Thursday, February 7, 2013

Baked Falafel

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Lunch is my most difficult meal to inject with creativity in the kitchen.  I bounce from sandwiches to salads week after week, always wishing for inspiration for something more unique.  When I came across a recipe for baked falafel on the Food Network's website, I knew it was something I had to try out. The simplicity and healthiness of the recipe attracted me to it and I was hoping it would be as good as I was expecting.  Suffice it to say, I was not disappointed, and I don't think you will be either!

For this recipe you will need a food processor and the following ingredients:

1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium chickpeas
1/4 cup minced white onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup parsley leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  To begin, mince the garlic and the onion and toss them into the food processor.

Next, roughly chop the cilantro and parsley.  Since it's going into the food processor you don't need to be too picky about this step.  Once you have chopped the leaves, add them to the food processor.

Open your can of chickpeas and rinse them with water using a colander.  Rinsing the beans removes excess sodium.  Add the beans, spices, egg and 1 tablespoon of olive oil the food processor.  

Pulse the food processor for ten seconds until ingredients have become incorporated.  Scrape sides and pulse for an additional ten seconds.  Repeat this step two more times, or until ingredients are fully mixed.

Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.  Form the mixture into small balls (about 2-3 inches in diameter).  I ended up with maybe 25 balls.  The consistency should be fairly wet from the inclusion of the egg. Also, my balls were definitely not precise spheres.  They sort of took on whatever shape they wanted.  Don't worry too much about precision, they will still taste delicious.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, keeping an eye on the falafel so that the bottoms don't burn.  Then, flip the falafel onto the other side and cook for an additional 15 minutes.  

Once, the falafel is fully cooked, serve in a pita with tahini and hummus, lettuce, tomato, and goat cheese.  I have three letters for you Y-U-M.  

Do you have any great lunch ideas?  I'd love to hear them and continue to add variety to my weekly staples!

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