I am an out and out carnivore, and never ever expected that I would enjoy a meatless meal. Normally if I don't have any fish, chicken, beef, pork, etc. laying around the house somewhere, I just immediately put some eggs in the pan and call it a day. However, that all changed during last summer when I spent roughly three months in Barcelona, Spain. One night one of my friends there convinced me to try falafel, and I have been hooked ever since. These crunchy, spicy, smoky patties of chickpeas, herbs, and spices are really addicting, and delicious enough to make even the most hard core meat eater consider taking on Meatless Monday. You can go traditional and serve them with pita, but I prefer them next to grilled vegetables with a yogurt dipping sauce and perhaps some couscous if it is after a workout.
- 1 15 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ Cup Parsley, leaves and tender stems
- 1 T Cumin
- ½ T Paprika
- ¼ T Aleppo pepper, or Red Chili Flake
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- Juice of one lemon, divided
- ¼ Cup Oat Flour (make your own by blending oats in a food processor or blender)
- 2 T Olive Oil
- 1 Cup 0% Greek Yogurt
- 1 T Mint, chopped
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
- Combine the chickpeas, parsley, one clove of garlic, lemon juice, and spices in the food processor and pulse until you have a coarse mixture. You want it pretty uniform but to still have some texture.
- In a large bowl, combine the chickpea mixture with the oat flour and mix together. Form four patties out of the mixture, and set in the refrigerator or freezer to set for about 15 minutes.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the patties, being sure to leave enough space so that they can brown. Cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until there is a nice crust on the outside. Then, transfer to a large baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- While the falafel is baking, mix the yogurt with the other garlic clove and the mint. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
- Serve the falafel patties with the yogurt dipping sauce, and vegetables of your choice. Combine with a side of rice or couscous to create a heavier meal with meatless complete protein, too!
Nutrition: Per 1 Pattie (appx. ¼ batch) + ¼ of yogurt sauce