One of my goals for 2013 is to continue to improve my diet including one meat free meal a week, reducing my consumption of sugar and carbs.
I am not one of those people who love veggies. A couple of my sisters do, they adore them. They are quite happy to steam up a bunch of fresh veggies and tuck into that for dinner. Not me though, so I am actually finding the meat free a meal week, more challenging than reducing my sugar and carb intake at dinner time (lunch is a different story though).
For our wedding anniversary Mr I and I went along to Maha for dinner. I had the most amazing falafels as part of my menu for the evening. The entire evening’s food was delicious and there were a number of nice little touches through out the evening, including a cute little tin of tea leaves to take home and have before bed – beautiful! Can highly recommend headed along to Maha if you haven’t been before.
I loved the falafel’s so much, it made me want to try and make them. These of course are not Maha standard and traditionally they are a shallow fried item, but I decided I would try for oven bake for ease. I also needed to serve them in a way they kids would eat them, so went for two different serving options.
Baked Falafel Recipe
- 3/4 cup dried chickpeas
- 2 small brown onions
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3/4 cup fresh continental parsley leaves
- 3/4 cup fresh coriander leaves
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Olive oil spray
- 4 tomatoes
- 2 onions extra
- 1 bunch rocket
- 1/4 iceberg lettuce
- 1 medium cucumber sliced
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 100 grams tzatziki
1. Rinse your chick peas.
2. Then place them into a large bowl and cover with cold water. My bowl really was only just large enough! Being a newbie to chickpeas, I didn’t think about them swelling up, so make sure you use a large bowl and cover the chickpeas well.
3. Preheat the oven to 175°C. When the chickpeas have soaked enough you can begin preparing the ingredients for the falafel.
4. Finely chop the onions and crush garlic.
5. Tear leaves off parsley and coriander, then press into measuring cup so it is packed firmly. The herbs smell amazing together.
6. Grate the rind of the lemon rind and then juice it.
7. Again, newbie mistake here from me. Once I rinsed the chickpeas again after they had been soaking, I placed them in a large bowl and added all the herbs on top. So when I attempted to use the stick blender to crush them up (as I don’t have a food processor), bits of chickpeas went everywhere!
Quick change over to my Tupperware jug that has a rim lid – added the chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, coriander, ground coriander, cumin, baking powder, lemon rind and juice, cumin and baking powder and crushed them that way. This took a food few minutes and I regularly took of the lid, pushed the mixture down, to make sure it was all well combined. I imagine it would be much easier to do this in a food processor.
9. While the falafel mix is in the fridge it is time to make the salad, which will have roasted tomatoes and onions.
Cut up onion and tomatoes into chunks. Place them on a lined baking tray, spray with olive oil and season as preferred.
10. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes. I gave the tray a little shake through out the cooking process.
Once the tomatoes and onions have cooked increase the oven temperature to 200°C.
11. Again using a baking tray lined with baking paper, use large tablespoons of the falafel mixture and roll them into balls. Pop them on the tray and then press down lightly.
I made about 45 pieces.
12. Bake in the oven, for about 25 minutes turning halfway through cooking or until they start to turn golden brown.
For the adults I served them by:
Placing rocket on the plate, then adding tomato and a dash of red wine vinegar. Mixing the salad lightly on the plate then topping with falafels
And a drizzle of tzatziki on top to serve.
We had plenty left over so I froze them. They defrosted well and we had them cold at a picnic dinner with dips. My baked falafel were inspired by this recipe on taste.com.au.
Any links to easy and kid friendly vegetarian recipes are very welcome!