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Wednesday
Jun302010

QUINOA FALAFELS WITH TAHINI SAUCE



It's summer. There was a whirlwind of engagement excitement, a trip to Scotland and now it's July. What the heck. The traffic down the coast is congested, there are ripe nectarines at the market and I can smell that glorious charcoal bbq scent when I take an evening stroll. I like it very much. The season of eating dinner outside, beach days after church and the best fruit, I welcome you.

As much as I love a good meal, I'm more often a grazer. I peek through my fridge a number of times during the day, hoping maybe something new or more exciting will look back at me. There are always string cheeses and carrot sticks; often some flavor of hummus and various dipping agents, but those have been on my snack menu for a good twenty years or so, I need some new goods. The first thing I do when I go to my parents house is take note of what is in their fridge, as you never know when hunger will strike and I may NEED something from there. I am not much of a baker for this very reason, grazing on baked goods is not the greatest habit. If you bake and have self control, cheers to you. I'm better off with these leftover quinoa falafels in the fridge.

QUINOA FALAFELS WITH TAHINI SAUCE / Serves 4
I made my own version, but was influenced by the lovely Nicole at Cooking after Five. I used smoked salt, because I had some on hand and it worked great, but any type of salt is fine. The falafels themselves are very low in fat, so the sauce, or any sauce of choice is necessary. You can use fresh cooked garbanzo beans, or canned if you are short on time.

1/2 Cup Quinoa
1 Cup Chopped Carrot
1/2 Cup Sliced Green Onions (about 3)
3 Tbsp. Chopped Parsley
15 oz. Garbanzo Beans
2 Eggs
2 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 tsp. Cumin
2 tsp. Coriander
2 Tbsp. Toasted Sesame Seeds
2 Cloves Garlic
Salt/Pepper

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 Cup Plain Yogurt
1/4 Cup Tahini
1 Tbsp. Lemon Zest
Fresh Chives to taste
Salt/Pepper

1 English Cucumber, cut in matchsticks

1. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is absorbed, about 12ish minutes. Set aside to cool for now.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt, tahini, lemon zest, a pinch of salt and pepper and chives if you have them. Cover and put in the fridge.
3. In a blender or food processor, pulse carrots and parsley. Add green onion, garbanzos,sesame seeds, lemon juice, eggs, garlic clove, coriander and cumin. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Pulse until roughly combined, add quinoa, and another few pulses. I prefer it chunky. Taste for seasonings. Allow to set in fridge for an hour. It will be fine resting overnight if you really like to plan ahead.
4. Heat a nonstick pan* over medium high heat with 1 Tbsp. of the oil. Scoop the mixture out in about 2 Tbsp. size portions, roll and flatten into patties. Sear them in the saucepan for about 3 minutes on each side, with a slight press of the spatula between to thin the patty a bit. Use the remaining oil when the pan becomes dry about the third batch.
5. I ate mine at room temperature over some matchstick cucumbers, with a drizzle of the yogurt tahini sauce on top. You could put them in mini pitas and they could be a neat veg appetizer. I love mini things.

* Nonstick will allow you to use less oil to keep them from sticking. You need some oil to create a crust, but you are not 'frying' them.

Reader Comments (98)

What a beautifully understated dish, Sara! I've been a fan of your blog for a while now but have mainly been eating with my eyes. This post may be the first Sprouted Kitchen recipe to make its way into my own kitchen!

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMadison Mayberry

I love the shots of those herbs on the paper bag - simple and beautiful!

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison Jones

I have never had a falafel, but I think this would be right up my alley!

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica @ How Sweet

I know you are happy to be back in the kitchen! I am a grazer too and lately I can't seem to get enough nectarines and strawberries! I just might turn into a strawberry :) this recipe is beautiful, as always.

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCoco

this looks fantastic!

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterirene

Ooooh, this looks amazing. I've been wanting to make falafels from scratch but this recipe looks amazing. I've got plenty of millet so maybe I'll sub that in instead. Yum!!

