I really haven’t been doing a lot of grocery shopping lately unless it’s for staples or I end up at the farmer’s market. Therefore, I’m cooking with a lot less meat than I normally do.  I am always trying to come up with recipes that are vegetable-based but are filling enough to use as a whole dinner.

Falafels are one of my favorite vegetarian meals. They are really delicious and rich in protein from the chick peas. I normally buy my falafels from street vendors or from one of my favorite veg-joints, Maoz, or I just use a box kit from the grocery store. Recently, however, I’ve been interested to find out what exactly goes into a falafel to give it that distinct taste. I did a little research on All Recipes and came up with a great recipe. I used the ingredients from this recipe, but baked instead of fried my patties, which is a delightfully healthy alternative. I also changed a few things and added my own twists and techniques here and there.

Baked  Falafel
1 and 3/4 cup dried chick peas (garbanzo beans)
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 egg
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup dry bread crumbs
oil for frying

Let the chick peas soak in water overnight or up to 24 hours. Drain the chick peas and rinse. Set in a food processor and grind until finely chopped, but not smooth. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Combine the onion, parsley, and garlic in a food processor and chop. Add the pureed mixture to the chick pea mixture in a large bowl and mix together until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the egg, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and baking powder. Mix into the chick pea mixture along with olive oil.  Slowly add the breadcrumbs until the mixture is not sticky but will hold together. Add more or less breadcrumbs as needed.

Form into balls then flatten into patties. Place patties on a nonstick baking sheet.  Bake patties for 10 minutes on each side. Then turn oven to Broil and broil for 2 minutes on each side.

Falafel Patties

Falafel Patties

Cucumber Dill Sauce

1 cup of fat free plain yogurt
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon dill weed (use your judgement)
freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients together and chill until ready to serve.

After your patties are completely baked, stuff them into a pita with cucumbers, tomatoes, and any other vegetables of your choice. Then top with the cucumber dill sauce, tahini sauce, or any suace of your choosing.

Mmmm. Yum.

Mmmm. Yum.

Stu topped his falafel with a home-made Remoulade Sauce, which he found here. Stu firmly believes that Remoulade, which he calls “pink sauce,” can be put on anything and is the sauce of the future. It didn’t taste so bad, but it also didn’t really taste like an authentic falafel. I’ll let you decide. In the meantime, this spicy Remoulade sauce can be made and used to dip fries, shrimp, crackers, etc. in. It can also be put on hoagies, burgers, or your favorite fish. Hmm, maybe it really is the sauce of the future.

Remoulade Falafel

Remoulade Falafel