Meatless Monday: Baked Broad Bean, Quinoa & Herb Falafels [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 8-12
Yields: 40 falafels
Prep & Assembly: 35mins
Baking: 25mins
Cooling: 5-10mins
Type: Main meal, snack
Tools: Sieve, small non-stick pot w/lid, chopping board, sharp knife, food processor, mixing bowl, silicone spatula, veggie peeler, colander, measuring spoons, baking tray (*1-2), parchment paper, cooling rack

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, K & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium,copper iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, and per serving is low in added sugar, salt and saturated fats. 

Wowzers, it’s been quite a while since we have created a new falafel flavour; about one year ago to be exact! If you haven’t tried them (our baked green falafels that is) they’re really tasty! …But why stick to just one flavour or theme?! 

This time we were inspired by a store bought falafel flavour we tried last year; by its overall theme and definitely not its taste. However this is not surprising as shop bought (refrigerated) varieties tend to be quite dry and disappointing; this is another reason why you should never shop on an empty stomach!  

This recipe is packed with flavour, moisture and the perfect baked falafel texture! We think that with the correct balance of moisture (aka, oil, tahini, raw veggies!) and seasonings, any flavour of falafel, even baked falafels, can be phenomenal; this is all the more reason to whip up a batch at home! Yes, we used a food processor to help throw it altogether, but don’t worry. Even if you do not own a food processor, you can still make these lovelies; it just requires a little more elbow grease and the compromise that your falafels will take a little more time to prepare and have a more rustic and homemade flare!

We enjoyed our recent love affair with this delicious M. Eastern food as four tasty lunches! They go perfectly with a salad, rice dish, or tasty tabbouleh, in a wrap or sandwich or as a snack with a tasty houmous, sauce or dip (try lemon and tahinipomegranate, minty yoghurt or avocado cream!) 

Some other good things to note include:

  • Our first batch had slightly more garlic, but we have toned it down in the final ingredients list. We also increased the quantity of mint and toned down the other herbs, but feel free to adjust the garlic, herbs and/or seasonings to your own personal tastes. 
  • The mixture is slightly forgiving to larger bits of ingredients, but with too many chunky ingredients, it might stop the mixture from sticking together. 
  • We made a huge batch…but you can always halve the recipe and slightly reduce the prep time as a result. 
  • The quantity of cooked chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) is about two tins and the quantity of cooked broad beans (also known as fava beans!) is about two-three tins. If you are using a dried variety, soak about 220g broad beans and 210g of chickpeas overnight, drain and then thoroughly cook them before adding to the falafel mixture. NB: You can refer to our handy kitchen info for help with cooking times. 

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients
60g       Dried Quinoa
320g     Brown onion
10g        Garlic clove
100g     Carrot
30g       Fresh mint
20g       Fresh coriander leaf
20g       Fresh flat leaf parsley
480g     Cooked broad beans
480g     Cooked chickpeas
60g       Tahini
1tbsp          Rapeseed oil
2tbsp         Lemon juice
+++             Low-fat frying oil
8g              Ground cumin
8g              Ground coriander
1tsp            Dried Mint (*optional)
40g            Rice flour (or a plain GF flour)
1-1½ tsp     Salt
¼-½ tsp    Ground black pepper

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Place 60g (about 1/3 cup) quinoa into a sieve and rinse it under cold running water for 30-60 seconds. Tip: This will help remove some of its bitter taste. Transfer the quinoa into a small non-stick pot. Add 140ml water. Stir together. Cover with a lid (without a steam vent). Place the pot over a med-high heat. Bring to a boil. Simmer and cook for about 6 mins or until the grains have absorbed the water. Remove from the heat and leave covered for 15-20 mins. Tip: Do not peak, not even a little! Leave the grains to steam and finish cooking off of the heat. Don’t worry if it remains covered for longer than 20 mins, it will still be OK!

2. In the meantime, peel and chop the onion into two halves. Peel and finely grate the garlic. Tip: A cheese grater is perfect for this! Wash, peel, trim off the top and then finely grate the carrot. Transfer the carrot into a large mixing bowl. Wash and dry the mint, coriander and parsley. Remove the mint leaves from its stem. Roughly tear (or chop) the coriander and parsley into two halves/piles.

