Whenever I ask my husband what he would like for dinner, I can guess with pretty good accuracy that he will ask me to make falafels. Falafels make for a tasty, fresh, satisfying, and colorful meal. It’s a favorite in our home because you can add your favorite toppings and spoonfuls of delicious hummus. Falafels are traditionally served with a gluten-loaded pita. We opt for a brown rice tortilla (Trader Joes makes a decent and inexpensive GF tortilla. Stores well in the freezer) or turn it into a nice, big falafel salad. Traditional falafels are ball-shaped and fried. These falafels are shaped into patties and are more healthy because they are baked.
Store-bought falafel mixes all contain gluten because wheat flour is used to help bind the falafels. This recipe remains gluten-free because it calls for gluten-free bread crumbs. I will just crumble up brown rice bread instead of purchasing GF bread crumbs. They turn out fantastic! The salad recipe alone is amazing and beautiful with all it’s color. Blend up some homemade hummus too! Making your own hummus is very straightforward and simple. Be sure to really whip the tahini (sesame seed paste) and lemon juice until creamy. This will make for a very creamy texture, similar to store bought varieties. Fill GF pita/tortilla with a few falafels, top with salad mixture, and add hummus to top it off. Yumm!
Falafel Patties Recipe:
1 can chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
1 yellow onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, or 1tablespoon dried parsley
2 tablespoons tahini
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup gluten-free plain bread crumbs, or crumble up brown rice bread into small pieces
Preheat oven to 400F. In a food processor, pulse chickpeas until smooth and pasty. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add onions, garlic, parsley, tahini, cumin, coriander, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and baking powder. Slowly add bread crumbs until mixture holds together. Add more or less as needed. Shape into patties.
Place patties on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 10-2 minutes until golden brown on top. Flip and bake another 10-12 minutes until other side is golden brown. Remove from oven and serve hot. Serve with vegetable salad (recipe below) and hummus.
2 tomatoes, quartered, thinly sliced
¼ seedless cucumber, sliced thin
¼ red onion, sliced thin
Handful of pitted kalamata olive
Handful of chopped parsley
6 cups mixed salad greens
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt, to taste
Combine tomatoes through lemon juice in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil and salt.
Salad recipe adapted from Rachel Ray