Baked Falafel Salad with Tzatziki Dressing

 

Believe it or not, I had never even heard of falafel until my sophomore year of college.

I must have had a sheltered childhood (at least food-wise), because I had never tried, or even heard of, falafel before my semester abroad in college. Back then, I was not a vegetarian, but I was well into my healthy ways and ate a very plant-heavy diet. While traveling with some friends, we came across a falafel shop, complete with a toppings bar, and everyone seemed very excited about it. I, on the other hand, seemed very confused. How had I never heard of such a thing? And this is a staple among vegetarians? I told you, sheltered.

 

falafel2falafel3

 

So of course I tried it and, obviously, I loved it! And that day marked the first of many falafel experiences, both out to eat and in my own kitchen. When I first tried to create my own falafel, I knew I wanted to bake them instead of frying them. I attempted a few versions, but most of them ended up being pretty bland and dry. I wanted to preserve the flavors and textures of a fried falafel, but I was really struggling to find a healthy recipe that did that.

 

Baked Falafel Salad with Tzatziki Dressing // pumpkin & peanut butter

 

Finally, I came up with this beauty! The magic, I’ve decided, is in the herbs. The addition of the large amounts of fresh cilantro and parsley keep this falafel flavorful AND healthy, while also maintaining a crunchy exterior with a moist interior. I also made my falafel gluten-free by substituting oat flour instead of whole wheat flour. It didn’t change the texture or taste one bit!

 

Baked Falafel Salad with Tzatziki Dressing // pumpkin & peanut butter

 

Now, we don’t eat dairy all that often in my house, but once in a while, we make some homemade tzatziki to go along side these delicious falafel. Because I made a salad this time, I turned my usual tzatziki recipe into a dressing by throwing it in the food processor with some olive oil… super easy! You just dump all the ingredients in together, blend, and you’ve got a creamy, tangy yogurt dressing. This adds the perfect creaminess to the crispy falafel! If you are vegan, I’ve also topped mine with a simple hummus dressing (hummus thinned out with water) or a homemade red wine vinaigrette (see my Autumn Quinoa Salad).

Hope you enjoy!

 

Baked Falafel Salad with Tzatziki Dressing // pumpkin & peanut butter

Baked Falafel with Tzatziki Dressing {vegan option, gluten-free}

Serves 12
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish

Ingredients

for the falafel

  • 1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup of oat flour (grind oatmeal until fine)
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup of parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon

for the salad

  • 2 cups of lettuce of choice (I used spring mix)
  • 2 small tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 small cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced

for the tzatziki dressing

  • 3/4 cup of plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1/4 small cucumber, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Step 2
In a food processor, grind up oats until fine. Add in garbanzo beans, spices, herbs, onion, and juice of half a lemon. Blend the ingredients until all of combined (1-2 minutes). The batter will be thick and stick when it’s ready. Form batter into small 1-2 inched patties and place on a baking sheet (I like to cover mine with parchment paper). I typically get around 12 falafel out of a batch. Spray or drizzle the falafel with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. Flip the falafel over and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the outsides are crispy.
Step 3
Meanwhile, prepare the tzatziki dressing in a blender or food processor. Add all the ingredients (greek yogurt, lemon juice, dill, olive oil, cucumber, salt, and pepper) to the food processor and blend until smooth. Chill the dressing until the salad is ready.
Step 4
Last, prepare your salad by adding lettuce of choice to a large bowl. Top the bowl with sliced tomato, cucumber, and red onion. Last, add a few falafel to the top and pour on the tzatziki!
Step 5
If you aren’t feeling a salad, try sticking these falafel into a whole wheat pita or on top of a macro bowl. I’ve done both and highly recommend!

 

 

pumpkinandpb

Hi, I’m Liz and this is my food blog where I share my love of healthy foods and whole ingredients. You will find mostly vegetarian dishes, plenty of sweets, and lots of love from this little kitchen in Durham, North Carolina!

6 Comments

  1. Another invaluable recipe Liz. A fine falafel dish will erase all things gone wrong in my day. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *