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Falafels, another great use for chickpeas in a flour form. Falafels are a Mediterranean food that is usually fried. Here we are baking them making them a healthier addition to your plant based diet. Falafels can be used in various ways like in salads, or made into sandwiches using pita bread and the ingredients of the salad base within this recipe along with a nice drizzle of dressing. You can also enjoy them by simply pairing your falafels with hummus, a flat bread and fruit for a great snack or simple meal. Along with the falafel recipe are two creamy style dressings. One is a more traditional dressing using tahini as the base while the other is not so traditional using avocado and cucumber. Adding some falafels to your salad is a great way to get in additional protein and fiber. Let me share with you a bit about my trials of falafel making. I have used canned beans and dried beans that have been soaked. It's important to soak them for at least 12 hours so they soften all the way through, but it's ideal to soak for 18 + hours and rinse well (this will help with gassiness and allow your body to absorb more of their nutrients). For me, both the canned and soaked beans worked out great without any issues. Use whatever style bean you prefer, or is convenient. You may like to try both for yourself to see which one you like best, I had no preference. I also made them with added flour like some recipes call for and without any flour at all. I personally found the flour to not be a necessary. I've baked my falafels in a skillet and on cookie sheets. Both work great. I've also added a few extra ingredients like coriander which is nice but have omitted it here just to keep it simple as possible (although I do have the garlic & onion powder...I like them for good measure). But by all means, if you have coriander on hand go ahead and throw in a teaspoon if you like. As for the greens, feel free to use only parsley or cilantro if you like. That's a little about my experiences. I'm sure there is more to learn and each of us will have varying outcomes due to our kitchen appliances, tools and taste. All in all, these were great falafels and I see them being made fairly regularly around here. Hope you enjoy them too!

Baked Falafel Salad and Two Creamy Dressings [Vegan]

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Ingredients You Need for Baked Falafel Salad and Two Creamy Dressings [Vegan]

Salad Base
  • spring mix or choice of leafy greens
  • red onion, thinly sliced
  • tomatoes, sliced
  • cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 can (15oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed OR 3/4 heaping cup garbanzo beans soaked for at least 18 hours and drained (they will double in size)
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped (optional)
  • 1 small shallot or 1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • pinch or two cayenne pepper, chili powder or smoked paprika (depending on your mood)
  • himalayan salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
Lemon-Tahini Dressing
  • 4 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed OR a dash or two garlic powder
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • few dill fronds, cilantro or parsley, minced
  • himalayan salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup water, + more to thin
  • pinch of cayenne
Avocado-Cucumber Dressing 
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • a few springs cilantro and dill fronds
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • dash of onion powder
  • salt to taste
  • water as needed to thin

How to Prepare Baked Falafel Salad and Two Creamy Dressings [Vegan]

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Grease your cast iron skillet or cookie sheet with coconut oil, or oil of choice.
  2. In food processor/blender, combine all the ingredients for the falafels. Blend until fairly smooth. Form patties into whatever size you like....
  3. For larger patties: Scoop 3 tablespoons per patty...will yield appx. 6.
  4. For small patties: Scoop 1 heaping tablespoon per patty...will yield appx. 12.
  5. For mini patties: Scoop 1 heaping teaspoon...will yield approx. 24.
  6. Place patties on greased skillet/cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for 15 minutes.  Total cooking time 25 minutes. If you find that your falafels are not as browned as you like, place them under the broiler for a minute or two, just be sure to keep an eye on them so they don't burn.
  7. Store leftover falafels in an air tight container. They will soften overnight. To warm them up and return crispness again to the outside, place under broiler or in a toaster oven at a high temp for a minute or two while keeping an eye on them so they don't burn.
  8. Lemon-Tahini Dressing
    1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until well combined.
    2. Taste for seasoning and add more water as needed 1 tablespoon at a time or add more lemon juice.
    3. Store leftovers in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
    Avocado-Cucumber Dressing 
    1. In food processor/blender, combine all the ingredients except for the water. Blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning.
    2. Add water a tablespoon or two at a time until desired consistency.
    3. Best chilled in the refrigerator before serving. Leftovers will hold up a day or two in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It may last a little longer but it's gone by day two around my house.
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