Healthy Baked Falafel -> Pita, Salad, Veggie Burger

Healthy Baked Falafel Pita Salad Veggie Burger 2

Get ready for a recipe roundup that will blow your socks off!  I’d love to claim these divine creations as my own, but the original recipes were simply too perfect to make any alterations!  However, I have added my own twist to make these recipes even more magical.

First up, healthy baked falafel!  I don’t know about you, but I LOVE falafel.  If you’ve never tried it, you are seriously missing out on a superior mouth-gasm!  Falafel is a Mediterranean / Middle East dish made from mashed chickpeas (similar to hummus) and then deep-fried to a golden, crispy ball of delight.

This baked falafel recipe is quick, easy, and most importantly, healthy!  With no added fats and a clean method of cooking, my mind has been blow!  Let’s thank Tasty Kitchen member janecooks for this awesome inspiration to the following recipes below!

 

Healthy Baked Falafel -> Pita, Salad, Veggie Burger

Serves: 12 (1-inch balls) or 5-6 burger patties
These healthy baked falafel balls can be served 3 ways – in a pita, on a salad, or as a veggie burger! These chickpea burgers are unlike any veggie burger I’ve ever tasted! The traditional veggie burger is bland, soggy, and lacks substance, but these chickpea burgers are flavorful, crispy, and full of life!

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 tablespoons flour (I use unbleached all purpose wheat)
  • 1.5 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (adjust according to taste)
  • Dash black pepper (adjust according to taste)
  • Optional ingredients for pita, salad, and burger (refer to notes)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Put all ingredients in a food processor and process until well blended. Alternatively, you can mash the chickpeas by hand with a potato masher, large spoon, or even the back of a soup ladle. Once mashed, mix in the remaining ingredients. Note that the resulting mixture will be very thick and paste-like.
  3. Form 12 balls (approx. 1 inch in diameter) or 5-6 patties (flattened) and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. I like to line my baking sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray.
  4. Put baking sheet into the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Flip the balls/patties at the 10 minute mark and at the 20 minute mark. Also, at the 20 minute mark reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Once cooked, let balls/patties cool for approx. 10 minutes, as the inside will slightly harden during the cooling process and this is key for veggie burgers.
  5. Serve in a pita, atop a salad, or as a chickpea burger. Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge up to 5 days. Leftovers can be eaten cold or reheated via toaster oven, stove, or microwave. Refer to the notes below for serving suggestions. Recipes for sauces can be found below as well.

Notes

Optional ingredients for pita, salad, and/or chickpea burger: store bought pita / burger bun, lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber, feta and sauces (lemon tahini, tzatziki, hummus – see below). Other traditional ingredients include pickles, beets, cabbage/slaw, and relish. I prefer to omit these and keep to the basics. Also note that Whole Foods sells pitas that are minimally processed and/or gluten-free.

Baked Falafel PitaaBaked Falafel SaladaBaked Falafel Veggie Burger

Lemon Tahini Dressing

Do you know that “authentic” flavor restaurant-style hummus has?  That deeper, slightly heartier, and heavier flavor?  That’s tahini!  Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds and it is the magic ingredient in Mediterranean / Middle Eastern cuisine.

This lemon tahini dressing is a lighter than traditional tahini.  The heaviness of the tahini (similar to homemade almond butter) is cut by the bitterness of the lemon and thinned by the addition of water.  Together, these three ingredients make a wonderful dressing for salads, pitas, burgers, etc.  If you are watching your calories, you can dilute the dressing by adding a little more water and/or lemon juice and it still tastes great!

If you clicked the falafel link above, you probably recognized that there were a few extra ingredients which we didn’t use for the falafel recipe, those were for the lemon tahini dressing!  <– Click the link!

 

Tzatziki Sauce

Ta-zi-ki.  Another Mediterranean / Middle Eastern dish, tzatziki is made from Greek yogurt, cucumbers, garlic and dill!  It’s light, refreshing, and a MUST when making falafel.  I tend to stay away from dairy, but I have been eating this sauce all week!  It’s that tasty (and healthy).  Transform your palate (and plate) with this sauce!   This tzatziki sauce is ultra-refreshing and the PERFECT complement to falafel and tahini. <– Click the link!

Wow – is your mouth watering yet?  Mine is!  You can make ALL of these quick and easy recipes PLUS the Homemade Hummus & Pita Chips in about an hour (with the exception of the chilling time for the tzatziki).  I’d suggest whipping up the tzatziki first and getting that into the fridge.  Then, prepare the falafel balls/patties and get those into the oven.  While the falafel is cooking, prepare the lemon tahini dressing, homemade hummus, and pita chips.  It’s time to go get cooking!

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