Rich in protein, nutrition and flavor. Light on calories, time and budget.
Looking for a new spin on plant based protein? Want to try going meatless at least once a week? Love falafel? This delicious recipe for Protein Rich Falafel Salad with Tzatziki dressing will win over even the most avid meat lover, while providing satiating protein and a variety of health boosting nutrients. As an added bonus it’s easy on the budget and quick to make.
Up first, the Tzatziki Dressing:
Tzatziki, also known as cucumber mint yogurt sauce or Maastokhiar depending on where you are, can be a small dish all on it’s own! It also makes a great dip, accompaniment to spicy dishes or even sandwich or pita spread. For best flavor refrigerate ingredients for at least an hour. Gets even better the next day too!
450g Plain Greek Yogurt, Organic
1 Cucumber, Peeled & Chopped
½ cup Fresh Parsley, Finely Chopped OR 2 TBS Dried Parsley
¼ cup Fresh Mint, Finely Chopped OR 1 TBS Dried Mint
1 Small Onion, Finely Chopped
2 Gloves Garlic, Minced
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
* Sprinkle with paprika for looks – optional.
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Great time to start making the falafel salad!
And now for the Falafel Salad:
2-3 cups Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas), Rinsed & Drained
1 Medium Onion, Finely Chopped – Red for color or yellow for flavor
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
¼ cup Fresh Parsley, Finely Chopped OR 1 TBS Dried Parsley
2 tsp Ground Cumin
1½ tsp Ground Coriander Seed
½ tsp Chili Powder
½ tsp Paprika
¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper
2 TBS Gluten Free Flour, Chickpea flour is a great choice for this recipe!
Grape Seed Oil or Healthy Oil of Your Choice
Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). This recipe can also be made on the grill if that suits you. Key is a preheated grill and foil underneath to prevent them from falling into the flames.
Blend ingredients in food processor or blender to create “dough.” Try not to over blend as this will make the dough sticky and hard to shape. Don’t fret if you do because they will still taste delicious in blob shape.
Lightly coat baking sheet with grape seed oil or healthy oil of your choice. Grape seed oil is recommended for this recipe soley based on it’s high smoke point, meaning it won’t burn or burst into flames in your oven.
Place falafel balls on to baking sheet and place in over for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and flip and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Putting it all together:
While falafel bake in the oven or roast in the grill, chop up your salad. For the above picture I used all organic romaine lettuce, parsley (I had plenty leftover), tomatoes and a generous squeeze of lemon juice.
Once falafel are done baking/roasting, allow to cool while you plate up the salads. Recipe makes enough for 4 servings; enough to feed a family or enough to enjoy leftovers tomorrow at lunch! Add cooled falafel to salad, add a generous dollop of tzatziki and enjoy!
This recipe is rich in fiber, vitamin A, many B vitamins, vitamin C and more. Because seeds, nuts and beans are a rich source of magnesium, the garbanzo beans (chickpeas) are going to bring both an incredible amount of magnesium in addition to protein to this dish.
Don’t be afraid of eating beans because of the gas. Whether you soak them or purchase them canned, drain all the liquid and rinse them in a strainer until all the bubbles are gone. Those bubbles would have been in your gastrointestinal tract and caused gas. Also regularly consuming probiotics will help you digest beans better and that’s in addition to all their other health properties!
If you follow a dairy free diet, know that there are several non-dairy alternatives out there for the yogurt portion, but make sure to read the label for sugar content and carrageenan. You don’t want either.
Recipe by: Sheila Amir