March 26, 2014

Falafel Wraps

Falafel Wraps

Falafel Wraps

There are two big lessons that I want to impart to you today: first, cabbage makes an amazing, low-sodium pita replacements and second, cooking with dried chickpeas is kind of amazingly more amazing than using the canned kind.

Now I’m all for convenience. Trust me on this. I’ll happily buy peeled garlic, no-salt-added canned tomatoes, and pre-mixed no-salt spice blends. Anything that makes me low-sodium life and cooking easier. And when it comes to beans, I’ve never, I repeat, NEVER used the dried kind. I always rely on the trusty no-salt-added pre-cooked version and a can opener.

But yesterday, I went for it. After reading over and over again just how different the taste and texture of dried beans is versus the precooked kind, I gave in. I bought a few cups of dried garbanzo beans. And I prepared myself for a long, arduous road ahead of soaking and waiting and boiling and probably making a mess.

Which never happened. Because not only are dried beans really great to cook with, they’re also super easy to prepare. Like, “sixty minutes in boiled water” kind of easy. And a quick side note: I’ve re-fallen in love with my food processor this weekend. So on top of getting yourself a bag of dried beans, I highly suggest you get your food processor out of the cupboard and start an affair of your own.

So give it a try and taste the real deal. Make falafels (recipe below) for the work week or hummus or even an oven roasted snack. Get over those cooking fears and misconceptions. And as always, chow on.

HOW TO QUICKLY PREPARE DRIED BEANS

In a pot, cover 1 cup of dried beans with 3 inches of water. Bring it to a boil for a few minutes. Then remove pot from the heat, cover it with a lid, and let it stand for an hour. Then the drain beans before using in your favorite bean recipe.

BAKED CHICKPEA FALAFELS

adapted from Cookie + Kate and her Crispy Baked Falafel recipe

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked (see above)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt-free garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp dried fennel
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions
Preheat oven to 375 dg F. Coat a large cast iron skillet or high-sided baking pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil (note: the more olive oil you use, the more “fried” your falafels will be).
In your trusty food processor, combine the rest of the ingredients (chickpeas to cinnamon). Process until the falafel “dough” is smooth and comes together, about 1 minute.
Using your hands, use about 1 1/2 tablespoons to make little falafel patties, about 2 inches wide and 1/2-inch thick. Place the pattie on the oiled skillet or baking pan and continue until all the mixture is used up.
Bake for 12 minutes and then carefully flip the patties. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and cook for another 12 to 15 minutes, until falafels are browned on both sides.
To serve: Eat while warm. Mix with a fresh, kale salad. Wrap in collard greens or cabbage for an afternoon sandwich. Dip into a Greek yogurt tzatziki sauce. Or keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for a week and use the falafels differently each day!

Bobbie Anderson January 24, 2015 at 9:53 am

Sounds delicious. I want to try it. My mom is 91 yrs young and has been on a no salt regime. I was happy to hear about you thru TV program

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