Falafel Cravings

Sometimes you just need something.

In my case, it was falafel.

So when Brian texted me asking if I wanted to grab dinner, the answer was (obviously) yes and since neither of us had been to Basili’s and both wanted falafel… we set out for a Greek adventure.

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)

Ingredients:

  • 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?

Have you ever made falafel?

Comments

  1. Looks delicious! I love falafal. And… eggplant fries?! Amazing. I may have to attempt making some.

  2. I’ve only had falafel a few times. There’s a place next to my work that everyone raves about, but I am yet to hit it up! My life is clearly lacking.

  3. I’ve never had it but it sounds easy enough!! I will have to look into it !

  4. I have totally been craving falafel–in fact, I already had “make falafel” on my to-do list for the weekend :D Great minds think alike.

  5. I’ve never even had falafel, but it looks crazy delicious!

  6. Adding nutritional yeast is genius. Going to have to add it next time!

  7. I love falafel! It’s been way too log since I’ve had it. I make a sweet potato version with a tahini sauce that it pretty tasty. Love all the nooch in yours!

  8. I LOVE LOVE LOVE falafel! I’ve never seen a recipe for it. This is great! Thank you :)

  9. I have had quite a bit of falafel in my life. Made my own a few times. But I find I start with enthusiasm and then get full so quickly. I like to balance it out with something sweet like a pickle.

  10. Yum. Baked falafel is on my to-cook list. I’ve been a lazy cook all Summer–mostly surviving on salads.

  11. Falafel is one of those things I just cannot duplicate the way they make it in restaurants. I’ve tried.. really I have.

  12. mm i love falafel sounds delicious!

  13. I have only made falafel once a few years ago, love it! not sure why I do not make it more often

  14. I’ve never made falafel but as soon as I saw this, I knew I needed them in my life, even though it’s 7am here now!
    The aubergine fries sound brilliabt; are they batter-coated?

  15. I’ve made falafel before, but I based it on a recipie that was “healthified ” so it was oven baked. I bet the REAL thing is amazing, and I totally need to try it sometime.

  16. I have made falafel once (and a random breakfast version, once, now that I think about it)…they were OK, but I didn’t really care ALL that much to keep working on the recipe. I will say that while I don’t remember much about their flavor, I DO remember Alton Brown’s insistence on some Good Eats episode that falafel has to be made with uncooked (and thus also uncanned) chickpeas. Obviously he was wrong (?)

  17. I’ve never made falafel. Actually I’ve only had it once since becoming a vegetarian 5 years ago. I know, I know – horrible! Although I have everything on hand and can’t wait to try this out!

  18. Falafels are my absolute favorite — LOVE them!

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