Monday, March 19, 2012

Falafel

I've posted about falafel before, but as it should be, cooking methods and recipes continually evolve. I used to lightly fry on both sides and then bake, but I realized forming smaller balls allows then to cook evenly with only baking. I really love the stuff; it's quick, light and delicious. This is what I usually do now:

15 oz chick peas, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup  fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp flour
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper to taste

Place chick peas, garlic, onion, cilantro and olive oil in a food processor and process until mostly smooth. Transfer to a bowl and mix in remaining ingredients. Form 12 balls, and flatten slightly before placing on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for an additional 10. They look like cookies. But definitely tastes like falafel!


My friend, Laura, was over one night while I was making these and whipped up some tzatziki. This is how she did it and now I do, too.

1/2 cup cucumbers, peeled and diced very small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup non-fat plain yogurt (I like Greek)
salt

Just mix this all up and serve.

For the tahini sauce:
2 Tbsp tahini paste
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3-4 Tbsp warm water

Mix it up. Add more water to make it thinner.


I like to stuff a whole wheat pita pocket with shredded lettuce, top with tzatziki sauce, pickles, tomatoes and tahini sauce. I got the pickle idea from one of my favorite places to pick up falafel, Raffe's Deli. (They also have a great selection of beer, if you're into that sort of thing).

*Chick peas are low fat and nutritionally dense. They are a great source of protein and iron. Tahini has both Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in it. Along with whole grains from the pita, calcium and protein from the yogurt, and whatever veggies can be stuffed in the pocket this is not only delicious, but a very nutritious little meal.

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