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Salad recipes

Falafel salad bowl recipe

Prep time 15 minutes | Cook time 15 minutes
serves 4 people

Photography by Tracey Creed
Recipe by Amandine Paniagua and Tracey Creed
Words by Tracey Creed


Published August 10 2021

Ingredients

Falafel
1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
12 cup onion, roughly chopped
1 cup parsley, roughly chopped
1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 small green chili pepper, serrano or jalapeño pepper
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
14 tsp cardamom
14 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp chickpea flour
12 tsp baking soda
Bowls
6 cups kale, leafy greens, microgreens
6 cups baked sweet potato, yams or other root vegetables
2 cups brown rice, cooked or quinoa, other grains
walnuts, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, optional
2 avocados, optional

Method

To prepare the falafel.

The night before, soak the dried chickpeas in water. Make sure the water covers the chickpeas by 5 or so cm as they'll triple in size.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them to your food processor. Add the onion, parsley, cilantro, pepper, garlic, cumin, salt, cardamom and black pepper to the food processor and pulse several times until it resembles the texture of coarse sand.

Transfer the falafel mixture to a bowl and add the chickpea flour and baking soda. Combine and cover. Refrigerate the mixture for an hour.

Using your hands, or an ice cream scoop, form the falafel mixture into balls or patties. If you find the mixture is too wet, you can add another tablespoon of chickpea flour. If it's too dry and crumbly, you can add a teaspoon or two of water or lemon juice.

Once the falafel are formed, either pan fry or bake your falafel.

Pan fry — Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Gently place the falafel in the pan and cook each side for 2-3 minutes until golden.

Bake — Preheat your oven to 220 °C. Place falafel on a lined baking sheet. Brush falafel with olive oil and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning midway.

To assemble

De-stem kale if using and massage [use a lot of pressure, with your hands] with sea salt until the greens are soft, brightly coloured and your volume is decreased in size by a third. Either in bowls or meal prep containers, distribute your greens [we used salad mix and fresh herbs] add your other vegetables [we used baked yams, beets and carrots], and finish with whatever you have in the fridge [we used micro greens, avocado and ferments. Add a generous spoonful of hummus, the falafels and you’re done! You can also use these meals as part of your meal prep routine, everything will keep well for two days.

A falafel salad bowl to nourish and inspire

I follow a plant-based diet, an eating philosophy which prioritises whole foods, eliminates fast—anything fried, hyper-processed foods. That and heavily focused on greens, phytonutrients and healthy fats. I also don't drink any alcohol, so Remedy or any variety of Kombucha is my go-to. For the past 20 years, I have eaten this way. I know I am nourishing myself with what my body needs, and there are so many options these days. I never feel restricted in my diet.

I do accept that it is not for everyone. Practising non-judgment around food choices is vital for making space for compassion and communicating the vibrancy that comes from eating more plant-based, less processed, and where possible, more organic foods. But being real, Vegan Quorn Nuggets still find their way into our freezer. Plants are a life force. We all can benefit from eating a more plant-based diet most of the time.

When faced with the question, "What should I eat?", my evening strategy is the always in-season bowl.

For me, preparing falafels from scratch represented another opportunity to reduce packaging waste. That and to provide a decent source of plant protein to my always in-season bowl. The ultimate Israeli street food, which is most often served stuffed into pita bread — here, tops our bowls, only a tzatziki sauce would complete this nod to the Middle East. Perhaps if I can prepare these on the regular, the Quorn Nuggets will make less of an appearance in my freezer!

This delicious combination of greens, baked veggies, brown rice and ferments, topped with avocado, hemp seeds and generous spoonfuls of hummus taps into the never-ending power of plants. Below are some recommendations for building deeply nourishing, fulfilling meals ready in under 30 minutes. Be prepared to thrive.

Greens The least consumed food in the standard diet, and the most essential for inner and outer health — delivering an abundance of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Greens are your base so add an abundance. Choose from kale, spinach, chard, collard greens, cabbage, microgreens, beet greens, arugula, broccoli, bok choy, watercress, turnip greens and all kinds of lettuce.

Other vegetables Colour reflects different sets of phytonutrients, so for instance, red plants like tomatoes and peppers tend to contain phytonutrients like carotenoid lycopene, and Vitamin C. Yellow produce such as pumpkin and butternut deliver beta carotene, Vitamin A and alpha-carotene. If you’re doubling down on greens you’ll find phytonutrients like chlorophyll, iron, magnesium and Vitamin K — think asparagus, Brussels sprouts and peas. And not so colourful, the onion family contains allicin and flavonoids, parsnips, daikon radish, mushrooms and cauliflower.

Hummus Delivering healthy fats, protein and minerals, we always have a batch of homemade hummus in the fridge. Current house faves include this version with hemp seeds and our turmeric split pea hummus. For the photographs, I had out airy whipped hummus that I had prepared over the weekend. And I highly recommend making it!

Root vegetables High in antioxidants, sweet potatoes offer a wide variety of minerals gathered from the depths of the soil in which they grow. Other fibre, mineral-rich options include yams, beetroot and carrots. Potatoes — a personal favourite deliver more potassium than bananas and are a source of resistant starch, a prebiotic vital for gut health.

Grains, pseudo grains and pulses Think brown rice, lentils and millet deliver protein, fibre, B vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium. Known as a pseudo-grain, quinoa is actually a seed and delivers a good supply of easily digestible protein. A favourite, black beans provide an abundance of plant-protein and minerals like folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. There are more, the mentioned are my go-to base carbs — they’re also all gluten-free. I like to keep cooked batches of rice and lentils in the fridge, adding a big spoonful to bowls like these. This sort of partial meal prep allows dinner to happen in a moment.

Ferments like sauerkraut and kimchi Real ferments are actually raw with all their nutrients intact—the natural fermentation process leaves ferments teeming with gut-friendly bacteria. And when we populate our systems with an array of probiotics, we support our systems, good digestion, skin, immunity and mood. It’s super easy (and affordable) to prepare your own at home as we do.

Optional Savoury yeast provides high mineral content, amino acids and B vitamins. Sprinkle it on everything including your toast. Half an avocado has 7 grams of fibre and roughly 2 grams of protein in addition to an abundance of minerals and a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6. A perfect protein, hemp seeds deliver an abundance of phytonutrients and GLA (gamma-linoleic acid). High in minerals, like zinc and calcium, sesame seeds, much like sunflower seeds provide protein, healthy fats, minerals and fibre.

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