Saturday, August 29, 2015

Deconstructed Falafel

Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods have to be some of my favorite cuisines (wonder if that will get me deported per Trump's standards) next to Indian dishes! Flavors are rich with depth like no other. 

Best of all are the vegetarian and meatless options--for any college student, or anyone on a budget for that matter, you have to consider going meatless (or stretching your meat budget) for some meals to prevent going broke--might as well taste good and be good for you! This is an easy college recipe for off-campus living. 

Enter falafel...but simplified without the mixing, the fuss, and the deep fryer! Promise! This meal will easily make 6 pita pockets stuffed with veggies, yoghurt sauce, salad and fried spicy chickpeas--completely satisfying and 'good-for-you' sandwich--a great way to skip meat and it is ultra-cheap (check out the cost on a can of chickpeas chocked full of protein and fiber…less than $2). 

Leftovers easily stored or taken for a snack later on! Leftover yoghurt sauce is awesome for baked potatoes and munching on carrots and other veggies!

If you find chickpeas on sale, stock up on a few extra cans for those days when money is tight! 

(Great recipe modified from Cooking Light Dinner Tonight Magazine 2015 Edition)

Deconstructed Falafel
Skill Level: Easy
Time: 20 minutes

Small mixing bowl 
Large 10-12" non-stick skillet


For The Chickpeas:
2 (15 oz) cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbls olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp of paprika
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper

For The Yoghurt Sauce:
1 cup plain 2% Greek yoghurt
1 Tbls of sour cream (optional if available)
2 Tbls chopped fresh mint 
1 tsp chopped dill (optional if available)
2 tsp fresh lime
3/4 tsp kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, minced

For The Extras:
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and halved slices
Cherry Tomatoes, halved or full tomatoes, sliced and halved
Red onions, thinly sliced or Green Onions
Peppers, thinly sliced
Feta Crumbles / slices / chunks
Arugula, tossed in olive oil & lemon (or plain)

6 pocket pitas, make sure the pocket is sturdy
6 whole wheat tortillas to make a Falafel Burrito

1. Wash your hands.
2. Drain, rinse, and pat dry the chickpeas.

3. Heat the olive oil over MEDIUM-HIGH heat and sear your chickpeas until golden brown. (For best results, avoid over-crowding the skillet! Make 2 batches if you have to!)

4. Prepare the spice mix and add to crispy, browned chickpeas. Continue browning.

5. Prepare your yoghurt sauce.

6. Prep your veggies.
7. Set up the assembly line!

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