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkickpleat

I just made and posted my version of falafel with a tahini sauce - amazingly, there are so many subtle differences between our two recipes (you used quinoa/I didn't, yours uses an egg/my doesn't, your tahini sauce is yogurt based/mine is more of a straight tahini, yours were patties/mine were balls) that I feel I now have to turn right around to make this version of falafel!

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCooking with Michele

You just solved my "what to make for dinner" dilemma. Don't have time to go to the grocery, and I just happen to have all of these ingreds on hand. Yay! Falafel is a fave in our house, and this sounds fun and different. I'll let you know how it goes!

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkatie

Hey Sara! What a clever recipe and it looks so yummy! I wanted to tell you that today was my last day at work - not unlike your recent foray into new endeavors! The place was horrible and not what I wanted to do with my life! Your own story totally inspired me! So here's to following our dreams and finding some happiness! :)

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

looks lovely! i just made a quick salad with red quinoa, garbanzos, and some white beans i had in the freezer. maybe i should use the rest and mix it up this way? hmmm..... i do love some falafel..

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterheather @ chiknpastry

Yum! They look so cute lined up on the sheet pan. Glad I could provide a little inspiration, as you're always inspiring me!

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

Look absolutely delcious. This is way better than the cookies I graze on by the mid afternoon slump!

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbianca

Yup, that settles it. I have all of this at home - we're making 'em for dinner tonight!

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen Caputo

Such a good idea. I love the look of these and just want to dig in :)

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJacqueline

Whenever I look into my fridge, I also am just waiting for something to stare at me and say "EAT ME!" And suprisingly enough, most litteraly, I have several flavors of hummos, cheesesticks, and a lot of dipping agents in my fridge also!

And if that wasn't weird enough, I am having falafals for dinner tonight, yet they will probably not at all compare to yours! It seems you use a lot of tahini? Is it too strong, or not? I know that when I make some hummos or other Lebanese meals, I am always afraid to use tahini. Great post, once again!

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSam

I too am a refrigerator grazer. About once every hour it’s time for another snack. So it is quite unfortunate that I am a baker…a sliver of this and a bite of that, and before I know it I’ve devoured an entire pan of buttermilk cornbread (like last night). These falafels look divine! My inner snack-monster (and my hips) thank you very much!!

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

I can't wait to try these!!! I've been looking for a falafel recipes, and these look amazing!

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkrysta

How did you know? I've been craving falafel for ages, and didn't have a recipe that tickled me, but this one I'm going to try. Maybe it was the pictures *nod to your man*
Thanks!

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErin

Love quinoa and love this recipe! I'll have to try this soon. Fabulous photos!

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda @zomppa

Oh falafel is one of my favorite go to snack foods. I've had it so many different ways and I never seem to be disappointed. Love the addition of quinoa. I will have to try this version this summer.

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

I don't have self control when I bake either, but it's okay since my desserts only make a little! But these look like my kind of lunch. Thanks for sharing!

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDessertForTwo

Interesting recipe. The falafel look wonderful!

July 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCherine

I'll be trying this recipe as soon as soon can be. My man has been craving falafels, and it just so happens that we are stocked with everything on the ingredients list. Thanks for the recipe. :)

July 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay Jewell

i love falafels. i used to eat them probably at least once a week during my lunch break. i will have to try this recipe.

July 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSophia

That looks great - I like the idea of making a crust on them but not frying them - I made some falafel recently and ending up drowning them in oil - not the best!

July 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLucy

ooo i know what i'm making for dinner soon! reminds me of the sweet potato falafel from 101 cookbooks, that i've been meaning to try too. i <3 falafels.

July 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteradrienne

Great texture in this recipe. I have almost everything to make these.

July 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

We made them last night. I never figured out what to do with the toasted sesame seeds. I winded up just adding them to the mix but I thought I might have been supposed to coat the falafel with them. Were they there by accident or did I just miss the step where you did something with them?

