Meatless Monday: Falafel

Falafel. Say that three times fast (just make sure you’re alone when you do).

Remember when I told you about my love for Greek food?

Well I am pleased to present you with one of my most favorite meals ever—falafel!

What?! You’ve never had falafel?!? Obviously you didn’t attend SDSU and have Daphne’s or Greek Odyssey with your meal card everyday for lunch during your freshman year of college. Psh.

I like to call falafel “fried hummus.” I’d say it’s a pretty accurate description. If you like hummus, you’ll love falafel. If you hate hummus, you’ll still love falafel.

This stuff is ridiculously easy to make and super satisfying. One or two of them and you’re full. The chickpeas provide protein, so eat up!

I’d make these and put them in a pita with some tzatziki (recipe below), tomatoes, lettuce and feta. You’ve got a hearty meal that’s meatless and tasty—all within about 30 minutes. Eat your heart out, Rachael Ray.

Whirl it up

  • 2 cans chickpeas (15 oz), drained
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. garlic pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • EVOO for frying

Falafel It

  1. Blend garbanzo beans, 3 Tbsp. flour, garlic pepper, cilantro and garlic cloves in a food processor until almost smooth.
    Baby brains, as the girl I nannied for use to call them
    MSG Free!

  2. Add egg and onion and blend, using on/off turns, until onion is finely chopped.
  3. Transfer mixture to bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Shape mixture into four 1/2-inch-thick patties.
  4. Turn patties in remaining 1/2 cup flour to coat on both sides.
  5. Pour enough oil into heavy large skillet to coat bottom; heat over medium-high heat.

    Fryin' the Falafel
  6. Add patties and cook until crisp and golden, about 8 minutes per side.

*Note: If consistency of chickpea “dough” is too goopy to make patties, add some cornmeal or more flour to the mixture until you can easily form patties.

That’s it! Easy and so, so tasty. Here’s a quick tzatziki recipe to dip these guys in or to spread on a pita for a sandwich. Enjoy being Greek for a day.

Cilantro Tzatziki

  1. Whisk 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup onion, 1 garlic clove, 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne in medium bowl to blend.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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