Protein Packed Falafel Salad with Homemade Dairy Free Tzaziki
These falafels are perfect for meal prep: they can be transformed into wraps, little vegan sliders, or served over salad as I've done here. I've been making this falafel recipe, freezing half & using the remainder when I'm short on time. But please, PLEASE don't skip the tzaziki! I'm going to show you how I prepared this falafel salad over black rice, sprouts & micro greens. I hope you enjoy!
Ingredients: (yields 24 small or 12 larger falafels)
2 15 oz cans chickpeas
1/4 red onion
1 handful fresh parsley
1 handful fresh cilantro
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chickpea flour
Preheat oven to 400 F. Drain and rinse chickpeas, then add to a large food processor with the onion, fresh herbs, garlic, red pepper flakes, cumin and salt. Pulse until the mixture is well combined into a chunky paste. You want a bit of texture from the onion, while also ensuring the chickpeas are dispersed & smooth. Scrape the sides of the processor to even out the texture. Move to a mixing bowl and stir in baking powder and flour slowly, working through the mixture with your hands until it becomes a dough you can form into small patties.
Feel free to form patties however you'd like - I've made small balls using about 2 tbsp of dough at a time, but this time I molded the dough into a 1/4 cup measuring spoon, then cut the patties in half so they were thinner, like small sliders.
In a baking sheet, line a small amount (maybe 1 tbsp, probably less) of coconut or olive oil, evenly dispersing. Place the oiled baking sheet in the oven for 2 minutes, then remove, and add patties. Cook in the oven for 12-15 minutes, then flip and leave the other sides in for 5-7 more minutes. The patties will be done when golden brown on either side.
Note: Alternatively, you can use an oiled skillet to fry the patties. For an oil-free version, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Ingredients: (yields 1 cup of tzaziki)
1/2 cup cashew yoghurt (see this blog post)
1/2 cup grated cucumber, strained of liquid
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
3 minced garlic cloves
1/2 tbsp dried dill (or fresh!)
Salt & pepper to taste
Add all of the ingredients except the grated cucumber into a food processor & blend together until smooth. Add the cucumber last, and pulse a few times so it's incorporated, but still has texture. Taste & adjust dill, salt or pepper to taste. I've tried many times to perfect tzaziki and this proportion was perfect for me!
The Black Miso Rice:
2 cups water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup black Japonica Rice
2 tbsp yellow or red miso paste
Using black Japonica rice, boil 2 cups of filtered water and a pinch of sea salt. Add 1 cup of rinsed dry rice, 2 tbsp of miso paste, and lower heat to simmer. Allow to cook, covered, for 45 minutes. Fluff with a fork to ensure water has been absorbed, and let sit for a few minutes before serving.
Consuming beans & rice together typically complete the amino acid profile of a vegetarian meal. While chickpeas tend to be low in two essential amino acids: methionine and cysteine, rice is high in these two amino acids. Black rice as opposed to brown offers a nuttier flavour, and a greater antioxidant content than white or brown rice. It also adds a beautiful colour to any meal.
Assembling the Salad:
Thinly slice cucumber, radish, carrot, and whichever other vegetables you choose. Lay rice down first, then top with pea sprouts, mixed micro greens, sliced vegetables, and a few falafels, followed by tzaziki! These falafels also go well in a wrap, or between two slices of bread. This was one of my favourite meals to create & I hope you enjoy it.