Meatless Monday Recipe: Falafel with Homemade Tzatziki Sauce

Eating meatless at least one day a week can help the environment and better your health. If you have never tried falafel, it is worth a try! Falafel is a Mediterranean dish that is chickpea-based or sometimes made with fava beans. 

Serving up falafel with whole grain pita bread, veggies (e.g. lettuce, tomato, kalamata olives, cucumber), feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce! 

Making your own tzatziki sauce is easy and tastes even better if you can make it up ahead of time, at least the night before! It will allow the flavors to come together better, although if you are short on time you can make it with the falafel, the flavors will just be a little less intense. 

 Falfel (Photo Source: iStock)

Falfel (Photo Source: iStock)

Falafel with Homemade Tzatzki Sauce

Serves 6

Ingredients - Falafal:
1 can (15-ounces) chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
4 teaspoons garlic, minced (about 4 cloves)
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 medium shallots
2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (plus more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil (for cooking) 

Ingredients - Tzatziki Sauce
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup shredded cucumber (pressed to remove water)
1 teaspoon garlic, minced (about 1 clove)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
 

Directions: 
1. In a food processor add: chickpeas, parsley, shallot, garlic, tahini, cumin, salt, pepper, and coriander. Pulse to blend and scrape down the mixture as needed. The dough should be crumbly.

2. Add flour 1 tablespoon at a time (you may not need the full 1/4 cup), until the mixture is somewhat firm and you can shape into a ball. 

3. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or more). 

4. After the falafel dough is chilled, scoop about 2 tablespoons worth of the mixture and gently form into patties (makes about 12).

5. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Working in batches, add 3 - 4 of the patties cook for about 2 - 3 minutes on each side until lightly browned and crispy. Remove from skillet and then repeat for the remaining falafel patties. 

6. In a small mixing bowl, combine all of the tzatziki sauce ingredients. Stir to combine, cover, and refrigerate.. 

Serving suggestion: Serve falafel with pita bread, chopped veggies, kalamata olives, and homemade tzatzki sauce. 
 

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