What do you think of falafel?
My first introduction to this typically deep-fried chickpea patty came from a Middle Eastern Eatery down the street from my house in high school.
I used to call ahead and order the “Hummus Falafel Rolled” and pick it up in my parents’ blue Honda Civic. I was practically drooling when I unwrapped it on the way home to reveal the golden brown pita stuffed hummus, greens, veg, and the crispiest brown falafel patties.
Too tempting to wait.
And it was messy, because the best foods are. I’m talking major hummus and falafel landslide messy.
Probably not the best thing to eat in your parents’ car when you’re 16.
Sorry, mom and dad.
It was good, like really good, but after eating it I didn’t always feel as good as it tasted.
I kept on ordering it though, just in case I was wrong.
Unfortunately, my stomach told me that I wasn’t.
After the same thing happened on multiple occasions throughout my adult life, I finally got the hint. Falafel and I didn’t really get along.
I stayed away from falafel after realizing that my body didn’t like the mix of heavy oil and spices that most restaurants use in their recipe.
This realization came with a lot of angst because I loved how falafel was a great meat-free protein option to add to meals, especially when ordering food out.
Recently, I decided that I need falafel back in my life, but on my terms.
I want my falafel and I want to feel good too, ya know?
Whether you’re like me and can’t tolerate fried foods or are just looking for a healthier version of the classic, you’re going to love my Oil-Free Baked Falafel!
My version is kind to tender tummies, but it’s also perfectly spiced, packed with protein, and served with a fresh Oil-Free Cucumber Tahini Tzatziki.
This falafel is also suitable for gluten free eaters because I use almond flour instead of any breading or wheat to add substance to the patties.
Basically, this is foolproof falafel.
This healthy chickpea-patty side is so versatile!
Try making them on Sunday and throw them in your meals throughout the week for a little Middle Eastern flair.
Similar to my “Hummus Falafel Rolled” days, I like to wrap my falafel (I add three) up in a collard green with hummus, cucumber, tomato, and red onion with a drizzle of cucumber tahini tzatziki.
It’s equally as messy and equally as satisfying as the original, without any of the negative side effects to follow.
So, um, you might not want to eat it in your parents’ car. Or your car, for that matter.
You can also serve it as more of an entree with rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice, or as a protein packed snack or appetizer dipped in hummus or on its own.
I think it would be fabulous paired with my Mediterranean Cauliflower Rice Tabbouleh Bowls!
However you choose to eat your falafel, don’t forget to share!
If you make this Oil-Free Baked Falafel with Cucumber Tahini Tzatziki, let me know!
Give me a shout on instagram @flora_and_vino and use hashtag #floraandvino to show me how you ate yours!
For more collard wrap recipes, check out my favorite recipe for Green Chickpea Salad Collard Wraps.
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- OIL-FREE BAKED FALAFEL
- 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup yellow onion, diced
- ½ tsp garlic power
- 2 TBS almond flour
- ½ tsp. coriander
- 1 tsp. cumin
- ¼ cup parsley
- ¼ cup cilantro
- ¼ cup tahini
- Himalayan sea salt
- Black pepper
- 1-2 TBS white sesame seeds
- CUCUMBER TAHINI TZATZIKI
- ¼ cup tahini
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond or cashew yogurt
- ¼ cup filtered water
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ½ cup fresh dill,
- ½ cup chopped english cucumber
- Himalayan sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Optional for serving: collard greens, hummus, tomato, cucumber, red onion, parsley
- Preheat oven to 350 and line baking pan with parchment paper.
- Add all ingredients, except for the sesame seeds, to a blender or food processor and pulse until blended into a well combined paste.
- Scoop out mixture with a spoon and form into ~1/4 cup patties. Flatten slightly with you hands, if desired.
- Place sesame seeds in a small bowl and dip both sides of the falafel patty into the seeds and place on the parchment paper covered baking pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes until the patties are lightly browned on both side.
- For the cucumber tahini tzatziki, add all ingredients to a high speed blender and process until smooth and creamy. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
- To assemble the collard wraps, spread cleaned collard leaf with hummus and top with with oil free baked falafel, tomato, red onion, cucumber, and cucumber tahini tzatziki sauce.
- Patties keep in the fridge for 5-7 days, and in the freezer for up to one month.