Baked falafel with lemon-garlic tahini sauce

Falafel

There is a Lebanese restaurant in town that makes the best falafel. They’re crispy crunchy on the outside and cakelike and tender inside. They’re also deep fried. Oh oh!

These falafel are lightened up by baking them and they’re quick and easy to make. The hardest part will be waiting for them to finish baking.

I love these falafel drizzled with a garlicky lemon tahini dressing and served on a bed of greens with tomatoes and avocado. Cucumber, onion and olives are other great, traditional additions. Falafel are often served inside pita bread too.

You’ll need a food processor for this recipe .

Ingredients for the falafel

1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (one 15 oz can drained and rinsed)

2 cloves garlic

½ onion chopped roughly (it’s going in a food processor)

1 tsp cumin

1-2 tsp coriander (depending on your taste)

1/4 tsp cayenne or a few drops of hot sauce

¼ tsp smoky paprika (optional – I just love the taste it adds)

¼ cup fresh parsley

½ tsp ground pepper

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp lemon juice (about ¼ of a lemon)

1 Tbsp regular or chickpea flour (optional but helps to keep the dough thick and dry)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Preheat your oven to 375F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

Put all your ingredients in a food processor and pulse together until you have a thick dough. You may need to scrape down the sides occasionally to get everything incorporated and you may need to add a bit of water to get everything to bind together, but you do not want an overly wet dough and it’s okay to have some lumps and bumps in your dough too (I call this aesthetic “authentic”, “homemade” and even “rustic”.).

Take about 2 tablespoons of dough in your hand and roll it into a ball. Place on the cookie sheet. You can press the ball a bit flat to make a patty or you can mark with a fork as I have done here (similar to what one does making gnocchi). The patty shape is great if you’re going to eat the falafel inside a pita.

Bake for 15 minutes then turn the balls/patties over and bake for another 10 minutes. They should have a nice golden outside and tender, moist inside.

Ingredients for the lemon-garlic tahini sauce

1/3 cup hot water

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 clove garlic minced

1 Tbsp maple syrup

Juice of half a lemon

¼ cup tahini

Directions

Mix everything together in a small glass or bowl. Whisk until well blended and spoon over the falafel.

 

Chickpea mini muffins with lemon tahini sauce

ChickpeaMuffins

These little cuties are savoury and satisfying. I love them served on a bed of millet with lemon tahini sauce and a big side salad.

The original recipe is from Esther’s Kitchen (Esther being the Wonder Pig). I have made a few alterations and embellishments to the original recipe to amp up the flavour because that’s how I like it. Feel free to leave out any of the seasonings –the herbs, garlic, shallot/green onion or salt as you prefer…. But why? Why?

You can eat these muffins hot or cold, they’re portable so they make a great snack or breakfast on the go, and they’re easy and affordable. What’s not to love?

Ingredients for the muffins

Makes 12 mini muffins

2 cups of chickpea flour – also called besan or gram flour

2 cloves garlic minced

2 shallots diced OR 3 green onions chopped

1 Tbsp fresh parsley chopped

1 Tbsp fresh dill chopped

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking powder

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 cup water

Directions

Heat the oven to 400F. Grease a mini muffin tin.

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until everything is incorporated and moist. Spoon into the muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes. The muffins should be golden on top when they’re done.

Ingredients for the lemon tahini sauce

1/3 cup hot water

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 Tbsp maple syrup

Juice of ½ lemon

¼ cup tahini

Directions

Mix everything together in a small glass or bowl. Whisk until well blended and spoon over the muffins.

 

Lemon-garlic soup with lentils and rice

LemonGarlicSoup

Are you feeling a little less than spectacular after a holiday season of indulgences? Here’s the perfect bowl to perk you up. The garlic, lemon, turmeric and parsley are all ready to give you a detox and boost your immune system. This is also a bright, refreshing soup full of great flavour and textures, and you can whip it up in just 30 minutes. Mmmmm.

Ingredients

4-6 cups vegetable broth

The juice from 2-3 lemons (about ½ cup juice)

1 tsp grated lemon rind

1 tsp turmeric

4-5 cloves garlic. Mince half the cloves and slice the other half.

1 bay leaf

1 piece star anise (optional, but I love the tang it gives)

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (see TIP below)

1 cup cooked lentils. II used ½ cup dried beluga lentils (also called black lentils) because they taste great and cook in 15 minutes.

1 cup cooked brown rice (about ½ cup before it’s cooked)

2 carrots sliced

salt to taste (You probably will need none, but depends on your broth.)

Directions

Put all the ingredients except the rice, lentils and parsley in a pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer for about 10 minutes so the carrots cook. Remove the bay leaf and the star anise. Add the lentils, rice and parsley. Heat through and serve. Enjoy!

TIP: You can freeze your fresh parsley to use in cooking. Make sure it’s clean and dry and place the whole bunch in a zippered freezer bag. When you need fresh parsley for a recipe, simply break off however much you need and crumble it into your dish. No chopping required. Frozen parsley will lose some of its brightness and firmness so I don’t recommend using frozen parsley for garnishes or in dishes such as tabouli.