Thursday, February 3, 2011

What's Cooking? Falafel... and it is delicious!

I have been far more successful planning meals lately; this was one of my myriad of New Year's resolutions.  We found another winner this past week, and it will be on the weekly rotation.  I made Falafel, and yes, from scratch.  Meat has been almost completely eradicated from our diet, and has been replaced by beans.  Beans are cheap, easy, healthy and a great protein source.  Protein is a major focus for us to aid in muscle repair after rock climbing.

1 1/2 cup dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup fresh parsley
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp olive oil - for cooking
4 Pita Pockets
4 Lettuce leaves
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
More chopped garlic

1.  Boil a large pot of water.  Add the garbanzos and cook until slightly softened, but still very firm in the middle.  About 10 minutes.  Drain and cool slightly.
2.  Using a food processor: combine beans, onion, garlic and parsley.  Process until coarsely pureed.  Transfer to a bowl and mix in the baking powder, salt , cumin and red pepper flakes.  Chill until cold - about an hour.  
3.  Shapes mixture into patties - about 1/4 cup each.  Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.  Cook until browned about 4-6 minutes on each side.
4.  Mix up the yogurt with chopped cucumber and garlic.  This part depends on your taste!  Add some pepper.  
5.  Stuff each pita with lettuce, a falafel patty, tomato and the yogurt mixture.

We love the garlic yogurt mixture, so I make a lot of it!  We also think that the cucumber really makes the mix.

I made the garbanzo mixture the night before and left it in the fridge.  It was totally delic!


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