Friday, April 17, 2009

Fun Falafel Night!

Last night I was in the mood for a little middle eastern food so I automatically thought FALAFEL! I was very pleased to find out that these falafel's are amazing and really low-cal. There is nothing better than a homemade falafel and this truly hit the spot. The dip that goes along with it is wonderful as well!

Make this tonight with some white wine and you are in for a GREAT Friday night!


Ingredients:
Serves 5

For Falafel Pockets
2 1/2 whole-wheat or high-fiber pitas
One 15-oz. can chickpeas, well drained
1 onion, very finely chopped
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tbsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. paprika, or more to taste
black pepper, to taste
Two 2-second sprays olive oil nonstick spray

For Dip
6 oz. plain fat-free yogurt
1 Persian cucumber, peeled and chopped (or another small cucumber, peeled, deseeded, and chopped)
1 tsp. dried dill
3/4 tsp. crushed garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
black pepper, to taste

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Place all ingredients for falafel (except for the pitas and nonstick spray) in a large bowl, and give them a good stir. Using a potato masher, mash well. Mixture should remain slightly chunky, not smooth.
  • Spray a baking sheet thoroughly with a 2-second spray of olive oil nonstick spray.
  • One at a time, take spoonfuls of mixture in your hands and form 15 balls, each about the size of a ping pong ball, and gently place them on the baking sheet. Spray the top of each ball with olive oil nonstick spray, for a total of about a 2-second spray.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for dip in a blender or food processor, and pulse until just blended. Season to taste with black pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Remove baking sheet from the oven, and carefully turn each ball over, gently reshaping if the bottoms have flattened. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 - 15 minutes, until golden brown and slightly crispy. Allow to cool and set for at least 5 minutes.
  • Cut the whole pitas into halves, toast or warm all pita halves slightly, and then fill each with three falafel balls and 3 tbsp. dip. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information:

PER SERVING (1 pita pocket with 3 falafel balls and 3 tbsp. dip): 198 calories, 2.25g fat, 863mg sodium, 37g carbs, 8.5g fiber, 5g sugars, 10g protein

4 comments:

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Wrinkle Cream said...

What are some fun night spots in Chicago for 20 year olds?
I am planning a birthday for my friends who are turning 21 but most of us are still 20. What are some nice, fun, but still classy and not overly expensive night spots in Chicago where we can all celebrate at but is still worthy of a 21st birthday?

cookingforaveganlover said...

Wow what a great recipe! I am going to have to try it some time!