At home, my Polish family doesn’t consider a meal to be a meal unless it has some kind of meat on it. I decided I would try to change that when I was home for Spring Break.

On my 6th day of attempting to make my parents less dependent on meat, I made chickpea falafels for dinner. Polish people have their “sznycle” made of ground beef and formed into cutlets, which are the same shape and size as falafel, so I figured they wouldn’t notice that it was meatless. (Plus my parents have never been exposed to food outside our polish home cooked cuisine- so falafels weren’t known to them.)

Prior to starting, I did some research in order to be sure my falafel would turn out to be the best it could be on my first try.  This part is especially key. A flawed recipe leaves lots of gaps in the cooking process and the results can turn out to be not so satisfying. This one is a hit because there is actually no deep frying involved, plus there’s all the extra omega goodness from the flax seeds.

Give it a try!

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Ingredients:

1. 1 cup canned chickpeas (washed)

2. 3 large garlic cloves

3. 1/2 cup red onion, roughly chopped

4. 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

5. 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro

6. 1/4 cup packed fresh parsley

7. 1/4 cup ground flax

8. 1/4 cup breadcrumbs

9. 1/2 tsp ground cumin

10. 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional

11. 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste

Directions:

1. With the processor running, drop in 3 garlic cloves to mince.

2. Add most of the chickpeas (reserving about 1/4 cup to stir in later), and process a few seconds to chop.

3. Now add the onion, lemon juice, and herbs. Process until just combined, being careful not to over-process. You want to leave texture.

4. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.

5. Scoop the mixture into a large bowl. Stir in the ground flax, breadcrumbs, cumin, reserved chickpeas, and salt and pepper to taste.

6. Shape into patties, about 1/4 cup each and really pack the dough in tightly so it holds together.

7. Grease pre-heated skillet with cooking oil and then cook the patties on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden.

Is it just me, or is making falafels sooooo much fun? Okay, so it might be just me, but you get to mix everything together and form nice cutlets out of them.  How cute do these look?

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Buy some tahini dressing or use this simple recipe

Ingredients:

1. 1/4 cup tahini

2. juice of 1 lemon (2 tablespoons)

3. 2 cloves garlic, minced

4. salt and pepper, to taste

5. water to thin (add 1 tablespoon at a time)

Directions:

1. Add it all and process!

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Use it as a side, in a wrap, or on a salad! Have fun with it!

Until next time,

- Ania ‘13