No once cares what you had for lunch. It's a handy little book I picked up when I first contemplated writing a blog. Here I am, several hundred posts later, violating that first tenet. And I'm pleased to do it; it was a great lunch. Easy, too. Moreover, I think some of you may care what I ate for lunch, because I suspect you will want to make it for your lunch, especially after you see how simple and healthy it is to make and eat, and read my testimony of how delicious it is.
Why I think it's worth sharing: I'm always looking for easy ways to add vegetables into my lunches and breakfasts; it hit me that chopping fresh spinach and herbs and adding to my favorite falafel was (pardon my boasting) a great idea. Plus, not everyone knows about my easy-bake rendition of making falafel: the patties still get crispy, but you slash the grease (on your stove and in your stomach), and (there's more!) you can make all the patties at once, instead of in batches).
I've never met a falafel mix I haven't liked, but some do stand out more than others. Here are my top three, in no particular order:
Fantastic Foods Falafel Mix
Near East Falafel Mix
Casbah All-Natural Falafel Mix
Here's to vegetables for lunch that aren't always baby carrots!
Baked Spinach Falafel with Yogurt Tahini Sauce
Speaking from many years of falafel mix-making: be sure to let the mix soak for the entire time. It will look very wet when first mixed, but will absorb it in due time. Too little water and too little time will produce sandy, raw-tasting patties.
2 cups falafel mix
1-1/2 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups fresh spinach, finely chopped (yields about 2/3 cup chopped)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
1/2 cup plain lowfat or fat free yogurt
2 tbsp tahini
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
salad greens for serving
Falafel: Mix the falafel mix, water, oil, spinach, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Let the mixture stand for five minutes to absorb the liquid. The batter should be thick.
Preheat oven to 350F. Form small size patties and place them on a cookie sheet. Bake them for 12 to 15 minutes until deep golden brown. Using a spatula, flip the patties over and return to the oven. Bake another 5 to 10 minutes or until deep golden brown.
Sauce: Whisk the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, and cumin in a small bowl until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the falafel atop fresh salad greens. Makes about 20 generous patties, or 4 to 5 servings (depending on how hungry you are).