Even a vegan dish like falafels can use an upgrade! Falafel, a common dish eaten throughout the Middle East, is traditionally a deep-fried ball, or patty, made from ground chickpeas and often served in a pita or wrapped in a flatbread. We’ve added extra greens without interrupting the bold flavours of this dish and have opted to bake our falafel instead of frying making this a much healthier meal option. Crunchy on the outside and soft in the centre, this upgraded falafel is an excellent gluten-free vegan protein source.
Baked Spinach Falafel (gluten-free and vegan!)
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1 green onion
- 2 cups canned (or cooked) chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 2 tablespoons brown rice flour (or other gluten-free flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch of ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the parsley, spinach, garlic and onion in a food processor and pulse until everything is finely chopped. Remove and place the mixture in a medium mixing bowl. Put the chickpeas into the processor and pulse until coarsely chopped (stop once the mixture starts to turn into a creamy texture). Pour chickpea mixture into the bowl with the parsley mixture and mix by hand. Add in the tahini, flour and seasoning and mix until just incorporated. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop out 1/8 cup portions of the falafel mixture and shape into pucks. Place on top of the parchment paper and drizzle the olive oil, ensuring all falafels are covered. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once halfway through. Optional: broil for the remaining 2-3 minutes to get a crunchier exterior.
Optional “sauce” to serve with the falafel:
Dilute 2 tablespoons of tahini with the juice of 1/2 of a lemon, and 2-3 tablespoons of water. Season with a generous pinch of sea salt and serve with the falafel.