Active time: 20 minutes Total time: 40 minutes
Skip the deep frying for this healthier take on homemade falafel, which are crisped up in a cast-iron skillet with a small amount of oil before finishing in the oven. Served atop a green salad with juicy strips of cucumber, tomato and creamy tahini dressing, it makes a filling vegan meal.
RD tip: This is a hearty and filling salad, making it easy to get in a serving of vegetables while also feeling full with 8g of fiber and 12g of protein.
Baked Falafel With Shaved Cucumber Salad and Tahini Dressing
For the falafel
- 1 can (425g) low-sodium canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup (15g) cilantro with stems, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons whole-wheat or gluten-free flour
- 2 tablespoons mild harissa paste or finely chopped roasted red peppers
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon (1 1/2 tablespoons juice, 1 teaspoon zest)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium garlic clove, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
For the salad and dressing
- 4 cups (220g) mixed greens
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1/4 cup (59ml) tahini
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In a food processor, combine the falafel ingredients, adding only 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Blend until the mixture comes together, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Heat a large, ovenproof cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. With moist hands, form the falafel into 12 (2-inch/5cm) patties, about 1 1/2 tablespoonsful each, and add them to the pan. Fry on one side until browned, 3 minutes. Flip the falafel and slide the skillet into the oven, baking until crisp all over and heated through, about 20 minutes.
While the falafel bakes, make the salad and dressing. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, peel the cucumber into 2–3-inch (5–7.5cm) long strips, discarding seeds. Toss the cucumber strips with the tomato and mixed greens in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, honey, lemon juice and zest and olive oil. Gradually whisk in 2 tablespoons of water until creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the falafel with the salad and dressing drizzled atop it.
Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 3 falafel, 1 1/2 cups (80g) salad, 3 tablespoons dressing
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 457; Total Fat: 31g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 15g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 478mg; Carbohydrate: 33g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 12g