Travel around the world without leaving home tonight for dinner. I prepare this at least once a month and am surprised when it is a new experience for my guests. It is satisfying for meat eaters and pleases the vegetarians alike.
It’s sort of like eating a taco from Turkey, only instead of ground beef or shredded chicken as the major ingredient, it is chickpeas, a.k.a. garbanzo beans. (I know falafel is certainly something odd sounding and foreign, probably where guacamole was 30+ years ago.) Isn’t it nice to grow and discover new cuisines and dishes!
For those who enjoy history, these ancient legumes date back from Turkey to somewhere around 7,000 B.C. They are a nutrient-dense food and are high in protein, fiber and other nutrients without offering a lot of calories.
This dinner makes a great alternative to the regular fare, and I find it also fun. We’re allowed fun for dinner–right? You can serve this in pita or flat bread and garnish with diced cucumber, tomatoes, chopped parsley or cilantro, hummus and/or tahini. A green salad or quinoa salad makes a fine accompaniment. Or as in the photo, make a great dinner salad and include the falalfel in any capacity you choose. Be creative –drizzle tahini and fresh lemon for dressing. (Or dip them in the tahine, the traditional sesame-seed topping.) The most important ingredient is love. I buy the falafel mix–easy, quick and fresh tasting. Please do remember to fry them in grape seed oil as it is able to withstand the heat without damaging your health. Another time saver is to use a small cookie size scoop with the squeeze-action handles!!