Meat Free Monday: Falafels.
Updated: Apr 13, 2020
Eating more vegetables is not only good for our health, but good for the health of our planet. Each week we share meat free recipes to inspire you to have a meat free meal on a Monday- or beyond. If you would like to know more about food and diet- read more here.
This week, its one of our very own recipes. Falafels are one of my absolute favourite meals, they are super versatile, can be eaten as a snack, as a meal, as a side dish. They are also super easy to make and can be frozen (in fact, I think they're often better cooked from part cooked and frozen). They are an indulgent and satisfying component aspect a plant based diet.
This is my *recipe* and I use that term very loosely. They are accidentally vegan and cheap to make. Because they are vegan, they CAN have less bindability, so it's really best to add ingredients as needed- hence no set measurments. I will add flour as needed, and as until it all sticks together. I have tried these with dried chickpeas- and due to the need for them to be a bit squishy- I didn't find they work as well as canned.
Sometimes, for an unknown reason, they fall to pieces. DO NOT panic. Cook and scoop up and eat still. The falafel crumb-lets are freaking delicious still.
Apart from the long life staple ingredients, I throughly recommend you fill your meal with what is in season. Lettuce can be swapped for cabbage. Tomatoes for beetroot. Eating with seasons is both ecofriendly and HUGELY rewarding, as you'll be treated to what feels right for the season. Heavier foods for colder weather and lighter foods in summer.
Recipe for falafels:
One can of chickpeas
4 cloves of garlic
Spices that you already have (turmeric, paprika, curry spice, chilli)
Oil that you have available (olive works well as is relatively plain!)
Fry the onion and the garlic until a little brown. You can choose to put your garlic and onion in raw, but frying gives a mellower and richer taste.
Combine all ingredients minus the flour and oil. Either blend or mush with a potato masher. A bit usual, but I really find hand mushing super useful in making sure the chickpeas are mushed enough to stick together. I also like to leave some chickpeas whole, for texture.
Add in about a tablespoon of flour, and 1 tablespoon of oil. Keep adding in small amounts until the mix is sticky and able to be formed into balls. Ensure the balls are not too dry and are solid, they want to be about a golf ball size.
Heat about 1cm of oil in a heavy pan. Fry until deliciously golden brown. You can choose whether to cook all of your falafels fully, or part cook and freeze. If you part cook your falafel, you'll get a more even cook when you recook. Simply cook for half the time as the falafels you plan to eat fresh.
One of my all time most favourite meals, is falafels, sweetcorn, shredded carrots, humus, sweet chilli (or a similar tangy sauce, mango chutney etc) lettuce or cabbage (whatever is in season), some beetroot or whatever vegetables you fancy, wrapped up in a wholemeal wrap. It's super crunchy, warm, sweet, tangy, delicious and filling.
We are currently working on our own recipe for flatbreads. Making your own is cheap, delicious, waste free, freezable goodness. Keep an eye out for Meat Free Monday recipe for flatbreads :)