3. Place the onion into a food processor. Process until minced.  Transfer the onion into the mixing bowl. Tip: If you do not own a food processor, just chop and finely dice the onion as best you can. 

4. Place the mint, coriander and parsley into the food processor. Process until minced. Transfer into the mixing bowl. Throw away any large bits of remaining stalk. Tip: Alternatively, finely chop the mint leaves, coriander and parsley (leaves and stalks). Mix the onion, garlic, carrot and herb medley together until thoroughly combined.

5. If applicable, drain and wash any tinned beans in a colander. Transfer into the food processor. Tip: If you have a smaller machine, complete this step in two batches (as we did). Add half or all of the tahini, rapeseed oil, and lemon juice (depending on if you have added all of the beans and chickpeas or not). Pulse for 1 minute or until almost smooth (like a really thick houmous); the mixture will still be a little ‘tacky’. Tip: You might have to stop and push the mixture down into the base of the container as you process it. Carefully remove the blade and transfer the mixture into the mixing bowl. Repeat this step until all of the beans and chickpeas have been processed. Tip: Alternatively mash the beans and chickpeas in a separate bowl with a large fork or potato masher.

6. Heat the oven to 190ºC/375F. Line two baking trays with a sheet of parchment paper and lightly spray it with some low-fat frying oil. Tip: If you are halving the ingredients, only one tray is required. 

7. To the mixing bowl add: 8g ground cumin, 8g ground coriander, 1 tsp dried mint, 40g flour, 1½ tsp salt and a few grind grinds of black pepper. Mix with a silicone spatula or large spoon until thoroughly combined. Fluff the grains of cooked quinoa with fork. Add the quinoa into the mixing bowl. Mix and fold into the mixture until thoroughly combined. Taste and season the mixture as necessary.

8. Gather a little of the mixture and roll it between the palms of your hands to form a small ball; about the size of a ‘ping-pong ball’. Transfer it onto the baking tray. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used. Tip: If the mixture is a little too tacky, lightly flour your hands with a little flour first. Lightly spray the ‘falafel balls’ with some low-fat oil. Using the back of a large spoon or silicone spatula, gently press down on them form small ‘falafel patties’.

9. Place the tray(s) onto the middle oven shelf (and if necessary, the lower oven shelf). Bake for 15 mins. Remove the tray(s). Increase the oven temperature to 200ºC/400ºF. Turn over the falafels. Spray with a little low-fat oil. Return the tray(s) to the oven; swap the tray positions if necessary. Bake for a further 8-10 mins or until slightly firm and golden. Remove. Allow to cool for 5-10 mins on the tray(s) before transferring them onto the cooling rack and/or serving. Tip: This will allow them to firm and set further (without drying out like they would in the oven!). 

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftover falafels in an air-tight and resealable container; consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively, store and freeze; defrost and consume within 1 month. 

 

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Persian-Inspired (Jewelled) Rice W/ Tahini Sauce & Baked Falafels [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Rice Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking Time: 40 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, manual juicer (optional), large/non-stick frying pan (with a lid), frying spatula, large bowl, large wooden spoon, measuring jug, fork

Notes: The rice contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and (per serving) is low in salt, sugar and saturated fats! 

Middle-Eastern dishes are just fantastic! With so many great colours, flavours and aromas, how can you not want to replicate some of this magic at home?! So we hope that you’re happy to hear that our Persian-Inspired (jewelled!) rice with homemade tahini sauce ticks all of these boxes!

We paired this rice dish with something that we haven’t had in a while but is certainly worth the effort, our baked ‘green’ falafels! Sometimes store-bought varieties just don’t compare; ours are not dry or greasy, lacking flavour, nor do they comprise of a huge price tag! The only change that we made this time around was using spinach instead of kale. Trying making them a day ahead (as we did), or as part of your weekend meal prep for recipe ease.

