In my ongoing quest to find foods that are both healthy and easy for toddlers to hold themselves, I decided to make falafels for Kenya. The only trick to this dish is to make them suitable for his little taste-buds without having to fry them in gallons of oil like most falafel recipes call for.
Falafels are made with a base of garbanzo beans, a legume also known as chickpeas. Have you ever looked closely at a chickpea? Some say they look like a chick's beak, hence the name. Beak or no beak, they're a powerhouse of fiber. Fiber is an important part of a little one's diet because it tends to fill them up longer then other foods, giving them energy to run around and play. Garbanzo beans are an excellent vegetarian source of protein and are high in calcium, magnesium and folate.
I also added a little yogurt dipping sauce alongside this recipe which boosts the nutritional content of the meal even more and adds a little fun for the kids. Now, if I can only get my husband out of Kenya's food, which is slowly becoming “their” food. My husband figures that if what Kenya's eating is super healthy, he wants to eat it too. Like father, like son. Or should I say, like son, like father?!
We used these to make this recipe_
Falafel with Yogurt Tahini Sauce (Make 14 Mini Falafel)
- 1 15 Oz Can Cooked Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans), rinsed and drained
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 1/4 Cup onion, chopped
- 1/4 Cup Cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 Cup Parsley
- 1/2 Cup bread crumbs
- 1 Tsp cumin
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- Olive, Vegetable or Canola Oil for pan searing
- Yogurt Tahini Sauce: greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoos tahini
PreparationFor the Falafel:
1. Place the first 8 ingredients in a food processor and puree. Make sure the mixture is throughly combined. Scrape down the sides of the mixture as needed.
2. With moist hands (so the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands) form patties using about 1 tablespoon of the mixture and place on a plate while you form the remaining patties.
3. In a medium saute pan, heat around 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. You want the pan to have a thin coating of oil.
4. Add half of the patties to the pan and saute for 4 minutes on each side or until golden (you may have to add a little more oil if your pan get too dry).
5. Remove the patties from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate (to absorb any extra oil).
6. Cook the remaining patties.
7. Cool and serve with yogurt sauce.
For the Tahini Sauce:
1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
To Freeze: After step 2, place patties on sheet tray and freeze for 30 minutes or until frozen then transfer to a ziploc bag,label and freeze up to 4 months. When ready, defrost in fridge for 24 hours and follow steps, 3-7.