Mediterranean patterns of eating are often recommended to people as a healthy choice. The main ingredients consist of vegetables and fruits, healthy proteins like beans and fish and healthy oils from nuts and olive oil. Without any modifications or sometimes-bizarre fake meat substitutes, many wonderful vegetarian dishes can be made using Mediterranean recipes, so it's something I've gladly adapted to my kitchen over the years. I've made all sorts of little salads and dips and used to make falafel from a box mix, but for whatever reason, falafel from scratch seemed a little out of my range of abilities. We sometimes would just pick up falafel balls from Zankou and make our own meals around them........Then!!!!
A few months ago I discovered garbanzo bean flour, which has quickly become a staple in my home. So far I've gone through at least 4 bags of it cooking only 2 different recipes with it - falafel and flat bread, but mostly falafel.
|$2.17/lb @ Whole Foods and $1/lb in bulk online!|
I sometimes make a large batch of tabouli salad on the weekend, which is a good pairing for a fast meal with the falafel during the week. The falafel's also good with some pita, tahini, romaine lettuce, salad, tomatoes, tzatziki, sandwiches with grilled veggies.... essentially it's endlessly easy to incorporate it into a meal. It's also awesome since you can easily make the resulting meal accommodate a variety of food restrictions including vegetarian or vegan and gluten-free. You could also adapt the side dishes to fit your restrictions by making a vegan tzatziki with non-dairy yogurt or a gluten-free tabouli with quinoa.
Garbanzo Bean Falafel (from Bob's Red Mill with my personal modifications): serves 2 to 3 as a main dish
-1 cup garbanzo bean flour
-1/2 tsp sea salt
-1/4 tsp baking soda
-1-2 tsp parsley flakes
-1/2 tsp ground cumin
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1/4 tsp dried diced onions
-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
-1/2 cup hot water
-2-3 tbs olive oil for frying
Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and blend. Add liquids (lemon juice & hot water) to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.
Heat oil in pan. Add the falafel batter by the tablespoon and flatten slightly. Fry on both sides until golden brown. Place on paper towel to drain & serve warm
|falafel & tabouli - a past dinner I shall recreate tonight!|