Sometimes the more ‘authentic jewelled rice’ recipes can end up being quite pricey, especially if you have to buy all of the ingredients at once! We recommend adapting it to suit your kitchen; choose a few ingredients that you really love and combine with with a great spice blend such as a delicious ras-el hanout and a pinch of turmeric (instead of saffron) to still give your rice a gorgeous golden hue! Top this dish with our delicious homemade tahini sauce or some natural soya yoghurt and you’re good to go!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

Prepare the falafels first! Check out our delicious recipe here. Alternatively you can bake or reheat your favourite store-bought brand!

 

Once the falafels are in the oven, prepare the rice. Peel and finely chop the garlic and onion. Wash, peel, trim the ends and chop the carrot into thin match-stick pieces. Wash the orange; remove all of the zest and juice. Tip: A cheese grater works well for this!  Dice the apricots.

 

Cooking The Rice!

1. Add 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil into a large, non-stick frying pan. Heat it over a medium-low setting. Tip: Alternatively use some low-fat cooking oil spray! 
2. Add the garlic, onion and carrot. Gently fry for 3 mins or until softened.
3. Add your favourite spice blend or all of our recommended seasonings. Stir to coat. Gently fry for 20 seconds or until fragrant.
4. Add the rice and orange zest. Stir to combine.
5. Pour in the orange juice, stock, rose water and agave. Stir to combine. Cover with a lid or a sheet of aluminium foil. Bring to a boil.
6. Simmer and cook for 25 mins or until the rice has absorbed all of the water. Tip: Dependent  upon your brand/type of rice, you might have to add a couple extra tablespoons of water during the cooking process.

 

Remove from the heat. Leave covered until served.

 

In the meantime, prepare the pomegranate, mint and pistachios.

Annoyingly our pomegranate had some mould- silly ASDA!  So we did not get as much of the fruit as we would have liked!  😦

1. Make an approx. ¼ cm cut into the centre of the pomegranate (all the way around). Do not cut all the way through or you will damage the fruit.
2. Carefully grasp both sides and gently pull it apart into two halves.
3. Place one half (fruit side down) into the palm of your hand over a large bowl. Tip: Wear an apron or a dark coloured shirt as the next step can be messy!
4. Firmly hit the back of the fruit with a large wooden spoon or with the back of your other hand to release the fruit. If the pomegranate is ripe enough, a good few bashes should release all of the fruit!
5. Pick any bits of pith out of the bowl and discard them. Repeat steps three, four and five with the other half of the fruit.
6. Wash the mint, remove the leaves from its stem and roughly chop them.

Roughly chop the nuts. Dry-fry (=heat them in a dry frying pan!) and lightly toast them if preferred.

 

Prepare the tahini sauce. Wash and remove the parsley leaves from its stem and then roughly chop them. Juice the lemon. Place the yoghurt, tahini, peanut butter and lemon juice into a measuring jug. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add the parsley and stir though. Taste and season it with salt and/or pepper as necessary.

 

Spoon the cooked rice into a large serving bowl. Garnish with the apricots, pomegranate seeds, mint and pistachios.

 

Top with the falafel and a dollop or two of tahini sauce!

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any rice leftovers in a resealable and air-tight container (ideally within an hour after cooking); reheat and consume within 1-2 days. Alternatively you can freeze the rice and/or falafels; defrost and reheat within 1-2 months.

Refrigerate the tahini sauce in an air-tight and resealable container and use within 3-5 days.

Tip: When reheating, always check to make sure the rice is steaming hot all the way through and do not reheat the rice more than once. 

Baked ‘Green’ Falafels

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 5-10
Prep & Cooking Time: 70-80 mins

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K protein, fibre, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, has no added sugars and (per serving) is low in added salt, sugar and saturated fats*!

This recipe is an example of how fast/processed foods can be healthy! Authentic recipes can use undesired cooking methods, such as deep or shallow frying; these methods are not ideal to use on a regular basis. Our recipe provides you with a healthier alternative to help keep the fat content to a minimum; which is also why we opt for using a little flour and not excessive amount of tahini to help hold our falafels together. The kale provides a nice and healthy twist (and a lovely shade of green!) for this tasty and popular food.

