Is Falafel Still Falafel If It’s Baked?

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I say heck yeah.

On Mediterranean menus flush with steak filled gyros, lotsa lamb & various meats on a stick, falafel is my vegetarian beacon. And while I still partake in the crispy fritters when dining out, I haven’t made them myself since drastically trimming oil use from my kitchen two years ago. I still need a dab of oil here, a dollop there every so often, but just the thought of drenching innocent mashed chickpeas in the stuff produces a near anxiety attack. Is it hypocritical that I still enthusiastically nosh on the fried patties when out? Perhaps, but outta kitchen, outta mind, I suppose.

I’ve had this baked falafel recipe from Blissful Bites on my ‘to make’ list forever. It looks scrumptious and it’s oil free! I was skeptical though of its claim that the falafels would hold their shape. Vegan/vegetarians recipes often promise perfectly formed balls, loafs, patties only to have the end product be a pile of mush (a delicious pile of mush but still). My trepidation with this recipe was happily unfounded. Out of the oven came, real deal, stay together falafels. The wonderful tofu tzatziki (listed after the falafel recipe) was an added bonus that has tons of other uses besides being a delish falafel moistener.

I needed a side for this meal and thought for a bit, “Mediterranean? Mediterranean? Mediterranean? … eggplant.” Sticking with the baking theme I found this roasted tomato & eggplant dish. Just subbed in nutritional yeast for the parm.

Yum.

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