Falafel

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A few days ago I told you about my pressure cooker experiment success. Chick peas, soaked on the counter in cold water, then just 12 minutes in the pressure cooker. They were cooked perfectly, still held their shape but blended nicely into delicious falafels. If you’ve never had falafels, they are chick pea cakes flavored with cumin and corriander, parsley, and red onion. Traditionally fried, you can make a healthier and just as yummy version by baking them in the oven. Eat them as they are, on top of a bed of lettuce, or stuffed into a whole wheat pita pocket accompanied by lettuce, cucumbers, or other favorite veggies. Falafel are often served with a yogurt-cucumber sauce (tzatziki), but I haven’t found a vegan yogurt recipe that I love yet. (One failed encounter with homemade almond milk yogurt that tasted like the bottom of a dirty shoe kind of scared me off, I’ll conquer that later). Alternatively, you can serve them with tahini sauce–made primarily of sesames. I had good intentions of making my own tahini sauce to put on these falafels but… it just didn’t happen. So rest assured, they are good without sauce, too!

falafel 1

Here are my falafel prior to cooking. Now in the interest of time and domestic harmony, I did fry the majority of the batch. Mistake! They fell apart in the oil. I was assured that they tasted good, but it seemed wasteful, they didn’t look pretty, and yuck my kitchen stunk of burnt gunk in oil.

I saved out some for me that I baked on a parchment lined baking sheet at 350 for about 30 minutes, flipping once. They were great, they held their shape, and they were much healthier I’m sure. Here are those beauties:

falafel 2

And here’s the recipe. I couldn’t find one I liked exactly, though I was inspired by this recipe and followed some of their measurements: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vegan-friendly-falafel/

Here’s my recipe:

Baked Vegan Falafel
1 Cup dried chickpeas, cooked (about 3 cups cooked or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)
1/2 of a red onion, chopped (about 1/2 C)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 C parsley leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon each coriander and cumin
1/2 t ground black pepper
1/2 t salt
1 T whole wheat pastry flour
2 t baking soda
2 T ground flax seed mixed with 6 T warm water

Directions: First mix your flax seed with warm water and set it aside to create your egg replacer (you may not need all of it). Heat oven to 350. Either hand mash (hard) or food process (easy!) your chickpeas until fairly smooth, a few lumps are ok. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Add the flax-egg slowly, stirring until you get a soft dough consistency. I needed about 2/3 of the mixture, but you may need more or less depending on things like humidity and how much moisture is left in your chickpeas. Form into balls 1.5 to 2 inches in size–I used a cookie scoop to keep them even, but you can use your hands.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (if you skip this, they may stick, you’ve been warned). Place the balls on the parchment and push down on them to form patties about 1/2 inch thick. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, flipping after about 20 minutes. If you like them a little more golden or crunchy cook slightly longer, but they are cooked and heated through at 30 minutes.

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