falafel feast

Have you ever had a falafel? If not, then this is your chance. I wanted to try one for the longest time because how could I NOT like a little patty made out of ground chickpeas?? I mean, I eat bean burgers like there is no tomorrow. When I finally tried one last fall, there was not stopping me – I knew I had to find a way to recreate the deliciousness at home ASAP.

Problem? Falafel are typically fried, so I was in search of a baked version because I’m not a huge fan of fried foods…and I don’t have a fryer. When I stumbled upon a recipe for a baked falafel a few weeks back that required ingredients I actually had on hand, I knew I’d found what I’d been looking for.

Typically, you eat falafel stuffed in a pita or wrapped in a warm, fluffy flatbread. I chose the flatbread route…homemade of course, because you just can’t beat homemade. This does not do this flatbread justice because it was a nasty, dark, rainy day but just multiply the fluffy, warm deliciousness depicted in this picture by about 1,000 and you’ll get the idea:

Please excuse me while I dream about that flatbread was and wish it wasn’t all gone………….

Okay. I’m back. I would’ve been just as happy as can be with just that flatbread for dinner, but I’m glad I continued on toward my long-awaited falafel feast.

This baked falafel recipe looked almost too good to be true. Baked? Ingredients I already possessed? Ready in 20 minutes?! It did NOT disappoint. It seriously took about 5 minutes to mix up the ingredients – just long enough to preheat the oven. Then, when the falafel were almost done, I rolled out my grilled flatbread dough and put it in the toaster oven to broil for a few minutes per side.

Can we talk about how easy this flatbread was?! I don’t have a stand mixer, so I just mixed it by hand before I made lunch this afternoon. Basically, you stir the ingredients in a bowl then let the dough rise. After it rose, I divided it in two (I only made half the recipe), wrapped the dough balls in plastic wrap, and put them in the fridge so they were ready when I got home. So fast. So delicious.

Do you know what happens when you combine 2 insanely delicious items?

Dinner nirvana.

I think I just made that up, but I think it describes the pure joy of your taste buds when they taste a wonderfully delicious, healthy meal that you made almost entirely from scratch using real ingredients in almost no time at all.

I really wanted to make a tzatziki sauce, but I don’t have plain yogurt and 1 leaf (sprig?) of fresh mint costs almost as much as a small country at the grocery store. Yet another reason I need to utilize my balcony and grow some herbs. You know what somehow costs even more than fresh mint?? Tahini. Which is why I didn’t make the seemingly easy (and probably delicious) lemon tahini sauce that is in the falafel recipe. But you know what I do have that is affordable and contains both lemon and tahini? Hummus. So, hummus was spread on my flatbread, then topped with tomato, lettuce, and………..hot, delicious, homemade falafel.

I actually re-situated this after the picture so I could fold it up like a taco and make sure I got a little of everything in each wonderful bite :)

Have I convinced you to make this yet? You really should. It’s so easy. It is almost wrong how easy it is considering how delicious I thought it was. What if I make it for you? I seriously will. That is how much I want you to give it a try. Next time, I think there needs to be tzatziki involved though…maybe without the mint? And possibly some tabbouleh. Have you had that?? It is almost equally as delicious. I have the ingredients and a recipe sitting right next to me. It will happen soon I hope.

Good news? I have leftovers…which means I’ll be eating this again on Wednesday. Because I have a strange (and unfortunate) aversion to eating the same thing for dinner two nights in a row. Not to worry though. I’m sure it will taste even better if I have to wait an extra day for it :)

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