If you've never had falafel, I'm sad for you.
Falafel is a middle eastern "street food" - spiced chickpea balls that are fried and then eaten in a pita or lavash with all sorts of yummy things on top. Mine aren't fried but are very delicious! So, let's get down to some of the reasons I love falafel...
Reasons I Love Falafel (in order of importance):
1) It's delicious
2) It's good for you (baked)
3) It's shockingly easy to make / the food processor does all the heavy lifting
4) Chickpeas have iron and I have two pretty nasty bruises from an encounter with gravity and some stairs
5) I love anything you can stuff inside a pita
For the falafel:
1/2 yellow onion
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Handful of fresh parsley
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic
4-6 tablespoons whole wheat flour (sub rice flour if G-F)
Accoutrement: (for the pita sandwiches)
Whole wheat pitas (could also use lavash to roll up or even a tortilla)
Tahini (a sesame paste) or hummus
Put all the ingredients for the falafel in the food processor and pulse until combined.
Let the falafel mixture stand in the fridge for as long as your patience allows so the flour can fully absorb.
Preheat the oven to 400.
I use a cookie sheet to bake the falafel but you could also pan fry them if you really want to go all out. Grease your baking sheet (or tin) with olive oil and form the falafel into balls.
You can make them as big or small as you want - anywhere from a heaping tablespoon to a 1/4 cup.
Bake the falafel until the bottom is really brown and crunchy, about 30 minutes.
Flip and bake until the other side is brown, about 20 minutes.
Stuff the falafel into a pita with tahini (or hummus), sliced tomato, avocado, onion, lettuce, or whatever else!