I'm going to keep today's message short and sweet. I've been traveling this week, enjoying a slower pace of life in the MidWest (Cleveland and Chicago), but I've got a lot to do to get ready for Father's Day weekend!
In addition to Father's Day, this weekend is my daughter's last weekend at home until she returns from camp in mid-August. We're planning to spend time together as a family, which usually means some sort of outdoor activity followed by delicious food & drink. I've asked my daughter for her list of last meals at home before she leaves, and my Beet Falafel made the list! This recipe is one of my favorites, and one that I've been wanting to share for awhile.
Typically, falafel is made from mashed chickpeas, herbs & spices, bound together with oil and deep-fried until hot and crispy. Don't get me wrong - this type of falafel is crave-worthy, but not the kind of thing that I can eat frequently! Over the years, I tried several baked falafel recipes, but was never fully satisfied with the results. Then, I decided to mix things up and add some beets to the chickpeas...and the rest is history.
As you can see in the photo above, I like to make my Easy Baked Beet Falafel with both golden and red beets. The presentation is stunning, especially when served on top of a green salad, so the colors really pop! But pick your favorite beet and get to work on making these delicious bites, they come together easily and are perfect to serve for lunch, dinner, or even a snack. My daughter and husband prefer to eat their falafel in a pita with plenty of veggies and hummus, while I like to top a big salad with the crispy falafel and a heavy drizzle of tahini. Either way, they're so yum!
As always, let me know if you try any of my recipes. Or if you have any questions, comments, or recipe requests!
Wishing you a relaxing weekend, full of delicious food, health & wellness.
Easy Baked Beet Falafel
Ingredients: (note - use organic whenever possible)
2 medium beets
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 t coriander
1 t turmeric
1 t sea salt, or more, to taste
1 t freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 cans (14oz) chickpeas, rinsed & drained
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Scrub each beet, remove any stems and greens, and wrap each beet in a piece of aluminum foil. Place the wrapped beets on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, until tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the foil to room temperature. Once cool, peel the beets, cut them into 2” chunks.
Place the beets, garlic, parsley, coriander, turmeric, sea salt, lemon juice and olive oil into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to break down the mixture, not fully puréed, but to a rough texture. Add the chickpeas and continue to pulse until the chickpeas are incorporated into the beet mixture. The texture should be coarse, but it should stick together like cookie dough. Taste the mixture, adjust seasoning if needed. Remove from the food processor to a mixing bowl, cover and chill for 30 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the falafel mixture from the refrigerator and roll into 2” balls. Wet hands are easiest for rolling the balls, as the mixture may be sticky on dry palms. Place balls on the lined sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Carefully flip over each ball and return to the oven for another 12-15 minutes, until the balls are golden brown.
Serve immediately in a pita pocket or cool to room temperature and enjoy on top of a salad. Hummus, tahini, and lots of fresh vegetables are delicious accompaniments.
recipe yields 32 balls, approximately 8 generous servings
falafel mixture can be prepared one day in advance of baking; keep chilled in a covered container until ready to bake
baked falafel balls freeze well and can be reheated in a few minutes for a quick meal
use golden beets in place of red beets, if desired