Wednesday, January 26, 2011

flaxseed falafel

as i have mentioned before i love trying out new falafel recipes. kris found one on sfgate awhile ago and we finally got around to trying it this weekend. the recipe is packed with flax (both ground and whole seeds) which i suppose gives it an extra nutritional boost, since flax is suposedly so good for you and stuff, as well as a slightly different flavor and texture. other than that it was mostly the usual falafel-y suspects: chickpeas, parsley, lemon juice and some yummy spices including cayenne which gave these just a perfect amount of heat.
what really set these apart from my other falafel making experiences was that i did something i don't like to do. i fried them. i'm always torn between the superior crunch that frying gives and the healthiness/easiness of baking. well i went with frying this time for two reasons 1. the recipe only calls for a shallow fry not deep frying so it was really frying for wimps and 2. we finally got our hands on a bottle of rice bran oil that we read an article about and is supposed to be the best for frying and is "healthy" too blahblahblah.

i loved these! while the shallow frying made a nice crunchy top and bottom the middle stayed a little squishy which then made for great, not dried out leftovers after a night in the fridge. and because i can't make a falafel dinner but must make a falafel feast i also made flatbread, tahini, slaw and the tzatziki recipe that was with the falafel recipe. phew! here's the recipe with vegan substitutions.

flaxseed falafel

for the tzatziki:
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced into 1/2 -inch cubes

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 cup low-fat plain soygurt

1 cup vegan sour cream

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
(or add dried to taste)
for the falafel:

2 cans garbanzos, drained, liquid reserved

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt + more to taste

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3/4 cup bread crumbs

3 tablespoons whole flaxseed

1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons olive oil, or rice bran oil if you've got it

to prepare the tzatziki: mix diced cucumber with salt, place in a colander set over a bowl; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. Rinse off the salt, drain well and dry cucumber on several thicknesses of paper towels. in a bowl, combine cucumber with yogurt, sour cream, sugar, garlic and dill. cover and chill at least 30 minutes and up to four hours.

to prepare the falafel: place garbanzos, garlic and 2 tablespoons reserved garbanzo liquid in a processor and pulse about 5 times, until coarsely chopped. add ground flax seed, parsley, lemon juice, salt, coriander and pepper and pulse just until mixture is combined. It should retain some texture. divide into 16 portions and shape into patties about 1 inch in diameter. combine bread crumbs and whole flax seed in a shallow dish.

in another shallow dish, combine cornstarch and water. dip each patty in the cornstarch mixture, then lightly dredge in crumb mixture. set on a rack over a baking sheet to dry for half an hour. heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. brown falafel well on both sides, turning once.


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