June 1, 2014

Crispy Baked Spinach Falafel w/ Apple Tzatziki Sauce

Looking for a quick'n'healthy dinner idea that is grain-free, gluten-free and vegetarian? How about if you can also put this together in no time? I know you see all these 30 minute meals and microwave meals on TV.. I even saw a commercial on plated meal recently. What I am talking about is a meal cooked from scratch with all wholesome and clean ingredients.

If you have to ask me my favorite cuisine other than my own, that would have to be Mediterranean. It is healthy, flavorful and flexible. Here is a baked version of spinach falafel which is given a little extra kick with the addition of green chillies. I am pairing it with an apple tzatziki sauce to cool it off a little bit. You can make the tzatziki sauce vegan by omitting the yogurt and adding extra cashews and extra lemon juice.



Spinach Falafel

Ingredients: 
  • Chickpeas - 1 cup (Soaked for 12-18 hours)
  • Spinach - 2 cups
  • Garlic - 2-3 cloves
  • Green chilly - 2-3
  • Red onion - 1/2 cup (chopped) 
  • Coriander leaves - 8-10 stems 
  • Sea salt - as per taste
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Paprika - 1 tsp 
  • Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon juice - 1 Tbs

Directions:
  • Drain the chickpeas well. Grind coarsely using a food processor or blender (stop and scrape sides frequently so that you can control the grinding and it does not become a fine paste).
  • Chop the spinach, garlic, green chilly, red onion and coriander very fine. You can add this to chickpeas while grinding, just make sure that everything just gets chopped and not ground to a paste. 
  • Transfer to a bowl, add the in spices and salt. Mix well and make sure everything is holding together well. 
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Mix baking soda with lemon juice and add it to the chickpea 'dough' and mix well.
  • Divide into a small walnut sized balls and spread them on a greased baking sheet. Give them a slight press to make small patties. 
  • Bake for around 20 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.
  • Serve warm with freshly made mango tzatziki sauce.
  • Makes about 24 falafels. Enjoy!! 


Apple Tzatziki Sauce:

Ingredients:
  • Apple - 1( preferably granny smith)
  • Lemon juice - 2 Tbs
  • Homemade organic yogurt - 1/2 cup
  • Cashew nuts - a handful
  • Green chilly 2-3
  • Garlic - 1 clove
  • Himalayan pink salt - a pinch

Directions:
  • Peel off apple skin and chop apple very fine.
  • Add the apple skin to a blender jar. Add half of the chopped apple, cashew, lemon juice, green chilly, garlic and salt. Puree till nice and creamy.
  • Transfer to a bowl, add remaining half of the chopped apples and yogurt. Mix well.
  • Enjoy!!

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