July 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen Caputo

just stumbled upon your lovely blog and of course had to bookmark it; will be visiting often. oxo

July 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjen

Beautiful!! Yummy!! Great step-by-step visual! Thank you.

July 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPavlina Ortiz

Got any ideas on what to use instead of yogurt? I have trouble with all dairy products. The local grocery store doesn't have plain soy yogurt either, just the flavored stuff. HELP ME PLEASE !!!

July 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLee Ann Flint

I can relate.. I am NOT a baker with self control! I'm always looking for better things to snack on... especially since I'm pregnant and hungry ALL THE TIME. These look great, I'm going to make them tonight!

July 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

These look really great! I have been eating the same (with slight variations) warmed quinoa salad for about 8 weeks or more. It's really yummy and so healthy, but I;m ready to venture out of the salad bowl......This will be a nice change!

July 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteramy

Making these tonight!

Looks great! I love making falafel, my new secret ingredient is a dash of cinnamon.

July 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Now that's a falafel! Seriously, that looks soooooo good : )

July 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa (LadyGrey)

Beautiful Sara. I just ate felafel in the Marais in Paris and while I love them to pieces, they are not the healthiest food. Leave it to you to make them gorgeous and healthy. What a pretty plate. I'm so glad you guys had a good trip. We loved Edinburgh when we visited 6 years ago.

July 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDana

yum! these look absolutely delicious...and the quinoa is genius!!!
welcome back!!!
xo, anne

July 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteranne

This looks really amazZzing!! ;) and I love the photos, it really excites the taste buds, and appealing to the artist! xx Sharmila

July 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSharmila

I adore falafels and these, with quinoa and all those yummy seasonings, sound fantastic! I am very much like you when it comes to the fridge...a grazer...these look so perfect to have on hand as leftovers;)

July 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWinnie

I have to be honest and admit I've never eaten a falafel of any kind! But this is the second blog I've seen with a recipe for it in the past couple weeks. The other was nothing like this! I wasn't really tempted. But I certainly am with this recipe. It's chock full of good ingredients, Sara. Never have seen it with quinoa.
And I adore your food styling...but then I always say that! :)
Simple, minimilist and so intriguing.

July 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

i looooooveeeeee you! i am making this for my friends visiting from nyc, but i am doing the baby falafs in the baby whole wheat pitas. i feel so hip. love, sam

July 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersamipie

yum! these photographs are beautiful.

July 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwishful nals

I tried one of these fabulous recipes, and couldn't help but take photos--Of course they're not a gorgeous as the above ones, but I wanted to document this dish!!!! AMAZING!

http://speck77.blogspot.com/2010/06/summer-lentils-having-blast.html

Cheers!

July 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkristen

Ugh I love falafels more than anything! And I love these even more because they're healthier than some of the deep fried versions you see out there! Also really into how you served them. xxSAS

Wow, I never realized falafel had so many ingredients and took so much preparation. Really makes me appreciate the effort that goes into those delicious little patties when I'm at a restaurant!

July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

I am simply in love with this recipe. I feel like I can smell it from here! A wonderful grazing snack. And, by the way, I do snack on baked goods. All the time! I am trying to give myself a pregnancy exemption right now. However, I keep looking around my preggo class realizing that I have the biggest belly in there! Ha.

July 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterredmenace

I swoon over your photography. I keep going up and down the post to look at the photos again. Just lovely. I've been searching for quinona recipes and this looks like a tastey one to try. So simple and delicious. Thank you :)

July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah @ Mum In Bloom

We need a falafel arms race in downtown Toronto- mix some quinoa in, cheap Lebanese places on Bloor street!
The only thing that could make this better is if you had soaked dried beans overnight and simmered them in vegetable stock.

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Hey there! I've got a burning question....how might I imptove this very bland dish?

Details here:

http://speck77.blogspot.com/2010/07/stuffed-light-fare-something-missing.html

I appreciate your suggestions! Cheers! Kristen

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkristen

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