Falafel with Tabbouleh

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I decided on Friday night to make Jon a Mediterranean feast. After eating out several times last week for work, I was ready for some homemade food!

I started off the tabbouleh by boiling some veggie broth and then pouring it over whole wheat couscous. While the couscous steamed, I chopped up lots of veggies: green onions, cucumber, carrots, and a red pepper. I also chopped up lots of fresh parsley for both the tabbouleh and the falafel. I whisked up a dressing using olive oil, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Once the couscous had cooled, I mixed in all the veggies along with the dressing, and then placed in it the fridge to absorb all the flavors.
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Next I started the mix for the falafel using my trusty cuisinart. Garbanzo beans, green onions, parsley, cumin, turmeric, lemon juice, baking powder, and a flax egg all went into the cuisinart and got blended together. Next I added small amounts of flour until a wet dough was formed.
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Previously when I had made falafel, Jon’s feedback had been “they aren’t crunchy enough”. So, it being Friday night, I decided to pan fry the falafel in olive oil….this is something that does not happen very often in my kitchen!
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As each batch of falafel finished, they went on a paper towel to absorb some of the excess oil.
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Once the falafel was finished, we were ready to eat! Jon toasted up some pita bread, and we added some hummus that was already in the fridge, making it a true feast. The falafel was even crispy enough for Jon!

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Tabbouleh Salad
1 1/4 cup whole wheat couscous
1 1/4 cup hot veggie broth
3 green onions, finely chopped
Large bunch parsley, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon (should give you about 1/4 cup juice)
Additional lemon juice to taste
Salt and pepper

Place the couscous in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the hot broth over it, then cover. Allow the couscous to absorb the broth for about 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, then add salt and pepper to taste. If you like a more tart salad, add additional lemon juice to taste–I added about 1/8 cup more.

Once the couscous has cooled, mix in the chopped veggies and parsley, then pour the dressing over the couscous-veggie mixture. Stir gently to combine, then cover and place in the fridge. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes. This salad also holds up well…it was great for lunch the next day.

Homemade Falafel

16 ounce can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3 green onions, chopped
Large bunch of parsley, chopped
1 flax egg (mix 1 Tbsp ground flax seed in 3 Tbsp water)
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup whole wheat flour, plus additional
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for frying

Place all ingredients except the flour into a cuisinart mixer, and blend to combine. Blend in the flour, adding more flour as needed to make a wet dough. Don’t over mix.

Heat 1/2″ olive oil in a skillet. Place small balls of the falafel dough in the oil. This is easiest using a spoon to form the falafel, then scooping them into the oil with a spatula. Allow to fry for a few minutes before flipping them. Cook until browned and crispy on all sides. Place on paper towels to drain, then serve immediately.

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