Baked Falafel with Quinoa Taboulleh

Chickpeas are a staple in many vegan diets, mine included. I love everything about falafel except for the fact that it is usually served deep-fried. I found a way to enjoy the falafel experience without the fat and calories of added oil. This falafel is baked, then stuffed in a toasted whole wheat pita with organic veggies and lemony quinoa tabloulleh. Topped off with a drizzle of tahini sauce, it’s perfectly delicious!

Baked Falafel

  • 2 cans chickpeas (15 ounces each), drained and rinsed
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • A large handful of parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pat drained chickpeas with paper towels and place  in food processor. Pulse a few times, then add remaining ingredients. Process until mixture forms into a dough.  Adjust seasonings and add additional flour if dough seems too wet to hold together. Shape dough into eight patties and place on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, turning halfway through. Serve hot on toasted pita with fresh veggies and tahini sauce.

Quinoa Taboulleh

2 1/2 – 3 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup dried), cooled to room temperature or chilled

1 cup small-diced fresh tomato

1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

2 cloves garlic, very finely minced

2-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (more or less, depending on taste)

Salt and pepper, to taste

This is a very simple side that goes well stuffed in a pita with falafel or on its own, drizzled with a little tahini sauce. Enjoy!

Toss together tomato, parsley and garlic with quinoa then dress with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Yield: 8 servings.

Tahini Sauce

  • 1/3 cup tahini paste (sesame seed paste)
  • 1/2 cup water, or more as needed
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch cayenne

Method: Blend all ingredients in a high-speed food processor for best results, or whisk by hand. You may need to add a bit more tahini to reach a creamy consistency. Drizzle liberally over falafel and taboulleh. Serve immediately.

–Tahini sauce recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

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