Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Healthy Felafel

Felafel is the Jekyll and Hyde of foods - healthy and unhealthy all at the same time.  A wonderful vegetarian option filled with chickpeas, garlic, cumin...then  it's fried! 

I do order it from time to time because I love it, but I have never made it at home because I usually don't make fried foods in my own kitchen.

When the recipe for baked felafel caught my eye, I decided why not!  If it is good, I can make it frequently without the guilt.

I'm not sure if I did something wrong, or if they are supposed to be dry and crumbly.  Look at the picture below and you will see what I am talking about.  It was almost impossible to keep it in one piece lifting it off of the baking dish.

The original recipe suggested serving it as a sandwich.  I have trouble seeing that working with the texture.  On a salad it works - almost like croutons.   Romaine, pear tomatoes, cucumbers, crumbled feta and a light dressing of olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon, salt and pepper.  A great base for these chickpeas.

Baked Felafel (Adapted from Ellie Krieger)

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup parsley leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine all felafel ingredients except 1 tablespoon olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 10 seconds. Stop motor and scrape down sides of bowl, then pulse for another 10 seconds, until all ingredients are well incorporated but mixture is still slightly coarse and grainy. Form mixture into 16 felafel balls and brush with remaining tablespoon olive oil. Bake on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes, flip felafel balls and bake an additional 20 minutes, until felafel balls are crisp and browned.

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