sliced purple cabbage
Sliced red onion
Feel free to be creative here, anything goes.
For the wrap portion, I used Balady’s bakery 100% whole wheat pita wrap, rather than a tortilla due to its simplistic ingredients and above average carbohydrates to fiber ratio. You can read more on how to check for this and why it’s important in this post:How to find 100% whole grain products at the grocery store? .
You can make this lighter fare and gluten free by substituting the pita for leaves of crisp romaine lettuce – perfect for summer time!- and oat (or probably coconut) flour for the Panko breadcrumbs. Great accompaniments to this dish are tangy tabouli and quinoa salad and crispy rosemary potatoes.
Other ways to use falafel patties:
• Top your Greek salad or tabouli with a few patties to make it a satisfying meal.
• On a hot bed of saffron rice served with tahini and a squeeze of lemon and grilled tomatoes.
• These make great finger foods at a party, a little smaller and a little crispier served with your favourite hot sauce.
• Add to your version of a whole/glory bowl
You can keep these puppies in the freezer uncooked and whip them out in a time crunch to toss into just about anything.