This recipe makes cleansing enjoyable. The last few days have been a bit challenging, as it is never easy to change the way you eat and eliminate things you love (coffee, chocolate, wine). I found this immensely satisfying falafel recipe on one of my favourite recipe blogs: Green Kitchen Stories. They specialize in healthy, vegetarian recipes, but I must confess, I often follow their recipes and then add meat! This time, no meat. Eating vegetarian really isn’t so bad. I feel lighter, healthier and cleaner. But I still miss my cup of coffee in the morning.
The pistachios in this recipe add a lovely twist to traditional falafels, and I have a newfound adoration for tahini (a paste made from ground hulled sesame seeds). The tahini-yogurt is a fantastic pairing with these falafels. I buy tahini from the health food shop in Sea Point, beside Sunset Pharmacy (they import theirs from Israel and it’s 100% ground hulled sesame seeds). I’ve been mixing it with yogurt and adding it to everything these days – fruit, oatmeal, veggies, rice, salads – it literally goes with everything. Tahini is great for your skin and it’s packed with a million things that are good for you (vitamins, iron, protein, etc…) – read this for why you should eat more tahini!
Baked Pistachio Falafels with Wild Rice Salad & Tahini-Yogurt
Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
8-10 sprigs of fresh parsley
8-10 sprigs of fresh mint
2 cans chickpeas
½ small onion
1 clove of garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp flour (I used buckwheat flour)
Preheat your oven to 190C. Chop the herbs in a food processor and then add the pistachios, blending until nicely mixed. Add the chickpeas and pulse for about a minute. Then add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until combined but still a little chunky. Divide the dough in half and then half again. Each quarter should make 6 falafels. Roll the dough between your hands into round balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes to get an even golden brown. Makes 24 small falafels. Serve with tahini-yogurt.
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp plain yogurt
honey or lemon (optional)
Mix equal parts of tahini and plain yogurt together in a small bowl. Tahini is a little bitter, so add some honey or lemon if you wish.
I also made a really simple and light wild rice salad to have with the falafels and tahini-yogurt. The following recipe is just a guideline, so add any greens, nuts or veggies you prefer.
Wild Rice Salad
1 cup wild rice (I used a mix of brown & wild rice)
2 stalks of celery, chopped
3 radishes, finely chopped
1/2 large cucumber, diced
a large handful of wild rocket (arugula)
2 Tbsp almonds, lightly toasted
2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
sea salt & olive oil to taste
Make the rice ahead of time so it can cool. Bring 3 cups of water to boil, then add the rice and reduce to a simmer. Cook covered for about 40 minutes. Strain out excess water, fluff with a fork and set aside. Once the rice has cooled, add all the veggies and nuts/seeds and mix well. Season with sea salt and drizzle with olive oil.