How can you create a salad that packs a protein punch without adding meat? One of the best ways is to include chickpeas. In my opinion, the most delicious way is to make falafels with them.
I have made falafel many a times but never did they turn out this good as last weekend. I finally nailed the recipe! I used fresh chickpeas, soaked them overnight, patted them dry before grinding it in the food processor with a bunch of other ingredients to add flavor to the falafel mixture.Do not use canned chickpeas, cause you will never get the texture of the balls with the crunch that it should have.
RAINBOW FALAFEL SALAD WITH TAHINI DRESSING
Prep Time: 10 minutes (Do not include soak time)
Cook Time: 30 minutes.
Total Time: 40 minutes.
FOR THE SALAD
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup shredded beet
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
2 cups mixspring greens
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 cup cucumber ribbons
FOR THE FALAFEL
1 cup dried garbanzo beans (soak in 6 cups of water for 12-24 hours)
1 bunch cilantro
1 small yellow onion chopped
3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp each: coriander powder and black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne powder (optional)
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 – 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Olive oil, for frying about 1 cup
FOR THE TAHINI DRESSING
1/2 cup tahini
1/4th tsp sea salt
1/4th tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup warm water.
2 tbsp greek yogurt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
To make the falafel:
- Drain the garbanzo beans from the water and dry them completely.
Transfer the garbanzo beans along with the rest of the ingredients except the flour to a food processor.
- Pulse the mixture until it breaks down. You don’t want it to become a paste. You want it to still have tiny chunks of chickpeas running through.
- Transfer the falafel mixture to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of flour. Stir to combine.
- Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes before forming patties or balls.
- Try to form patties with the mixture. If the mixture doesn’t hold its shape, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to combine.
- Heat an inch of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When the oil is warm, place 4-6 patties into the oil at a time, depending on the size of the skillet. Do not overcrowd the pan as it will become very difficult to turn the patties.
- Let the falafel cook for 3-4 minutes per side. Depending on the size of your patty, you may need more or less time. It’s always good to do a test patty, taste to make sure it’s cooked through and adjusting the time as needed.
To make the dressing:
- Add tahini, sea salt, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, greek yogurt to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add water a little at a time, continuing to whisk, until you have a creamy, pourable sauce.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Tahini is meant to be the prominent flavor, but add garlic powder for more garlic flavor or sea salt for saltines.
To assemble the salad:
- Divide the salad ingredients into four plates making different colour sections.
- Add 3-4 falafels into each plate.
- Pour some dressing over the falafel patties.
The dressing can be store in the refrigerator covered for 1-2 weeks.
You can vary the salad ingredients with the veggies of your preference.