Recipes

Falafel Pitas

One of my absolute favorite things to eat is a falafel pita. Crunchy balls of crispy falafel, topped with cool, crisp veggies, all dressed up with fresh & creamy tzatziki. There are a lot of really great places to get one, but I love trying to make my favorite foods at home. I’ve bought the frozen falafel from Trader Joe’s before & I love them, but I wanted to try making them from scratch! There are two types of falafel, the traditional style which are fried, or a healthier option, which are baked.

Initially I wanted to fry my falafel because nothing beats that crunch you get when frying them. At first, I made my falafel into patty shapes to shallow fry them because I am not a fan of deep frying, it’s just way to much of a mess.  but after the first attempt, I realized this was not going to work. Maybe I had the oil at the wrong temp, or didn’t cook them long enough. Either way, they did not come out as planned!

That’s the fun part of cooking at home, you get to try new things & adapt to what works best for you & yields the best result. So I quickly realized frying the falafel was not working & decided to bake them instead. Spoiler alert, they were still delicious!

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The first step to delicious homemade falafel? Make tzatziki from scratch. It’s really easy to throw together using very common ingredients (many of which you probably already have) & really elevates this dish. Tzatziki is a yogurt based sauce that goes great with falafel, chicken, gyros & basically anything else. You won’t have any trouble getting through the leftovers & it keeps great in the fridge. Start by scooping the yogurt into a bowl. Then add in the cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Stir to combine & let it rest in the fridge. The longer it sets, the more delicious it will be! I let mine sit for the amount of time it took to get dinner on the table & it was great. If you have the time to assemble it earlier in the day, by all means, go for it!

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Falafel time! This mix comes together insanely easily using a food processor. Start by combining the chickpeas, parsley, cilantro & mint. Pulse until it begins to come together.

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Next comes the flavor! To the chickpeas, add paprika, coriander, cumin, garlic & baking soda. Mix on high until all ingredients are combined. Add salt & pepper to taste.

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Spoon mixture into a bowl & let it rest for 20-30 minutes before forming. While the mix is resting, prepare the rest of the ingredients for your pitas. I like to top mine with lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onion & cucumber. I chopped up all my veggies & set them aside so they’re ready to use when the falafel come out of the oven.

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To bake the falafel, form them into small balls & place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bruch the tops with olive oil & bake the falafel in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, until the outside becomes crisp & the inside is still tender.

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When the falafel come out of the oven let them rest for a few minutes while you heat your pitas & gather your toppings.

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Dress up your pitas to your liking & boom! Not too difficult right?

Falafel Pitas

Prep time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 85 minutes
Servings: 20-23 falafel (depending on the size)

Ingredients: 

Tzatziki-

  • 1 1/2 cups greek yogurt
  • 1 cup grated cucumber, drained of all liquid
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Falafel-

  • 2 cans of chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • oil, for brushing onto falafel

For serving-

  • pita bread
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • pickles
  • red onion
  • cucumber

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Start by scooping the yogurt into a bowl. Then add in the cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Stir to combine & let it rest in the fridge.
  3. In a food processor, start by combining the chickpeas, parsley, cilantro & mint. Pulse until it begins to come together.
  4. To the chickpeas, add paprika, coriander, cumin, garlic & baking soda. Mix on high until all ingredients are combined. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Spoon mixture into a bowl & let it rest for 20-30 minutes before forming. While the mix is resting, prepare the rest of the ingredients for your pitas.
  6. To bake the falafel, form them into small balls & place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bruch the tops with olive oil & bake the falafel for about 30 minutes, until the outside becomes crisp & the inside is still tender.
  7. When the falafel come out of the oven let them rest for a few minutes while you heat your pitas & gather your toppings.
  8. Dress up your pitas to your liking & boom!
Recipes

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

When it comes to meatless Monday, I focus a lot on dinner recipes because most of the meals I cook are dinners. I like to mix things up from time to time so this week’s meatless Monday recipe is a lunch recipe. I also like to appeal to all types of diets so it’s important to incorporate vegetarian meals for every time of day!

This sandwich is quick & easy to throw together. The chickpea salad can be made in advance which makes it great for taking to work or school. This sandwich is completely customizable so you can top it with whatever veggies you have on hand!

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Start by gathering all your ingredients. Drain one can of chickpeas & put them into a shallow bowl.

Using a potato masher or fork, smash the chickpeas until they’re about 75% mashed, leaving a few still whole. Remove any large clumps of the chickpea skin that comes off while smashing the beans. Next add the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt & pepper. Stir to combine. Then add the mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon at a time until the salad reaches a consistency you like. I used 2 tablespoons.

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While making the salad, toast your bread. Then prep your veggies. I used mixed greens, sliced tomatoes, micro greens & avocado.

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Top your bread with the chickpea salad & veggies. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 15oz can Chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • Bread of choice
  • Veggies of choice

Instructions:

  1. Drain one can of chickpeas & put them into a shallow bowl.
  2. Using a potato masher or fork, smash the chickpeas until they’re about 75% mashed, leaving a few still whole. Remove any large clumps of the chickpea skin that comes off while smashing the beans.
  3. Add the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt & pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon at a time until the salad reaches a consistency you like. I used 2 tablespoons.
  5. While making the salad, toast your bread & prep your veggies. I used mixed greens, sliced tomatoes, micro greens & avocado.
  6. Top your bread with the chickpea salad & veggies.
  7. Enjoy!