As many of you may know, once I get a taste stuck in my head, I’m driven to make it over, and over, and over again until I get it to taste exactly as I’m imagining… Needless to say, I’ve got Falafel on the brain and since my wife is gluten-free and I’m a vegetarian and aspiring vegan, I set out to make The Best Vegan, Gluten Free Falafel imaginable; and by George I think I’ve got it! As we approach the spring and summer months, this is a great high protein recipe to serve on a salad with fresh vegetables and homemade vinaigrette (stay tuned, I have a million of them) but I’m a rustic kind of guy so I like it with just some simple braised kale, fresh grape tomatoes, non-GMO soy yogurt, fresh lemon juice and topped with a drizzle of some good extra virgin olive oil. This recipe is simple, but you do need to plan ahead by 2 days so give it a try, and if you have any comments or challenges with the recipe, please don’t hesitate to ask and I’ll be happy to help! Portion Size: 3 – 1/4c servings  Yield: about 4-5 portions

1 1/2 c     Chickpeas, dried, preferably organic

Soak chickpeas in water (covering by about 2″) and soak overnight or 24 hours.

Drain the chickpeas thoroughly and and set aside. In the bowl of a food processor combine the following ingredients and process until finely chopped.

1 ea     Red onion, large, medium dice

5 ea     Garlic cloves, stem removed

1 ea     Small bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, leaves only

1 ea     Small bunch of fresh cilantro (coriander)

1/2 t   Black pepper, course ground preferably

1/4 t   Cayenne pepper, ground

1 t       Sea Salt, iodized preferably

1 T     Cumin, ground

1 T     Coriander, ground

1 T     Potato Starch

Juice of 1 Lemon

*Note: If you don’t have a food processor, you can always finely chop the vegetables and mash the heck out of everything with a potato masher. Once all the ingredients above are roughly chopped, add the chickpeas and process until the chickpeas appear to be chopped finely for a professional appearance, or feel free to leave them a little course if you want an even more rustic version. Make sure to scrape the bowl bottom repeatedly to ensure you get all the seasonings mixed in well. Remove the mix and place it in an air tight container in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours in order to allow the flavors to develop and meld together. You can cook them straight away, but the ground spices will be much more subtle and the fresh seasonings much more pungent. When your ready to start cooking, preheat a high sided frying pan over medium-low heat with about 1/4 inch of light olive oil. The oil is ready when you drop in a small bit of batter and it starts to sizzle. Using a 1/4c ice cream scoop if you have one (or you can always eyeball it), portion the falafel into patties (they will be very delicate) one at a time, immediately and carefully place them into a preheated frying pan and pan fry until GBD (golden brown and delicious!) on both sides. Pan frying takes practice and rule number 1 is, you only flip once, so watch your temperature and remember, slow and steady wins the race… If pan frying isn’t your preference, you can also bake them on a parchment lined baking sheet drizzled with a little olive oil and baked at 400º for 15-20 minutes (flipping half way through) or 375º if you’re fortunate enough to have a convection oven. Serve it classically with some yogurt, lemon and extra virgin olive oil in a whole wheat pita with some fresh greens for a fantastic non-gluten-free version or if you’re like me, with a side of some simple braised greens. Enjoy!  
Vegan_Gluten_Free_Falafel

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