This delectable Middle Eastern food (traditionally Arab) can be made suitable for all types of diets; traditionally they are made ‘vegan’. These little ‘patties/fritters’ are typically served in a warmed pitta or flatbread with ‘Israeli salad’ or some lettuce, tomatoes, onion, pickles with some houmous, tahini or tabbouleh; cucumber, aubergine, feta cheese, yoghurt and/or tzatziki are also sometimes used. Serving styles can vary as this is now a popular meal/snack in most countries.

NB: Our preparation technique has been seen to alter the texture and flavours slightly (*when compared to authentic cooking methods). However, we think our falafels are still delicious and full of great flavours; reduce the cooking duration slightly if a ‘softer’ falafel is desired.

 

Our kale is busy ‘steaming’ away! NB: If gluten is not of concern, use a plain flour instead. Our drained chickpeas equated to approx. 480grams.

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++100g    Kale
+++++++++++++++++++++++++160g    White onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++8g        Garlic cloves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g      Fresh Coriander
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2           Tins Chickpeas (in unsalted water)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++30g      Tahini paste
+++++++++++++++++++++++++10g       Olive oil
+++++++++++++++++++++++++15ml     Water
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4g         Ground cumin
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2g         Dried parsley
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2g         Sweet Paprika
+++++++++++++++++++++++++20g       Rice flour
+++++++++++++++++++++++++              Salt & ground black pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++              1kcal Fry Spray (low-fat cooking oil)

 

 

Nutritional info:

NB: Serve 2-4 falafels as part of a healthy meal or have 1-2 as a healthy snack. 

 * Low in saturated fats when 2-4 pieces are consumed (**Based on 20 prepared falafels).

 

Directions:

 Wash the kale. Place it into a steamer pot with some cold water. Steam for 5-8 minutes or until tender. Drain. Rinse under cool water.

 

 

In the meantime, it’s time to start using your food processor…

1. Peel and chop the onion into halves. Peel the garlic. Place the onion into a food processor. Process until minced; add the garlic whilst the processor is still running. Transfer into a large mixing bowl.

2. Wash the coriander. Ripe it into halves. Place it into the food processor. Process until minced. Transfer it into the mixing bowl.

3. Place the cooked kale into the food processor. Process until minced. Transfer into the mixing bowl.

4. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place them into the food processor. Add the tahini, oil and water. Process until almost smooth.

 

 

Heat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Line a baking tray with some parchment paper or a silicone mat. Lightly spray it with some low-fat cooking oil.

 

 

In the meantime, assemble the falafels!

1. Transfer the chickpea mixture into the mixing bowl. Add the cumin, parsley, paprika and half the quantity of the flour. Season it with some salt and black pepper to taste.

2. Using a spatula, mix and thoroughly combine the ingredients.

3. Add the remaining flour. Mix to combine.

4. Divide the mixture up.

 

 

Roll the mixture into balls; use lightly floured hands if necessary. Place them onto the baking tray. Repeat this step until all of the mixture is used. Lightly spray them with some low-fat cooking oil.

We created 20 ‘balls’.

 

Gently press down on them to form ‘patties’ (if desired). Place into the oven. Bake for 15 mins; remove and turn once. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C/400°F.

Traditional falafels are normally round, but it can depend upon the  utensil used to shape them. 🙂

 

 

Once turned, lightly spray them with some more low-fat cooking oil (if desired). Place back into the oven. Bake for a further 8-10 mins or until lightly browned. Remove. Allow to cool slightly.

 

 

Serve your falafels with some salad and a wholemeal (or GF) pitta, couscous or rice.

We also added some nibbles, along with low-fat houmous and plain/minty soya yoghurt. :D

We also added some nibbles, along with low-fat houmous and plain/minty soya yoghurt. 😀

 

 Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable and air-tight container; consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively, wrap them in kitchen film and freeze in a resealable container; defrost, reheat and consume within 2 months.

 

 

If preferred…

  • Use dried chickpeas; soak over night, drain and cook before preparing the falafels.
  • Try using soya or broad(fava) beans instead of chickpeas.
  • Use some steamed spinach or swiss chard instead of kale.
  • Adapt the flavours and seasoning’s to suit your personal tastes.
  • Serve these lovely falafels with veggies (of course!) and some plain/minty soya yoghurt, tahini dip, tabbouleh or houmous; check out our houmous recipe as a guide!