Baked Gluten Free Falafel

I’ve always been a huge fan of falafel. It’s one of life’s little pleasures, bursting with flavor and healthy, fresh ingredients. The origin of falafel is unknown, largely believed to have developed  in Egypt, though this is not entirely certain. When I eat it, I always feel as though I’m traveling some Middle Eastern land, exploring the culture and stopping to look at the goodies the street vendors are selling–things my mother used to tell me about her trips there.

One day I hope to go and explore this part of the world myself, satisfying my thirst for travel, food and culture, but for now, I can continue pretending with this amazing recipe. It’s a family favorite (see my mom’s notes below) so I hope you all enjoy!

Sean & Karen’s Falafel and Cucumber Sauce

Originally posted by Sean on Allrecipes.com, adapted by Emily’s mom

Karen’s notes: The falafel can be flash frozen after baking, put on Press N Seal and then transferred to freezer bags. Yum!! Recipe can be doubled or tripled. I usually don’t make the cucumber sauce but it is very good.

For the falafel:

Ingredients:

1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas  (garbanzo beans), drained & rinsed
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, peeled, root ends removed, coarsely chopped
1 egg
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander (whole coriander, freshly ground w/ mortar & pestle is best)
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup plain, dry gluten free bread crumbs
olive oil for brushing pans; heavy duty foil

For the cucumber sauce:

Ingredients:
1/2 cucumber – peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
fresh lemon juice to taste
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoon lite mayonnaise
water to thin sauce

1. Preheat oven to 425  . Line large baking sheets with heavy duty foil and generously brush with olive oil.

2. Chop chickpeas in batches in Ultimate Food Chopper and place in a large bowl. Don’t use a blender because the consistency will be too thin.

3. In Food Chopper, process, in batches, the onion, parsley and garlic until chopped finely. Stir into mashed chickpeas.

4. In a small bowl, gently combine egg, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon juice and baking powder. Fold into chickpea mixture along with olive oil until just combined. Slowly add bread crumbs until mixture is not sticky but will hold together; Add more or less bread crumbs, as needed. Divide into 8 large balls and then flatten into patties on prepared pan. Lightly spray tops of patties with Pam.

5. Bake about 10 minutes (or until browned on one side). Carefully turn patties over and bake another 5-8 minutes.

6. In a small bowl combine sauce ingredients and chill. Serve with patties in a salad or with gluten free pitas.

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