Baked Falafel

I’m on a mission, these days, to find easy yet creative ways to introduce not just more vegetables, but vegetable based protein meals. In other words – I’m looking for vegan options that won’t have my meat loving family wincing as they approach the dinner table.

Falafel, a traditional Middle Eastern food, is an interesting combination of fried chickpeas (or fava beans), fresh herbs and onions. It is commonly served with hummus, salads or veggies in a pita pocket.

My version of this recipe calls for lots of cilantro and oven baked vs. pan-fried. I prefer oven baked largely to reduce clean up, but also to eliminate unnecessary, empty calories caused by frying in oil.

This treat will take less than 30 minutes to prepare. Even better – the recipe can be easily doubled and frozen for later use. As a result – it is a perfect mid-week meal!

As with most recipes I post, don’t be afraid to omit or add seasonings you like. We love cumin and chipotle pepper… so it tends to find its way in my dishes. 🙂

Baked Falafel

1 15oz can chickpeas, drained
1 medium carrot, chopped
½ red or white onion (we prefer red for its milder flavor and beautiful color)
1 cup fresh cilantro chopped
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chipotle powder
2 tsp baking powder
2 TBS ground flaxseed

Preheat over to 400°. Place chickpeas, carrot, onions, cilantro, salt, peper, cumin and chipotle powder into food processer. Pulse ingredients together until a rough, coarse meal forms. Be sure to scrape the sides of the processor occasionally. Add baking powder and ground flaxseed and process till the mixture almost a paste. The baking powder and ground flaxseed will help hold it together. Be care not to over process, turning it into hummus.
Using a 1½ scooper, scoop and place balls on a lightly greased cookie sheet. If you don’t have a scooper – using a spoon, create evenly sized balls. Place in oven and back for 15 – 18 minutes.
Note – if making for pita pockets, using a spatula – lightly press on ball to flatten slightly. Flip about ½ way through baking.

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