Vegan | Gluten-free
by Jenna Garcia
My husband recently returned from a 2-week trip to Israel. In addition to the incredible experience and visiting many ancient sites, he got to eat lots of fresh Mediterranean food. (Yum!) Although he enjoyed shawarma (meat-filled pita bread) and other meat-based meals, his favorite Israeli meal was falafels served in freshly baked pita bread. Coming from the carnivore who dreams of burgers and steak, I was shocked to hear that his preferred meal in Israel was a veggie friendly dish. I can only hope that this is evidence of my healthy cooking rubbing off on him...
Naturally, I had to try my hand at homemade falafels. Crispy and satisfying, full of healthy protein (garbanzo beans) and fresh herbs, falafels are a wonderful staple to any vegan meal. You can stuff them in pita bread for a traditional classic, serve them with salad, enjoy them in a vegan sandwich, or eat them on their own drizzled with tahini dressing. Easy and inexpensive to make, falafels are a filling plant-based meal that can be enjoyed by everyone. Just ask my hubby.
Give this recipe a try and share with some friends. Bon appétit!
Falafels with Tahini Dressing | * Adapted from Just a Taste recipe
- 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 cup lightly packed fresh parsley
- 1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro
- 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans*
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ½ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour**
- Grapeseed oil, for sauteeing
* You can cook your own beans from dried garbanzo beans or use drained canned beans.
** I used this gluten-free flour mix for this recipe and it worked great. If you are not sensitive to gluten, feel free to use all-purpose flour.
- Add onion, garlic, cilantro and parsley to food processor and pulse until minced.
- Add garbanzo beans, salt, chili powder, cumin and coriander, and pulse until roughly blended. Add flour and pulse until blended. (The consistency should still be a little rough, not pureed.)
- Transfer mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Dough can last in the fridge for up to a week.)
- Remove falafel dough from the refrigerator and form into balls that are about 2 inches in diameter. Lightly press each ball so it forms a small patty.
- Preheat saute pan over medium heat. After about 3 minutes, add enough grapeseed oil to cover ½ inch of the bottom of pan. Heat until oil is hot and sizzles when you flick a little water in it.
- Working in batches, add patties to pan. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until golden. (If it is browning too quickly, turn the heat down.)
- Remove falafels from pan onto paper towel-lined plate. Salt the falafels right away and serve with tahini dressing. Falafels can be served on top of a salad, in a pita bread or on their own. Enjoy!
- ½ cup raw tahini
- ½ cup water
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon liquid aminos*
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or other natural sweetener
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- Salt, to taste
* Can substitute 1½ teaspoons soy sauce instead (note that most soy sauces are not gluten-free)
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
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