The Best Chickpea Falafel Patties

The Best Chickpea Falafel Patties

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Truth – falafel is one of my all time favorite foods, it’s right up there with pizza & burritos. Falafel is a vegan & gluten-free crowd pleaser making it an easy choice for this healthy, plant-eating girl. So I obviously have my own version of falafels that’s quick & simple to make at home, and, not to mention, totally delicious & addictive.

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To make my falafel patties, I blend soaked chickpeas with onion, garlic, cumin, parsley, paprika, salt & olive oil. No gluten, no eggs, no dairy. AMAZING! I pan fry them to get some good color on the outside and then finish them up in the oven for a no-fuss, no-vat-of-oil-needed rendition.

These guys are a great snack on their own or an epic meal stuffed into pitas with loads of fixings. They reheat beautifully and taste great cold so, you guessed it, meal prep friendly!

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The falafels you get at restaurants are generally deep fried, so I love being able to control the quality and health-factor when making them at home. I use organic chickpeas & high-quality olive oil to make my falafels, and they’re honestly just as satisfying as the restaurant falafel patties.

I recommend whipping up some simple lemon tahini sauce for serving. Or an easy yogurt tzatziki sauce would be stellar too. Eat as sandwiches or pile onto lettuce for a more veg-heavy meal. There’s so much you can do with these guys, go for a double batch and thank me later.

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Easy Falafel Patties

Serves: 4     Start to Finish: 30 minutes (not including soaking time)

Ingredients

1 cup dry garbanzo beans/chickpeas, soaked*
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small or 1/2 medium/large yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 cup olive oil, + more for browning
1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
1.5 teaspoons sea salt, fine grain
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup packed fresh parsley leaves (or 1.5 tablespoons dried parsley)

To Make

Preheat oven  to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment.

Drain and rinse soaked beans. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and process until a uniform batter is formed (it will still have a visibly grainy texture). Form the batter into 12 patties. It might seem very wet, but should still form into patties easily. You can refrigerate the batter or patties for a bit to make them easier to handle. I don’t find this necessary but I sometimes do it.

On a griddle pan or in a frying pan (cast iron recommended), heat a very thin layer of olive oil over medium-low heat. Fry patties for 3-5 minutes per side, or until golden and crisp. Cook patties in batches if needed, replacing oil between batches.

Transfer to oven and bake for 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees.

Serve the falafels on a salad or in a pita with sauces & toppings of choice. Need an idea? Check out this pita sandwich I made using this recipe!

Notes:

To soak chickpeas either 1) soak in water over night in the fridge or 2) bring chickpeas and water to a boil, boil for 2 minutes, turn off heat, cover and soak for 1 hour. Drain soaking liquid off before cooking with the chickpeas.

Side note, these patties reheat really well. But I often eat them cold anyway, so reheating after the fridge is definitely not necessary.

I recently tried forming 4 burger size patties instead of 12 smaller ones, and it was great (much less work)! Bake them for 12-15 minutes instead of 8-10 after browning.

Creamy Tarragon Chickpea Salad

Creamy Tarragon Chickpea Salad

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I was lucky enough to spend this past Labor Day weekend at home in St. Louis. My whole family, just like me, is totally food-obsessed, so whenever I go home, the trip is all about the food. Since becoming a vegetarian, my STL restaurant picks have changed a bit. Despite this, there are certain foods that I associate with my hometown and still get the taste for, one of them being the creamy chicken salad from a gourmet market near my house, piled high on soft wheat bread with fresh lettuce and tomato. I grew up eating this delicious salad all the time, and I absolutely loved it. Well, I obviously don’t eat meat, let alone chicken, anymore, but I was determined to make a vegetarian version of my favorite St. Louis chicken salad. So I decided to make a creamy chickpea salad for my family’s Labor Day brunch on Monday. This is a very easy recipe, flavored simply with fresh tarragon and made creamy by a mix of classic mayo and low-fat, plain Greek yogurt. My chickpea salad has the texture of the chicken salad I grew up eating, as well as the same flavor, but instead of chicken, I use partially mashed, protein-packed chickpeas. My meat-eating family loved my veggie friendly rendition, so I obviously had to share. This is a quick, no-cook, and absolutely delish recipe, great on its own, on a salad, on a sandwich, or in a wrap. I would even serve it on mini slider rolls at a casual, day-time party.

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Creamy Tarragon Chick[pea] Salad
Serves: 4   Calories per Serving: 315
    Start to Finish: 10 minutes

Ingredients
2 cans Chickpeas, drained and rinsed*
1/2 cup diced Celery (2 stalks)
3 tablespoons Mayonnaise
3 tablespoons 2% Plain Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Tarragon Leaves
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt, fine-grain
1/4 teaspoon White Pepper (black pepper works too)

To Make
Add half of the chickpeas to a medium bowl. Using a fork, mash the chickpeas until
none of the chickpeas are whole. Add the second half of the chickpeas 
to the bowl, and partially mash, leaving some of these whole. Add the 
rest of the ingredients to the chickpeas, toss to combine.

You can eat the salad immediately, or refrigerate to allow flavors to meld. 
My favorite way to eat this salad is piled onto whole-wheat bread with lettuce 
and tomato. You can also top fresh lettuce and veggies with the salad for a 
lower carb, gluten-free dish.
DSC_1072*I used a "no-salt-added" variety of chickpeas, reduce the amount of salt 
to 1/4 tsp if using already-salted chickpeas
**To make this dish even healthier, reduce the mayo by 1 TBS and add 
an additional tablespoon yogurt (reduces the fat by 2 grams and
reduces calories by about 20)