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Friday, March 2, 2012

homemade falafel + tahini dressing -- gluten free + dairy free


thats me shrieking with excitement. 

im taking a long, long overdue vacation. sure, i get home to boston every now and then, but i'm finally taking a trip elsewhere. mark and i booked a spur of the moment trip to san francisco two months ago and its finally upon us. we leave next tuesday and i cant tell you how excited i am. i cant wait to get back to the incredible city - ive not been back since i moved to boulder from berkeley almost 10 years ago. holy heck - time goes by so quickly. i fully intend on eating my way thru the city and have already scoped out plenty of gluten free + dairy free eateries. i'm going armed with my camera too - so i'll have plenty of pics to share with everyone when i return. mark and i already have a few dining reservations - yoshi's in san francisco (first made popular by yoshi's in oakland) where we plan to gorge on sushi. the second reservation nearly has me busting at the seams. i never had a chance to go while i lived in berkeley and i'm not letting this trip go by without us paying a visit to culinary mastermind, alice water's, renowned chez panisse. cant wait to share everything once i get back!

this weeks recipe is another yummy, savory one. and pretty versatile. i always have cans and cans of organic garbanzo beans (chickpeas) in my pantry. im admittedly a hummus addict and make it on a weekly basis. instead of falling back on my normal routine, this past week i decided to put together something different with my garbanzo bean stockpile. 

i hate buying pre made falafel and i hate those boxed mixes that stores sell. my aversion is because they tend to be super dense and extremely oily. so, i attempted making my own version of the vegetarian/vegan garbanzo bites and i was pretty happy with the outcome. i also put together a simple tahini dressing with tahini (roasted sesame seed paste), fresh lemon juice, water, salt + pepper. wicked. easy. 

i was able to remove a lot of the oily component to these by baking them, instead of frying them. they turned out very light in texture and not even slightly lacking in the taste department. i dished them up on a greek-style salad with organic mesclun mix, tomato, cucumber, red onion, avocado, mushrooms and topped it off with fresh parsley and a drizzle of my homemade tahini dressing.

i never let any leftovers go to waste - so over the past few days i've packed up 3-4 falafels along with some avocado slices, a bit of tahini dressing and some mild salsa into work for a snack. they make the perfect mid afternoon pick-me-up. chock full of fiber and protein these falafels have the right goods to get you thru til the clock strikes 5 (or whenever your quitting time is).

btw - you really do eat with your eyes first. use fresh veggies to create a plateful of artwork and i guarantee that you'll find yourself eating healthier, more well balanced meals.

homemade falafel 
  • 1 can cooked garbanzo beans - rinsed and strained
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion - chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
preheat oven to 425. combine garbanzo's, parsley, cilantro, onion, garlic, salt and 1 tbsp of olive oil in a food processor and pulse until combined. scrape down sides of processor using a spatula and pulse a few more times to be sure everything is well integrated. place 1 tbsp heaps (rolled to form a ball in your hand) on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. then using a pastry brush - gently coat each with a tad of olive oil to help them brown. bake in oven 20 minutes, then turn them over and continue to bake another 20 minutes.

tahini dressing
  • 1/4 cup tahini - raw or toasted - i prefer raw, toasted can taste bitter
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • ~1-2 tbsp water - as needed, to thin dressing
in a small bowl combine tahini with lemon juice. whisk in water until desired dressing-like consistency is achived. you'll want this runny and easy to drizzle, like any other salad dressing. 

some blogs that you should definitely check out...


  1. Reminds me of my trip to Israel, thanks for posting.

  2. I adore falafels and have never made my own. These look so tasty and the tahini dressing sounds delicious. Thank you so much for sharing your great recipe on Allergy-Free Wednesdays! Remember in order to be featured, please provide a link back to our blog party. Be sure to check back next week for recipe highlights (including the top 3 reader choice submissions and hostess favorites).

    Be Well!

  3. Hi There,

    I featured your awesome recipe this week on Allergy-Free Wednesdays. Your recipe and other highlights can be seen here:

    Please join us again this week for more allergy-free fun and inspiration.

    Be Well,

  4. I also featured this recipe as one of my favorites. You can see it here


    1. Hi Nancy,

      Thank you so much for featuring my recipe!


  5. I've been wanting to try making falafel. Thanks for the recipe.

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