Sunday, March 8, 2009

Homemade Falafel

My daughter's peanut allergy makes it a little more necessary for us to avoid processed foods, but it's a good idea for everyone. Processed foods are full of all sorts of hidden ingredients that make them questionable for your health. Making food yourself ensures the best quality, and you'll know exactly what's in it.

At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, I usually do use a mix to make falafel, but the one that's peanut-free was not available this week, so I had to improvise. I think I may stick to this recipe in the future. It's less expensive than the processed version, and it's just as easy. Sometimes convenience foods aren't that convenient after all!

These can be deep fried, pan fried or baked. I baked them to avoid the extra fat.

Homemade Falafel
1 15 oz. can chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1/4 c. chick pea flour (available in the bulk section of many health food stores)
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1 1/2 tsps. onion powder
1 1/2 tsps. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
salt, to taste
1-3 Tbsps. water
safflower oil spray

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a food processor, combine the chick peas, chick pea flour, parsley flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, coriander and salt. Puree. Add water, 1 Tbsp at a time, until the mixture is smooth, but still thick.

Spray a cookie sheet with safflower oil. Form the chick pea mixture into patties (or balls if deep frying), and place the patties 1 inch apart on the cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, turning once.

Serve in whole wheat pita with Israel Salad and Tahina Sauce (recipes below)

Israeli Salad
3 plum tomatoes, cut into a small dice
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into a small dice
2 Tbsps. finely diced red onion
1/4 c. parsley, minced
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
salt, to taste

Toss all ingredients together.

Tahina Sauce
1/4 c. tahini paste
2 1/2 Tbsp. water
2 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.

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