To nourish your mind as well as your body

Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.

-Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Baked Falafels Pita Pockets with Mint Tzatziki

I had some friends coming over last night and thought it might be fun to have a DIY dinner, rather than a serve-it-up like I usually do. I've had a yen for falafel since I got back from Israel, so this was my attempt and bringing the tastiness of Jerusalem vendors to my best pals at home. This meal is ridiculously easy to make, and fun - the only thing I would say is that it isn't the best meal to make when you're trying to have a conversation. The food processor is so loud! :)

Baked Falafel Pita Pockets with Mint Tzatziki
(makes ~8 servings)

(makes about 36)
1 can low sodium garbanzo beans, drained
1 red onion, finely chopped
A little less than 1/4 cup sorghum flour
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp salt
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Drain a can of garbanzo beans over the sink, rinsing them well. Drop them, along with all the other ingredients except the baking powder, into your food processor. [If you don't have a food processor, a blender could work. Otherwise, you can use an immersion blender or a potato masher. The processor is just faster.] Puree, until ingredients are a thick paste. When all elements are well combined, add the baking powder and stir in thoroughly.

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Now, here, I used my awesome little melon scooper, but you could use a normal, small spoon - your falafels will just be a little bigger. Scoop healthy dollops onto the baking sheet, about 6 scoops on each row.

Put baking sheets into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the falafel patties. Bake for another 15 minutes if you want them soft, 20 minutes if you want them lightly browned, 25 if you want them crispier.

Mint Tzatziki:
1 regular sized cucumber, chopped into small bits
2 cups plain, nonfat yogurt
~1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped into tiny bits
salt, to taste

I actually made this weird tzatziki sauce before as a sauce for grilled chicken. It's based on the recipe my friend Alex uses (she's Greek), but I had some mint leftover (from a fun squash stew I made) that I wanted to put to use. Wow, check out the parentheses use there. It's super easy to make. You just chop the mint really fine (use a big chef's knife - it's easier). You cut the cucumber lengthwise, then lengthwise again, then in slices. Toss these into a bowl, then scoop the yogurt in. Stir, mixing well, and you're done.

Pita Pocket and fillers:
3 whole wheat pita, cut in half
2 handfuls baby spinach, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 roma tomato, diced

Take your half pita, open it up on a small plate. Dollop a couple spoonfuls of the tzatziki into the pita, accompanied by a sprinkling of the spinach and tomatoes. Place 3-4 falafels into the pita. Enjoy!

It was a simple meal, cool and warm, and delicious! Lots of protein from the chickpeas. Vitamin A and K and manganese from the spinach (not to mention Popeye muscles). Vitamin C in the tomatoes. Nom nom nom. Plus, my friends really seemed to enjoy getting to make their own little sandwiches and we all found them very tasty.

[You will have extras. The leftovers are easily stored and will keep in the fridge to make a tasty snack/meal for the next day or two.]


  1. LOVE this! Looks very yummy...I love how you put so much thought into what you put in your body and your mind. So very cool :)

  2. I'm always happy to put good stuff in my friends' bellies.

  3. This looks soooo good!!!! Much better than the frozen stuff I use before.