Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Falafel and Tzatziki

As promised, I am posting one of my favourite vegetarian recipes.

Falafel originates from the Middle East. It's made from ground chick peas and is a very popular vegetarian recipe. It's commonly served in a pita with veggies.

This version is healthier than most because the falafel are baked instead of fried. Enjoy!

Baked Falafel

-1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained OR the equivalent in cooked, dry beans
-1 medium onion, finely chopped
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoons flour
-1/3 cup fresh parsley
-2 cloves garlic
-1 egg
-2 teaspoons ground cumin
-1 teaspoon ground coriander or 1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro
-1 dash pepper
-1 pinch cayenne pepper (omit if spice is not your thing)
-1 teaspoon lemon juice
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1-2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)

1.In a large bowl mash chickpeas until thick and pasty; don't use a blender, as the consistency will be too thin. In a blender/food processor, process onion, parsley, cilantro (if using) and garlic until smooth or chop finely with a knife, if you don't own a blender/food processor. Stir into mashed chickpeas.

2.In a small bowl combine egg, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon juice, baking powder and other ingredients. Stir into chickpea mixture along with olive oil. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degress Farenheit. Form the mixture into golf ball or ping-pong sized balls.

3.Oil a baking sheet well with olive oil. Bake 10 minutes, flip CAREFULLY then bake another 10 minutes. Then broil each side for 2 minutes.
Serve falafel by itself, or with hot pita bread with veggies (lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, etc), hummus, or tzaziki sauce.

Tzatziki Sauce

16 oz container plain greek yogurt
2 cucumbers - peeled, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
3 cloves garlic, peeled

1.In a food processor or blender, combine yogurt, cucumber (if you are not sure how to seed, look it up on line-it's really easy), olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, dill and garlic. Process until well-combined. Transfer to a separate dish, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour for best flavour.