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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Vegan Clean and Yummy Falafels!


So I decided to make a dish that Noah and Dan really love: pita/wraps with hummus and falafels! Falafels can be unhealthy and some are made with bread and aren't necessarily full of healthy vegan-friendly ingredients! I have never tried making my own falafels...until now! I don't like how unhealthy most falafels are so I thought that I would try this recipe that I found in Easy Vegan for homemade, vegan-friendly clean and yummy falafels!!! I was a little intimidated at first but I decided to just go for it (when you know your child likes something then you go for it)!!! I won't lie, it was a messy process but totally worth it! We finally have a dishwasher and Dan promised to do the clean-up so that really helped ;) Anyways, I totally recommend making these falafels when you have time because they are amazing and taste clean! I don't know how else to explain it except for the fact that these falafels don't taste 'heavy' and 'fatty' and leave you feeling full and satisfied but not TOO full! So give these a try:

Vegan Falafel Recipe (recipe from the Easy Vegan cookbook)

1 1/4 cups of dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water for 24 hours
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp. of ground cumin
1/2 tsp. of groung coriander
1/2 tsp. of baking soda
1/2 bunch of green onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp. each of chopped parsley and cilantro/fresh coriander (I just used parsley)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
sunflower/safflower oil for deep-frying (I used coconut oil)

First off let me remind you that you need to start the preparation the NIGHT BEFORE you want to eat these delicious falafels! So the night beforehand, you need to take your 1 1/4 cup of dried chickpeas and place them into a pot. Fill the pot with cold water and let it sit overnight.

dry chickpeas before and after soaking!

The next day, drain them very well and place on paper towel (or a greener method is to place them onto a clean towel), to dry them.

Transfer to a food processor, add the garlic, cumin, coriander and baking soda, and blend to a smooth paste. Season with sea salt and pepper. Transfer the ingredients from the food processor into a bowl. Cover the bowl and let rest for 30 minutes (this will make it easier to make your falafel-shapes).

Add the green onions, parsley and cilantro/coriander to the chickpea paste, beat well, then knead the mixture to bring it together. Scoop out small lumps and make into flat, round cakes (your ideal sized falafel). Put them onto a nonstick tray. Cover and chill for 15 minutes.

In the Easy Vegan book, it recommends to heat the oil in a deep, heavy-based saucepan to 375 degrees F, but I didn't have a saucepan so I chose to use a deep frying pan and I turned the stove-top element to a med-high setting (6-7). Cook the falafel, in batches if necessary (I cooked the falafels in 4-5 batches), for 2-3 minutes until they are crisp and brown, turning them over once.

Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve hot or warm, with pita bread, on a salad, or in a wrap!

I served these falafels on brown rice tortilla wraps with daiya cheese, hummus, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, spinach, red onion and avocado! It was so delicious! This is a wonderful family-friendly recipe which will be loved by all ages! My 2 year old loves making wraps and choosing which ingredients he wants to add to his wrap! No matter what he chooses, I am comforted that they are healthy-choices!

My boys showing off the falafels and condiments!

Noah enjoying his wrap :)

My outstanding husband who is not only a patient, kind man who always supports my creations and my blogs, but just the best friend anyone could ever ask for!


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