Disclaimer: I did not watch 'What The Health'
Honestly, I'm not ready to watch, because I heard it will literally change your life and I love a good burger, lamb shank, steak - just meat in general (Get your mind out of the gutter). After my good vegan friend, Byron, requested I make a vegan dish on my blog I thought about what I could make, so Falafel it is! Also, I just got back from Nola for Tales of the Cocktail and needed some clean eating from my binge drinking & heavy eating. #NoRegrets
When I lived in NYC there was this vegan Falafel, carry out place called, Maoz and it was SO good! They had toppings galore and I would go there all the time when I worked in Union Square at this devil of a PR firm and also, when I could afford it - hey, I was a struggling PR girl trying to make it.
I tried to look at as many Falafel recipes, compare them all and found a fairly simple one to make. However, I only made six Falafel balls because they were not forming they way I wanted them too and I realized the following morning that I missed the most important step - letting them drain for an hour to let the water soak out - Duh, Alex! Other than that, they turned out pretty good and might I add, the Mango Cabbage Slaw was to die for!
Anyway, try the recipe below!
Vegan Falafel with Mango Cabbage Slaw
1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas (about 11 ounces)
1 bunch scallions, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
Optional, for serving:
Pita pockets, store-bought o
Yogurt Dill or tzatziki (I picked up a pretty yummy store bought one from Whole Foods)
Mango Cabbage Slaw
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces fresh pineapple, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large, ripe mango, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 head red cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
3 green onions, green and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Okay, so here is the key to making a good Falalfel ball which again, I didn't realize until the following morning due to too many drinks at happy hour. LET THEM DRAIN FOR AN HOUR!! Please keep this in mind!
So the night prior, soak the dried chickpeas in about 2 to 3 cups of water for about 24 hours. The following day you will know they are ready if they are plump and you can break them apart with your finger, but they should still have some type of bite to it.
ONCE AGAIN, DRAIN THEM FOR ONE HOUR! Chickpeas carry a ton of water after you soak them so letting them sit for at least an hour will help you form a perfect falafel ball.
While you are letting your chickpeas soak start on your Mango Cabbage Slaw. Combine the cider vinegar, canola oil, sugar and some salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Combine the pineapple, mango, red onion and red cabbage in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, add the dressing and toss to coat. Add the green onions and cilantro and toss again. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Back to your balls - sorry, I had to! lol
Place the drained chickpeas, scallions, garlic, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine. Transfer the chickpea mixture to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, working in batches if needed. Pulse each batch until the chickpeas are finely chopped, 10 or 12 pulses. Sprinkle the baking powder over the mixture. Pulse the chickpeas again, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until the mixture forms a ball when you squeeze it in your hand.
Scoop the falafel into 2 tablespoon-sized balls (a small ice cream scoop works well for this) and set aside. Heat the oil in a 10-inch straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat and fry the falafel balls on each side for about 3-4 minutes. After they are perfectly golden, take them out the fryer and place them on a paper towel allowing the towel to soak up the remaining vegetable oil and boom, they are done!
So, the whole dish wasn't totally vegan.
I definitely added feta cheese and placed the falafel balls in a nice warm pita. I topped them with the Mango Cabbage Slaw and sauced it up with some vegan Yogurt Dill sauce & Spicy Turmeric Sauce I picked up at Whole Foods. It was the perfect amount of sweet and spicy and the Yogurt Dill sauce cooled it down at the same time. It was sooo good! The whole process was definitely worth it so go ahead and get your vegan on one day soon!
Cheers to eating!