This recipe is a lightened-up version of falafel, perfect for wraps and salads, topped with a creamy vegan tzatziki dressing.
Last year I planted about 5 zucchini plants in my first real veggie garden. It was a BIG mistake; I had zucchinis coming out my ears. So this year, I cut back on those and planted more greens. Namely, a lot of kale. I wound up in a similar position as last year, but thankfully kale is a much more versatile veggie to have a surplus of.
With all the kale, I wanted to find a way to use a bunch up while doing some meal prep to use throughout the week. I love the recipe by Vegan Yack Attack for falafel but wanted to create an oil-free option of my own. The nutrition facts include the sauce, but each individual falafel alone is only about 50 calories.
I did a bit of research on the history of falafel and found that this is a highly contested food item. There are mixed reports of the origins of this dish, from Israel to Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen. Regardless of the origin country, this can be found throughout the world. It is typically a blended broad bean or garbanzo bean with seasonings, deep fried and served in a wrap or on a salad.
I usually try to keep oil to a minimum, so I have found this baked version can really hit the spot with flavor while keeping it a healthy and filling dish. The tzatziki is SO good I have to stop myself from just drinking it (sounds weird but it’s that good). I’m not a big pickled-products person, but this quick pickled onion brings a bright and fresh zing to your dish.
This can be served in a wrap, as a salad, or can be transformed into a burger! Regardless of how you eat it, I think it tastes best with some diced tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, the pickled onions, and the sauce.
These also freeze super well, so they are a great meal-prep item. Just pull some out of the freezer and let them thaw out in the fridge, then pop them in the microwave and you’re ready to go! If you are doubling this recipe, you’ll want to split the servings when processing, otherwise you might not be able to fit everything in the food processor (speaking from experience).
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!Print
- 1 packed cup kale
- 1/4 cup onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (save the liquid)
- Juice from half lemon
- 1 tbs aquafaba (liquid from can of chickpeas)
- 1/3 cup oats
- 1/8 tsp of salt
- 1/8 tsp of pepper
- 1 tsp of coriander
- 1 tsp of cumin
Quick Pickled Onions
- 1/4 cup of thinly sliced red onion
- 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup of grated cucumber
- 1/2 cup of cashews
- 1/8 tsp garlic salt
- 7 tsp lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/2 tsp dill
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bring 2 cups of water and the cashews to a boil for 15-20 minutes while working on other steps.
- Put oats in the food processor and blend until coarse.
- Add kale to a food processor and chop into small pieces.
- Add onion, garlic, chickpeas, lemon juice, aquafaba, salt, pepper, coriander, and cumin to the processor. Pulse and scrape the sides down, until a chunky texture forms. This shouldn’t be over-processed, we’re not going for hummus.
- Roll into medium-sized balls, then slightly flatten them on a silicone baking sheet on a pan. This should make about ten depending on the size of your falafels.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then using a spatula, flip and bake for another 15 minutes. They should be slightly brown on both sides when they are done. This will have a crispier outside and softer center. Feel free to bake longer if you prefer a drier center.
- While the falafels are baking, start on the tzatziki. Blend the cashews, 1/2 cup of the grated cucumber, garlic salt, lemon juice, pepper, water, and dill until smooth. Add the remainder of the cucumber and mix by hand.
- For the quick pickled onions, add onions, vinegar, syrup, and salt to a jar with a lid. Shake well to combine and put in fridge until ready to eat.