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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
Updated November 16 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
1 head Iceberg Lettuce, chop off stem and remove leaves for cups
4 cups tabbouleh
4 tbsp hummus
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

Place washed lettuce onto a plate. Place spoonfuls of tabbouleh into your lettuce cups. Add falafels and a generous tablespoon of hummus. Garnish with sliced avocado. Enjoy.

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

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!

I follow a plant-based diet, an eating philosophy that 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.

We spent our last winter months in lockdown, but now summer is upon us, and I, for one, could not be happier. I know Amandine is also, and with tomato season upon us, we’re returning to recipes published this time last year for inspiration—pairing these falafels with our tabbouleh.

Hummus, of course, is non-negotiable, and this hummus recipe is the one we’re preparing with high frequency. Whether you are still working from home or re-entering society with a return to the office, you can prepare this recipe in advance and bring it to work.

Salads should be nutritious, virtuous—not pre-packed in plastic, not heavy but satiating and vibrant. This meal needs to get you through your afternoon meetings, the remainder of your workload. Your mind requires focus, and your body must remain energised for any post 5 pm workout routines scheduled.

For many, summer marks an uptick in our intake of raw, fresh vegetables and fruits. Salads become the main event as humidity hits, and we’re no longer preparing some of those more grounding meals. Giant salads provide an opportunity to alkalise the system and cool us down from the inside out. And all that cellular water in greens is what your skin needs all year long.

In every meal, we seek to include diversity and an abundance of hydrating greens—one of the most profound ways to transform your health. The falafel and tabbouleh deliver complex plant proteins with hydrating water-rich tomato and lettuce. We’ve included a tonne of fresh herbs—vital in providing cleansing, calming, anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.

There’s no one silver bullet when it comes to creating a thriving body, but that said, diversity is vital. Eat your greens and your water to support your systems, steering us away from inflammation, stress, dehydration and lethargy. When you eat water-rich foods, the water stays in your body longer, aiding digestion, hydrating the kidney and colon, helping eliminate toxins, relieving bloat [no one enjoys being bloated] and providing deep, cellular hydration.

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