Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gluten-Free Veggie Falafels

    Falafels are a childhood favorite of mine.  I remember my mom would by a dry falafel mix in the bulk section of our local supermarket to make falafels…and they were darn good!  Now, many years later, and many miles away, I can not find a good falafel mix.  They are usually dry and cardboard like.  Plus they usually have some kind of additives listed on the box that make for a fun game of "How do YOU pronounce that?"  So I was on a mission to make my own falafels.  I have tested a couple recipes over the years, whenever I go to visit my mom and this is the latest and greatest!  Even Foodie Dad (the hubby), who is quite particular about his falafels, said that these are great! 

    This is now such a popular dish with my boys, that I just can't seem to make enough of them.  They like to eat this a few times a week!  And it has gotten my little man to eat more than just pizza, nuggets, or mac and cheese! 

    I will warn you, this does take some time to make, so make them on a weekend when you have nothing else going on.  But the best part is that you end up with lots of leftovers and can freeze them for super quick (15 minutes) meals for quite some time!  It is so worth it take some time out one day to make these!

    I hope you enjoy them as much as my family does!

    1 1/2 c. Dry Garbanzo Beans
    1/2 c. Dry Navy Beans
    1 /2 c. Dry Black Eye Peas
    1 1/4 c. Dry Green Peas
    1 bunch Celery, roughly chopped
    4 Carrots
    2 bunch Scallions
    1 bunch Parsley, roughly chopped
    20 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
    4 tsp. Salt
    3 tsp. Red Chile Powder
    4 Tb Coriander Powder
    3 Tb Cumin Powder
    1/2 c. Besan Flour, as needed
    Oil, for deep frying
    Chopped Lettuce, for serving
    Diced Onions, for serving
    Diced Cucumbers, for serving
    Diced Tomatoes, for serving
    Tzatziki Sauce, for serving
    Sriracha (or other garlic chili paste), for serving
    Pocket Pitas

    Separately soak all beans overnight.

    Drain, wash, then process beans, separately in a food processor, into a thick paste, adding fresh water as needed.  Set all the bean paste aside in a large bowl.

    Process the celery, carrots, scallions, parsley, and garlic until finely minced.  Add the bean paste and spices and process until well mixed.  Stir in besan flour as needed to thicken the falafel mixture just to the point that you can form small balls without them falling apart.

    Heat oil in a large fryer.  Form small balls with the falafel mixture and deep fry them in the oil.  When falafels are crispy and dark brown on the outside and cooked through, remove from fryer onto a platter lined with paper towels.

    To freeze, line the falafels on a baking sheet and freeze. Then transfer them into a large zip bag.  To reheat, bake frozen falafels for 15 minutes at 350 F.

    To serve, toast the pocket pitas, then carefully open and stuff them with the falafels.  Then top with lettuce, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, tzatziki, and sriracha.  ENJOY!

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