Wednesday 5 November 2014

Herbed Green Pea and Lentil Falafel

This one is sadly late to the races when it comes to seasonal foods, but I guess I just had too many summery recipes for too short a summer. No worries folks, though summery it may be, nothing should stop you from making this tasty falafel. Not only are these little balls of happiness tasty and fresh but they’re surprisingly healthy to boot! They fulfill a wide variety of health niches too being vegan, gluten-free and everything in between. Due to a baking method I use, they’re also low on fat and as I've replaced the traditional breadcrumbs and chickpeas with lentils and green peas so for all you fit people out there, it’s low-carb/high in protein as well! This recipe attempts to bring the rich floral notes of herbs to the forefront of this traditionally earthy and spicy favorite. I've found that these flavours are best highlighted by a light relish of onions and peppers cooked in the juice and zest of an orange. Topped with a vegan coconut curry sauce or some garlic mayo and wrapped in a pita or mixed into a salad and you have one tasty and fulfilling meal!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

For the Falafel:
-3/4c. red lentils 
-2c. frozen peas, thawed
-1 onion
-1 ½ tbsp. flour (wholewheat, rice or oat)
-Fresh parsley and cilantro to taste (half a handful of each should do the trick!)
-3 cloves garlic
-A dash of coriander and cumin as well as a pinch of cayenne pepper
-1 tbsp lime juice
-3/4 tsp baking powder
-½ tsp Salt

Feel free to play with spices, here I added saffron, a tiny bit of star anise and kaffir lime leaves!

For the Relish:
-1 orange, zested and juiced
-2 onions sliced
-2 peppers (yellow/red look the nicest though green does do the trick in a pinch!)
-1 inch ginger
-1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
-1 tsp soy sauce

First, begin making the relish, zest and juice the oranges, slice the onion and peppers thinly and simmer with rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and grated ginger

For the falafel it's simple enough. First up, grind the lentils to a coarse flour, a coffee grinder should do the trick!

In a food processor blend the peas, onion, parsley, cilantro, parsley and lime juice to a rich green pulp

Combine the dry falafel ingredients and add them to the green mush, mix until thick and homogeneous

Form into balls, set on a baking tray and bake for 5 minutes on each side until browned

Serve combined in a warm pita with garlic mayo or any other rich sauce! For a vegan twist, I creamed coconut fat with curry and drizzled it on

Coconut curry sauce

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