Vegan Falafels with Tahini Dressing

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!

Foodie Blog

Falafels with Tahini Dressing | * Adapted from Just a Taste recipe

Falafels

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 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.

Instructions:

  1. Add onion, garlic, cilantro and parsley to food processor and pulse until minced.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.)
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.)
  7. 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!

Tahini Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

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Jenna Garcia

In addition to Trendeing, Jenna is a program director at a non-profit that works to end the cycle of homelessness and trauma for adults and children. She lives in Sonoma County with her husband and Border Collie and is passionate about helping others find their dignity and voice and promoting open dialog about issues facing our world today.