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This is a recipe that I have been holding on to for a while now. As I was cleaning out my food photo album, I came across the mouth-watering photo for these baked falafels. My husband and I fell in love with Mediterranean food upon arriving in Cleveland, Ohio. Sounds strange, I know, but there is a large population of Middle Easterners in our tiny metropolitan area. We found this wonderful restaurant chain headquartered in Lakewood, Ohio; we were instantly hooked to their vegan options.

When I came across this recipe for healthy baked falafels, I couldn’t help myself but soaking some chickpeas and lentils to test them out. Traditional falafels are deep-fried, which is of course leaves a wonderful taste every once and a while but isn’t reasonable all the time health wise. Thankfully the ingredients are fresh and healthy so they can be baked with the end-result being just as tasty. I found this simple recipe at Vegan Chickie’s website. The writer, a procrastinator like me, is an Australian that lives in New Zealand and has a unique eye and taste for various types of foods that I highly suggest you check out for yourself.

This recipe is a great alternative for deep-fried falafels when you want the flavor but not the high fat and calories. Give it a try, it’s a great option! Here’s the original recipe:

1 cup canned chick peas
1 cup canned lentils
1 medium leek finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh coriander (cilantro)
1/2 tbs cumin
1/2 tbs dried chili flakes
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbs water
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. In a blender combine the chick peas, lentils, leek, garlic, parsley, coriander, cumin, chili flakes, breadcrumbs and water. Blend until combined – the results will be a thick paste. Mixture needs to be solid enough to form a ball; you may need to add more water or breadcrumbs to get the perfect consistency.

2. Roll the mixture into 12 balls and place on an oven tray, bake for 40 minutes, turning the balls over after 20 minutes.

Note: The original recipe writer suggested placing the tiny balls into small mini muffins tins to bake and create a uniform shape. I tried this and amazingly it did work. I did have some problems with the balls falling out of the tins even though I did have a nonstick pan an lightly sprayed each hole. I would suggest using a silicon liner or muffin liners.

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