Do you have that one food (or meal or dessert or drink or whatever) that you just can't resist? You hear its name or see its picture or, perhaps the best one ever, maybe it slides up in front of you at the dinner table and all of a sudden you're drooling, heart-racing, feeling your knees weaken and stomach growl as the aroma oh-so-smoothly sneaks up into your nose? It's that food you'll always crave, no matter what, hungry or not.
For me? It's falafel. I took my first bite (which was, in fact, vegan) last summer at a local Mediterranean restaurant and have only fallen further and further in love since then. Falafel, you've put a mean mean meeeeean spell on me.
So, if I love falafel so much, and if I always preach balance and treats here and there and not worrying about calories and fat, then why don't I keep these little babies in traditional ball-form and deep-fry them? What harm can a few of those do every once in a while? Honestly, probably little to none. I do encourage balance and treats (y'all see how many vegan donuts I eat at work...) and nutrients over calories and I most definitely do L O V E me some authentic, homemade, straight-up real falafel...
... buuuuuuut I'm just a girl who really likes to color outside the lines. Only when it comes to food, though, so I guess you could say I prefer to think outside the cereal box? Anyway. Maybe I don't want just a plain ol' pasta salad, or boring oatmeal, or a typical quesadilla. Maybe I like my salsa a bit sweeter, and maybe I like chocolate peanut butter and marshmallows instead of frosting on cupcakes, and maybe just maybe I eat raw, high-protein cookie dough for breakfast.
Maybe I want to smash my falafel into a burger and slide it between two hearty whole-grain waffles and eat it all for dinner.
MAYBE YOU DO TOO?! Don't lie, dude. You know you want it.
Makes 6 patties
For the falafel patties:
1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans (a.k.a chickpeas)
4 tbsp. almond meal
2 cups fresh parsley
2 tbsp. flaxseed meal
4 garlic cloves, minced or roughly chopped
1 tbsp. tahini sauce (I use this from Trader Joe's, but you can also make your own)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 1/4 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. turmeric
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional: nutritional yeast
For the waffle burgers:
2 whole-grain waffles (I used Van's Foods 8 Whole Grains)
Extra tahini sauce
Cherry tomatoes and chopped cilantro, for serving
- Rinse and drain garbanzo beans. Allow them to dry slightly (you can also dab them with a paper towel to quicken the process) before tossing in a blender or food processor along with all other falafel ingredients.
- Pulse until everything is well incorporated. Scoop handfuls of the mixture out, roll into portions just bigger than a golfball and press into 1/2" thick patties.
- Lay patties on a plate lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for one hour or freeze for thirty minutes.
- Just before removing from the fridge or freezer, preheat oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the patties evenly across the sheet and bake for about 15 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy. In the meantime, toast the waffle and prep the burger ingredients.
- Remove from oven, cool, and serve immediately with waffles, tahini sauce, avocado, and any other desired additions.
Recipe adapted from here.