Contrary to popular belief, falafel does not make you feel awful. 😉
Okay, I realize that falafel has a bit of a bad rep sometimes so I’m standing up for it. Before I start making my case for falafel though, can I just talk about this sweet little friend I’ve been hearing everyday. There’s this owl that hoots throughout the morning outside my window and I’m starting to consider him my buddy.
Because of how close I can hear him (assuming it’s a him) I think he lives in the tree here in our backyard. Unfortunately I haven’t caught sight of this sneaky little guy but he definitely makes himself known with his song. I’m mentioning this because as I sit here writing this post he’s still hooting away. At this rate I’m going to have to name him. Suggestions?
As for the falafel, you might be thinking I’ve gone too far by adding beets to an already unpopular food but you honestly can’t taste it. I simplified things by using some precooked beets that I got from the store. Fresh is definitely better but I can’t deny these are pretty convenient. Also, do these not look deceptively like meatballs? Well, I’m not going to say they taste like that, but they are delish.
So when I was in NY I was actually surprised by the huge amount of gyro stands selling falafel. Also made me realize that I haven’t made falafel more than a few times. Of course, deep frying them probably isn’t the best choice for everyday so I baked these. Adding some almond flour kind of gives them a hint of rich nuttiness that helps replace the need to fry them.
I made this incredible, but super simple mustard tahini sauce to go with them. Literally you just stir the few ingredients together in a bowl and you’re all set.
For serving these, you can definitely go the gyro route and have them on pitas with whatever topping you like. Personally I’m more of a bowl fan, but you guys already knew that. I like to serve them with some kind of potatoes, rice, or other grain and then all the veggies and drizzle it all with the tahini mustard sauce.
Baked Red Beet Falafel + Tahini Mustard Sauce
- 1 large or 2 small peeled cooked beets (I used lovebeets)
- 1 can 15 oz cooked garbanzo beans
- 1 small onion peeled
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch or cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons flax meal
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1/4 cup almond flour
Tahini Mustard Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 cup mustard
Optional for Serving:
- 4-6 large pita breads
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Combine the beans, beets, garlic, onion, and spices in a food processor (a blender will work also if that's all you have) and pulse until combined into a nearly smooth mixture. Scrape the mixture into a medium mixing bowl and add the cornstarch, flax meal, oat flour, and almond flour and mix until combined.
Scoop or roll the mixture into balls (about 2 tablespoons) and place them about 1 inch apart on a parchment lined baking tray. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes, turning them at about 20 minutes, until the outsides are crispy and slightly darkened on the edges. Serve along with <a href="http://sincerelytori.com/indian-red-coconut-curry-homemade-pitas/" target="_blank">pita breads</a>, rice, or on there own.
Tahini Mustard Sauce:
Stir together the ingredients in a small bowl until smooth and serve with the hot falafels.