One of my favorite things to do in my life is to take a traditionally made food or recipe, and alter it to create a nourishing and simple meal. Falafels are one of my favorite foods, but I rarely make them (actually I’ve never made them). This is mostly due to the fact that they traditionally come fried in a batch (or bath) of oil. Personally…I’m not messin with a tub of hot oil…A. Thats not the healthiest decision…and B. Girl is broke!

That being said, one night I was craving that spicy, crunchy falafelness (just made up that word), and luckily for me I had a fresh batch of chickpeas that I just cooked (I always keep chickpeas on had) in the fridge. Also to my surprise, I had a nice bunch of kale in my fridge that I previously bought with the intent of adding to my smoothie (see my Ultimate Superfood Smoothie for this delish recipe). I took a little less than half of it and decided it might be a good idea to add a little extra fiber, calcium, chlorophyll, and vitamin c to my falafel mixture (brilliant idea doing that).

Making these falafels is so easy and the best part is, that if you don’t want to use all of the mixture, you don’t have to. Just make the falafel mixture according to the directions, portion out what you want to use for that night, crisp those lucky ones up and then set the rest of the mixture in the fridge (make sure its covered). This can last for about a week, and you can actually freeze the mixture for up to a month or two (pretty awesome right??) You can also pre-make the falafel patties and refrigerate or freeze them like that as well. So when it comes time to make lunch, dinner or a snack, just crisp them up with a little olive oil!

This falafel recipe also allows you to add extra protein, fiber, B vitamins and slow releasing energy into your diet (while tasting damn delicious). All important nutrients for staying full, fuel, satisfied and nourished. It also contains some wonderful healing and anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric, cumin and garlic. If you’re new to turmeric or cumin this is a great recipe to slowly introduce you to them. The falafels aren’t so insanely strong with those spices, but it does balance out nicely with the chickpeas, kale, and the lemony hummus dressing (I promise that you’re tastebuds and body will thank you).

Kale and Chickpea “No-Fry” Falafel

Kale and Chickpea “No-Fry” Falafel

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup kale (massaged with 1/2 tsp olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (vidalia or yellow)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt (1/4 tsp if using canned chickpeas)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)
  • 2 cups spinach or kale (optional)
  • 2 tbsp hummus
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Combine chickpeas, 1 cup massaged kale, onion, garlic, cumin, turmeric, salt, lemon juice, water, and red pepper flakes in a blender or food processor. Pulse the mixture until blended but still slightly chunky, about 10-15 seconds.
  2. Pour mixture into a large bowl and add in baking powder and flour. Work in the flour and baking powder until combined and the mixture starts to stick together.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan or skillet on medium heat until hot and fragrant, about 3 minutes. When oil is hot, take the falafel mixture and start to form 3-4 inch size patties and place in pan. Cook patties for about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden and crispy. Remove patties from pan and then place on plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat this step until all falafel mixture is used, adding a little olive oil if desired between each batch.
  4. While patties are cooking, whisk together hummus, 1 tbsp water, 1 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp olive oil and set aside.
  5. When done cooking falafels, place desired amount over a bed of kale or spinach, drizzle with dressing and then top with pomegranate seeds.

felafel
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As a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Nutritionist, Sara not only practices what she preaches, but she also eats what she practices. Sara's philosophy about food and nutrition is simple; eat real food, make it yourself, enjoy every step, and leave room for laughter. Sara shares more of her delicious recipes at EatLaughDrink.com.
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