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Easy baked falafel extravaganza

Baked falafel with pickled onions, orange tahini dressing, lentils and pita bread on black plate

Easy baked falafel surrounded by all your favorites – flavorful simmered lentils, quick pickled red onions, assorted veg and orange tahini dressing.

Ingredients

Scale

Baked falafel

  • 215 oz. (400 gm.) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro (coriander), roughly chopped (I used the leaves and the tender stems)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. ground chia or flax seeds
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt (optional)
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 12 tsp. red chili flakes

Simmered lentils

  • 1 cup rinsed green or brown lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 ¼ cups water
  • Pinch of salt (optional)

Quick pickled onions

  • 2 red onions, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup raspberry vinegar, red wine vinegar or merlot vinegar
  • 3 tbsp liquid sweetener such as date paste or agave syrup
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Orange tahini dressing

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 clove mince or crushed garlic

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 3750 F. (1900 C.)
  2. To make the toasted seed mix, heat a skillet over medium heat and add 1 cup pepitas, ½ cup sesame seeds and 1-2 tsp. red chili flakes. Toast for about 2 minutes until the seeds start to brown. The sesame seeds will start to pop, so that’s when you want to be sure to take them off the heat.
  3. In a spice grinder, blender or using a mortar and pestle, break up the seeds just a bit. A few turns will do.
  4. To make the falafel, in a food processor or blender, combine the rinsed chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, garlic, ground chia or flax seeds, baking soda and salt (if using). Combine Process the ingredients until a relatively smooth dough is formed. You may need to scrape the sides of the food processor from time to time.
  5. Either remove the blade from your food processor or transfer the ingredients to a bowl. Mix in ¼ cups of the seed mix until it is distributed throughout the falafel mix.
  6. Grab your baking tray and line it with parchment paper or a baking mat. On a small plate or shallow dish, add ¼ cup (the rest) of the seed mix. Scoop out the falafel mix and form them into balls, about the size of a golf ball (an ice cream scoop is wonderful here). Lightly roll each ball in the nut mix and add it to the tray.
  7. Place the tray in the oven and bake, uncovered for 40-45 minutes until the falafel starts to brown and is firm to the touch.
  8. While the falafel bakes, prepare the lentils by adding all the ingredients to a medium pot, bringing the pot to a boil, then lowering the heat to simmer, cover and cook the lentils until they are tender and the liquid is absorbed. Check them from time-to-time and add more liquid if necessary. The time to cook the lentils will depend on the type you use but in general, allow about 30 minutes for this.
  9. If you are making quick pickled onions, this is a good time to take that task on. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, liquid sweetener and salt. Mix in the onions, cover and place them in the fridge. Still them a few times to help with the marinating process.
  10. To make the orange-tahini dressing, combine the tahini, lemon juice, orange juice and minced garlic in a blender (you can also use a stick blender). Blend until smooth. Add more juice or water if you want the dressing thinner.
  11. While the falafel and lentils finish cooking, prep any lettuce or veg you want to include. We used, shredded Romain, sliced cucumber, sliced radish and diced cherry tomatoes, but this is entirely up to you. Carrots or red pepper is also something to consider. We just couldn’t get more on the plate.
  12. To serve, layer the lettuce and veg on a plate and add cooked lentils and falafel plus the pickled onions. Top with the dressing or serve on the side.

Notes

  • We've discovered that the falafel will heat easily in the microwave and you can also reheat it in the oven by wrapping it in foil.
  • The onions and dressing can be made days in advance (both keep for several days).
  • If you are in a pinch, canned lentils can be substituted. Simply heat them with a 1 tsp. dried thyme. 2 cans should do the trick as a good substitute.

Keywords: baked falafel

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