So, over the last few weeks I’ve been slacking in the recipe department. Life has been busy, and incredibly stressful, and cooking (unfortunately) falls my the wayside in times such as those. But, this week should be better, and I have a fantastic recipe for you all today! That makes up for it, right?
One of my favorite cities in the world is Washington D.C. I like the culture, the hustle and bustle, the beauty of the scenery…pretty much all of it. And, on top of it, it houses one of my favorite restaurants in the world, Zaytina! Zaytina is a Turkish, Lebenese, and Greek cuisine restaurant, full of Mezzes (think Spanish Tapas, or small plates) and entrées and pretty much enough delicious food to fatten you up for a month. Their hummus is to die for, and their falafel can seriously make me cry. And the fresh bread they bring out?! Oh man…just…all the words!
So, I really wanted to recreate the falafel, but one thing I don’t like about falafel is how it’s typically deep-fried. Deep fried =/= healthy, and when you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle, having everything deep-fried in vats of oil really doesn’t cut it. I want it all, I won’t lie. I wanted the taste of their falafel, but without the added calories and fat. Tall order, I must say. So, where did I turn? Why, Google of course! Luckily, my search was fairly quick and painless. I came across a health food / Vegetarian cooking blog, Cookie + Kate, and was looking through it, and what did I come across? That’s right, baked falafel! What’s even better? She turned it into a salad (it’s like she’s after my heart, seriously), and I nearly came unglued. Baked falafel, PLUS delicious veggie salad?! Be still my vegetable loving heart!
So…last night, I made them. I had planned to make them earlier in the week, but never got around to it (plus I kept forgetting to soak the beans). I put the beans on to soak around noon, and made the recipe around 7pm, and that was plenty of time (in case you’re wondering if you have to soak them overnight…you do not). It was honestly very easy. Shove everything into a food processor and blend until smooth. Then scoop out and make patties, and bake them in the oven. My lord, could it BE any easier?! I did a few on a skillet on top of the stove, because I ran out of room in the pan in the oven, but apparently I don’t understand how a gas stove works because I burned them. Whoops! They were still delicious, however…burned or no. The ones in the oven, however, were pure perfection! For those, I put two into a half pita with some radish, tomatoes, goat cheese, and onion. I was lazy and didn’t want to cut up the salad bits last night…sue me. This afternoon, I did have my salad, and topped it with the falafel, along with goat cheese, onion, radish, tomato, carrots, and sugar snap peas. Pretty much, any veg I had in the fridge. Both times…DELICIOUS! Honestly, I would recommend this recipe to the ends of the earth and back…you all need to try it! Plus…the prep and assembly time is so fast!
Here’s a photo of last night’s dinner…I managed to snap it before stuffing my mouth with the last pita. NOM! So good, and so incredibly filling!
I put the ingredients into MyFitnessPal and portioned it out for 12 servings (I managed to make 12 falafel out of her recipe). With the serving size of 1 falafel = 1 serving, it came out to 83 calories a falafel! Totally nutritious, and low in calories, while still being very filling. Definitely a winner, and I’m seriously contemplating making it again next week!
Hope you enjoy it (if you do try it)…let me know what you think!