And now for something healthy: Baked Falafel!

A friend who reads this blog recently told me that she’d love to try my recipes, but she’d have to wait until post-diet…at which point she would gain back the weight she lost by eating the things she made!

EEK! What am I doing to my friends?? I realized I better post something healthy, fast!

(The irony of all this is, of course, that I’m still doing Weight Watchers. I rejoined a couple of months ago after some serious backsliding, and I’ve lost a very respectable 7 lbs or so since that time. Some advice: Bake and feed to others, people! Best of both worlds.)

Anyway, the other night, I made what was one of the very few vegetarian meals I’ve ever attempted: baked falafel. I don’t typically eat falafel (the little buggers are delicious, but since they are fried, they pack a serious punch to my daily POINTS values!), but these baked ones were too delicious-looking to pass up!

Baked Falafel, slightly adapted from Sugarcrafter

Yummy! These are like little hummus-nuggets, and how can you not love that? I used panko breadcrumbs and felt like they really could have benefitted from some salt and pepper — and then I realized the original recipe probably used seasoned breadcrumbs to start with. Oops! Next time: season! I served these with sandwich thins, avocado, cucumber, onion, spinach, cilantro, red pepper, and non-fat greek yogurt for a seriously healthy, seriously delicious little meal totaling a measly 4.5 POINTS (for 3 falafel, 1/4 of the avocado, one sandwich thin, a dollop of yogurt, and pretty much unlimited veggies, eaten open-faced for extra volume). THAT, my dear friends, is a bargain!

1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1/4 onion, chopped

3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1 tbsp flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs, divided (didn’t use nearly this much, but you’ll need it on hand)

salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the chickpeas, onion, and garlic in the blender (or, better yet, a food processor), and pulse until well-blended. Pour into a bowl, and add the rest of the ingredients (except 1/4 cup breadcrumbs), and mix well. Form 12 small balls, and roll in the remaining breadcrumbs to coat. Bake for 12 minutes on each side.

Serve however you want, but I like them with a bread-item (pita, sandwich thin, etc), greek yogurt, and lots of veggies.

No guilt here, people. Keep looking!

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