Sometimes it’s a challenge to come up with a creative dish. I’m finding that I’m hitting a routine again where I’m making the same dinners over and over again and, well, it’s getting a little boring. When this happens, drastic measures must be taken. Ignored are the boxes of pasta in our pantry. The same goes for couscous and rice. Then I look to see what’s left.
I reached my breaking point one recent night. We happened to be particularly low on ingredients. The shelves in our cabinet were stocked with just a few cans of garbanzos. The fridge was filled with greens, including two heads of cabbage. Oh, and a massive bag of carrots. A bean salad, maybe? Naaaaaaah.
When I’m in a rut, I tend to refer to my handy dandy Cuisinart food processor for some guidance. I’m telling you, friends, I don’t know what I’d do without this thing. I’ll use mine at least three times a week to make anything from pesto to cookie dough (easiest way to make shortbread).
So, I glanced over at the little guy with pleading eyes. HELP ME! And then… vwahla! Falafel. Within 30 minutes I had a satisfying, vegetarian meal. And it didn’t involve pasta. Or couscous. Or rice. Just beans, shredded carrot, and some fresh herbs and spices.
Falafel with Lemon Tahini Dressing
Ingredients for Falafel
3 carrots, peeled
16 oz can of garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed and dried
1/4 cup fresh mint
1/4 cup fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp sriracha
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon chickpea flour
For the dressing
3 tbsp tahini
juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp sugar
a pinch of salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cover the top of a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using the shredding disc of the food processor, shred the carrots. Transfer to a bowl.
Switch to the chopping knife blade of the food processor. Add the next ten ingredients to the bowl of the food processor and process until all the ingredients come together, but mixture is not completely smooth.
Add the chickpea mixture to the carrots and stir to combine. Mix in the chickpea flour until it is incorporated into mixture. Add more if the mixture seems too wet to work with.
Roll the mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, into 20 balls and line up on the baking sheet.
Bake in the oven for about 5 minutes (though it may need a few minutes longer) and then rotate the falafel so it browns on each side. Bake for another 5-7 minutes. Check to see if they are done or if they need another couple of minutes.
In a bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper.
Serve the falafel in a couple of lettuce or purple cabbage leaves, topped with some chopped tomato and some red pepper. Drizzle the dressing on top and enjoy!