Hungry Haley

it's more than food

Falafel Burgers (GF, Vegan)

Vegan, Gluten-Free, BurgersHaley HansenComment

Lately, I’ve been curious about what foods other people find “indulgent”. Like, if calories, fat, sugar, and, well, heart disease and the like, meant nothing and were nonexistent, what foods would you keep in your pantry/under your pillow/in your mouth #alldayerrday?

I’ve gotten answers consisting mainly of: pizza, ice cream, dark chocolate, mac n’ cheese, bacon, etc.

If you want to know my answer, keep in mind that the only “favorite” of anything I can give you is my favorite movie – The Princess Diaries (Anne Hathaway, you’re as stunning as a lemon cream tart with fresh berries on a hot summer day) – and my favorite color – blue.

Up until now, at least.

If you read last week’s post about Minimalist Baker’s Easy Vegan Falafels, you know I have a new obsession for those little fried balls of crisp happiness. Since my first date with falafels in Pacific Beach, I’ve made the recipe from Minimalist Baker, ordered a plate of 5 for my family to share (4 family members = 2 falafel balls for Haley, 1 for each of them)….

Aaaaaaaaaaaand designed my own recipe! Because why? Because falafels – the deep-fried, crunchy-on-the-outside, warm-and-buttery-on-the-inside ones are exactly what I find “indulgent”. Meaning: I shouldn’t have these everyday. I wish with all my heart that I could, but I’d end up just as round as the falafels soon enough.

This recipe is superbly cool because my mom helped me and we shared them for dinner on a much needed Mom-and-Haley night. WE LOVED IT. We loved the beautiful weather SoCal gave us, the cherished mother-daughter time during my first/last summer home from college, the fact that we were eating all vegetables rather than meat, and the food itself, of course.

No, these are not actual “falafels” like the kind you’d find in an authentic Greek restaurant – they’re not round, fried, and loaded with calories. (You’re welcome).

They ARE, however, a perfectly portioned (so that you can have one or two), crisp, flavorful, practically vegan twist on falafels.

Seriously bro, start your falafel romance with these and you’ll see the deep-fried version (which is totally fine every once in a while) as a mere treat. Take 30 minutes to whip them up for a night with your friends, or make just a few for yourself and then freeze the rest for another night. 

For toppings, my favorites are hummus, tsatziki, capers, and something spicy like Tapatio! I hope you all fall in love with falafels like I have, and I hope that, by making these, you fall a little more in love with the preparation behind a good meal, the good meal itself, and the people with whom you’ve shared it. 

Happy eating, everyone. 

Makes 8 patties 

1-15 oz. can low-sodium pinto beans
1-15 oz. can low-sodium garbanzo beans
1 flax egg
4 garlic cloves, minced  
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup almond meal
3 tbsp. flaxseed meal
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp each: 
Lemon pepper
Onion powder
Juice from capers
1/3-1/2 cup almond oil, for frying

1.     Pulse the first 5 ingredients and the caper juice in a large food processor until you get a smooth consistency. Refrigerate. 
2.     In a large bowl, stir together the almond meal, flaxseed meal, sesame seeds and spices. Take out the bean mixture from the fridge and combine with the dry ingredients, using your hands to make sure the dry ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the entire bowl. Refrigerate the mixture for 1.5-2 hours. 
3.     Grab about ½ cup of the mixture at a time, roll it into a ball, and press into a patty. Repeat that process for the rest of the mixture. 
4.     Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat and pour in the almond oil. Let it heat up for about 2 minutes and then lay the patties in the pan. Watch out – the oil may jump on you! 
5.     Cook them until each side is crisp – it could take anywhere from 5-7 minutes on each side depending on your pan.
6.     Serve them on a whole-wheat pita or brown rice tortilla, or on a bed of organic mixed greens! Enjoy :)

Recipe adapted from here.