Sometimes you just need something.
In my case, it was falafel.
Eating dinner with other bloggers is awesome, because taking 60 pictures of your dinner before eating is considered normal. (Although I have to admit, my friends are pretty understanding now.)
Maybe I had low expectations, but I thought the food was surprisingly delicious. The falafel was crispy and spicy, which I loved. The eggplant fries were totally amazing in that I-didn’t-know-you-could-make-a-vegetable-so-unhealthy kind of way. I’m definitely going to have to figure out how to make these at home (and hopefully health-ify them…).
However, since having that falafel, I still wasn’t able to get it off my mind. In the interest of saving a few bucks, and probably a few
hundred thousand calories, I decided to try my hand at making my own. I’d tried making falafel once before and it was an epic fail, but I figured I could chalk that up as a learning experience, and attempt it again.
I wanted my falafel to be something that would actually curb my hunger, so I gave it a protein boost, thanks to the nutritional yeast. Don’t let nutritional yeast intimidate you, that stuff is amazing.
Protein Packed Falafel
Makes 3 servings (about 5 pieces per serving)
- 1 16 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 1 lemon
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast* (see note below)
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/4 tsp parsley
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Pinch of black pepper
*Not sure what nutritional yeast is? Check out this post. You can usually find it in the natural food section at the grocery store, and sometimes in the bulk bins! It has a cheesy flavor, and is packed with protein! If you absolutely refuse to try it, you can just substitute more breadcrumbs instead.
Mash the chickpeas with a potato masher, until they’re squiashed, but still lumpy. (How’s that for culinary terminology?) In a small food processor, toss in 3 garlic cloves and mince. Squeeze in the juice from 1 lemon and blend. Add the garlic and lemon juice into the chickpea mixture. Stir in the egg, nutritional yeast, breadcrumbs, and spices. Shape into small balls (about 3 tbps of the mixture for each one) and cook in a skillet over medium heat. I just sprayed the pan with olive oil, rather than really “frying” them. You could add more oil if you want truly fried falafel, but I was trying to keep it healthy. Spraying the pan with olive oil kept it from sticking to the pan, but still left me with light falafel. It made about 15 small pieces.
Each servings (about 5 pieces) has ~ 300 calories, 16g protein and 10g fiber! For the full nutritional facts, click here!
I had mine on a bed of greens with some greek yogurt + lemon juice on the side. I’m sure this would also be delicious stuffed inside a pita with a little tzatziki… hmm… next time perhaps?