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Baked Falafel

I ate the best lunch yesterday: baked falafel patties with a small side cucumber yogurt dip, a whole tomato and a couple leaves of lettuce all awkwardly stuffed into a small whole wheat pita.

A recent craving for falafel but not wanting to eat super fried food led to searching online for a decent baked falafel recipe. I found an awesome recipe on Real Food for Real People for not only the falafel, but also tzatziki sauce. I’ve copied the recipe (with a few of my own changes) below, but if you want to see the original RFFRP post, then click here.

Baked Falafel with Tzatziki Sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, quartered
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup unseasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for brushing
  1. Place garlic, cilantro, parsley or mint, chickpeas, and bread crumbs in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to chop and blend ingredients.
  2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon lemon juice over chickpea mixture and pulse a few more times. Sprinkle baking powder, cumin, salt, Tabasco, and black pepper over mixture and pulse until the chickpea mixture reaches a workable paste-like consistency. Add an additional tablespoon of lemon juice if it seems very dry.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. While the oven is getting hot, line a baking pan with foil and brush with olive oil. Scoop balls of dough into your palms and form them into patties. Set aside on work surface while you form the remaining mixture.
  4. Arrange falafel patties on oiled baking sheet and brush them with olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and crispy. Turn once midway through baking.
  5. Remove from oven and let falafel cool on pan for a minute or two before removing to plates or pitas with a spatula.
  6. Serve in a whole-grain pita with leaf lettuce and plenty of tzatziki sauce.

Makes 7 small falafel patties

Tzatziki Sauce aka Cucumber Yogurt Dip

  • 1 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Chopped fresh dill, add as much as you want
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and finely diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

My mom taught me a little trick for prepping the cucumber: take a vegetable peeler and peel the cucumber longways until you reach the seeds. Take the super thin peeled slices and slice them up to create really thin short slices of cucumber. Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl; stir to incorporate. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes prior to serving. Taste after chilling and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.