Falafel-Spiced Chick Pea Salad Recipe

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1There is almost nothing I love more than a gigantic falafel sandwich with all of the fixings. (The best I’ve come across is from this cozy spot in Brooklyn) Warm and comforting, but still fresh and light, one could argue they are the most perfect food–and I would be that one if not for the fact that falafels are a bit tricky to make at home.

For some reason I’ve always had trouble recreating the balance of flavors and textures quintessential of street-style falafels (perhaps it’s because I stubbornly ignore the “deep fry until golden brown”  part of the recipe even though I know it will help them keep their shape) I know all of my favorite restaurant versions are fried, but when cooking at home, I try to be as  healthy as possible. I’ve tried baking and pan-frying as an alternative, but to avail. Each attempt resulted in a sad looking plate full of broken, dry pieces of… not-falafels.

And then it hit me, falafel spiced chick peas!

Yes, the texture is different. You’re not bitting into one big patty, but since the flavor combinations are similar, it takes less time to make, AND they’re healthier, I figured this would be the perfect way to indulge my falafel cravings at home.

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Falafel-Spiced Chick Peas 

  • 1 can of chick peas, rinse and drained
  • .5 tsp cumin
  • .5 tsp turmeric
  • .5 tsp garlic powder
  • .5 tsp oregano, or Italian seasoning works well too
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil, optional

Combine chick peas with the spices and bake at 375 until warmed through. 5-6 minutes.

Tahini Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 garlic salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp water

Whisk tahini with spices and liquids until smooth. Taste and add additional salt and spices as needed.

Note: Fresh crushed garlic can be used, and is amazing in this sauce, but the resulting garlic breath is pretty gnarly. You’ve been warned…

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Assemble a bed of mixed greens, steam sweet potato, tomatoes, cucumbers, green onion, and avocado and top with warm chick peas, fresh lemon juice, and drizzle tahini dressing on top. Not pictured, but very necessary are the pickled vegetables that come on traditional falafel sandwiches. Pickled turnip, sliced pickles, and a touch of hot sauce take this salad to another level, so I highly recommend garnishing liberally!

What not-so-healthy food should I lighten up next?? Let me know in the comments and I’ll get to work!
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