Firstly, please excuse the picture. It’s not my best. My husband and I had a ball game that night and I was in a bit of a rush. I didn’t want a bad picture preventing me from posting a delicious recipe, so I’ve decided to go ahead, unflattering picture and all.
After making a delicious chocolate tart last week and then eating far too much of it, I’ve decided to try and eat a bit healthier this week. Actually, I’m usually a pretty healthy eater throughout the week, it’s the weekend that I struggle with. We seem to be on the go a lot or just in the mood for over indulging. Come Monday I always feel like healthier fare. Keeping that in mind, I decided to start this week off with home made falafel and tzatziki sauce, served along with a salad. If you’ve never or had falafel before, they’re definitely worth trying. They’re full of flavour and loaded with nutrition, plus, “falafel” is just a really fun word to say. Or maybe that’s just me 🙂
Falafel are a traditional middle eastern food, though where they originated in the middle east is still debated. Made from mashed chickpeas (or fava beans in Egypt), the mixture is formed into a ball or patty and then served in a pita. They can also be served by themselves as an appetizer, which is my preferred way of eating them. While you can find these little gems pre-made at the grocery store, I prefer to make them myself. Mostly because I’m a pretty big fan of knowing what exactly is in my food. Even though the ingredient list for this recipe is long, it comes together quite quickly.
I served the falafel with tzatziki because I love how it’s tangyness (I don’t think that’s a word, but you know what I mean) off sets the savoury flavour of the falafel. Enjoy!
398 mL chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 Cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 Cup carrot, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 Cup mint, chopped
1/4 Cup italian flat leaf parsely, chopped
1 lemon, juice only
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground cardammom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne
salt and pepper
2 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil
Remove the skins from the chickpeas and then mash them in a bowl using a potato masher. You could also use a food processor. I just find that by the time I assemble mine, I could have already mashed the chickpeas by hand. Stir in the remaining ingredients until well combined. Roll the mixture into 2″ balls. Heat the vegetable or coconut oil in a frying pan. A few at a time, add the falafel to the pan and cook until golden on all sides and heated through.
*Another option for cooking the falafel is to place them in the oven at 400 degrees Farenheit for 15-20 minutes.
3/4 Cup full fat plain greek yogurt
1/4 Cup cucumber, grated
2 tbsp mint, chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, minced
Stir all the ingredients together until well combined. Store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, until ready to serve.