Chickpea, Quinoa, and Green Onion Falafels

Everyone has a craving food, that food that is warm, fried, and so bad for you. For me, it’s falafels – crunchy, savoury, deep fried and wrapped in warm pita. But falafels don’t have to be bad for you!

I love making baked falafels. My go to recipe is spicy and delicious, but this weekend I was in the mood for something a little more suited to spring.

This recipe is perfect! These falafels are lightened up with some cooked quinoa, and taste fresh because they’re loaded with green onions. I like to eat them in a lettuce wrap instead of a pita, for a perfect light lunch. And the dressing…I think it’s my new favourite dressing. It’s a little sweet, a little tangy, and full of rich tahini flavour. I’ll definitely be making this dressing again. Bonus: both the falafels and the dressing are gluten free and vegan!

Adapted from The First Mess 

Makes around 12 falafels

Ingredients

2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, dried slightly with paper towel

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1/2 small onion, roughly chopped

4-5 green onions, white and green parts separated and chopped

2 tsp cumin

juice of 1/2 a lemon

salt and pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp flour (you can use rice/oat/millet flour to make these gluten-free)

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup cooked quinoa – make sure the water has completely cooked off

1 tbsp sesame seeds

Tahini Dill Dressing

1 clove garlic, minced or grated

juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 tbsp maple syrup

Splash cider vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup tahini

salt and pepper

2 sprigs of dill, leaves chopped

Directions

Preheat your oven to 375, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a food processor, combine chickpeas, garlic, onion, the white parts of the green onions, cumin, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and olive oil. Pulse until the mixture is still chunky but most of the chickpeas are chopped up. Add flour and baking soda and pulse a few more times to combine.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add cooked quinoa, the green parts of the green onions, and sesame seeds and mix it all together (I like to use my hands).  Form the mixture into balls that are about 2 tbsp, and place on baking sheet. Flatten slightly.

Bake until golden and slightly firm. Serve in a pita or lettuce wrap, topped with veggies and tahini dressing.

Dressing

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl (or a jar). Whisk (or shake) until combined. The dressing will keep in the fridge for about a week.

Fresh and healthy, these falafels make the perfect spring lunch!

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