Sometimes meatless meals can get a little monotonous in our house. Both my husband and my son can be pretty picky, so very often we resort to mac and cheese or spaghetti. Its not that I don't like these things, but I'm the kind of person who likes to mix it up a bit. Much to my surprise one night I decided to feed my husband felafel and he loved it! He says its one of his favorite things that I make. I still need to work on my son, but my baked felafel helps us when we want to mix up meatless.
Felafel is kind of a chickpea fritter that is usually deep fried, but this baked version I adapted from allrecipes.com turns out great!
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 15oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or equivalent amount of cooked from dried*
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 cloves minced garlic
Cumin and curry powder to taste. My husband usually asks me to add a little cayenne too.
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil
Put the onions, chickpeas, parsley, garlic, baking soda, flour, egg, and seasonings into a food processor.
Turn on the food processor and drizzle in the olive oil. Process until smooth
Form into patties or balls (I personally prefer balls) and let sit for 15 minutes.
note: This recipe makes a very soft felafel that can be difficult to handle when it is still uncooked. If you feel it is too soft feel free to add more flour or even breadcrumbs to help thicken it up.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Put a pan with a little olive oil in it over medium heat and brown the felafel. This will give it a little crunch on the outside.
Put the felafel on a sheet pan and bake for ten minutes.
Serve in pitas or on a salad! Some great accompaniments are lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and plain yogurt.
*How to cook dried chickpeas (this method works for any dried bean)
1.Sort through the beans and remove any debris.
2.Cover the beans with water and soak at least 4 hours. I usually let mine soak overnight.
3.Drain and rinse the beans. Recover them with water, add a little salt and put on the stove on high heat. Sometimes I'll add in a bay leaf here.
4. Let the beans come to a boil. Once they reach a boil, turn the heat down to low and cover. Let the beans cook for 1 hour.
Canned beans are just fine and very convenient, I have used them before. But dried beans are cheaper and you can control things like the amount of salt you use. You just have to plan ahead! Sometimes I'll cook more than I need and keep them in the refrigerator.