Planning a vegetarian protein diet for weight loss means you have to start loving protein shakes, protein bars, protein snacks and protein powders, and so on. Meh!! Come on, it doesn’t have to be that boring. There are many protein-packed lentils, beans and plant proteins that can be used to create a lip-smacking meal, such as these baked falafel.
The vegetarian protein supplements and foods we find in stores are all sweet. I am not complaining here, because I love my morning powered packed smoothie with whey and kale. But, sometimes we all look for a different taste, a savory meal and an enjoyable dinner without adding more calories and carbs. Have you tried my other low-carb recipes yet?
Take the baked falafel for an instance. This fiber and protein-rich dish is irresistible to ignore. Crispy on the outside and soft and grainy inside, this power-packed small bite-size falafels are heavenly on the palate. Combine it with my quick sriracha yogurt(can be easily made vegan with coconut yogurt)or cilantro yogurt chutney, and you are going to love it.
Unlike, the fried version of falafels, these cute little falafel bites are baked in my Ebleskiver pan. You can also cook them in a conventional oven set at 350F for twenty minutes, or flatten them softly on your pan and cook them on a greased skillet until crispy. No matter how you cook these, you are going to love em’!
Plus, you have tons of options to create a meal with falafels. Add these as a topping to your salads or to your warm risotto bowl. Or just gently wrap them in a crunchy lettuce leaf, add some rainbow tomato salad and my favorite yogurt sauce, and enjoy these just the way I do. Before we go to the recipe, here is a detailed information on the nutritional facts.
Falafel Nutritional Info:
Chickpeas or garbanzo beans seems to have positive effects on blood sugar. Read more about this here. What makes this recipe healthier than its traditional version because of:
- Addition of more herbs
- Green lentils
Plus the fiber-rich recipe will keep you full for a longer period of time, which means this can be a great meal option if you are on a weight loss diet. So, let’s go to the recipe.
Possible nutrition claims: Saturated Fat Free (must declare amount of total fat next to saturated fat free claim if making this claim), Cholesterol Free, Good Source of Dietary Fiber (must declare total fat next to fiber claim if product is not low in fat), Good Source of Vitamin C
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Baked Falafel Lettuce Wrap
- 1 cup dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans (soak dry chickpeas in four cups of water overnight)
- 1/2 cup green lentil Soaked for a few hours
- 1/4 cup cilantro and parsley finely chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion chopped
- 2 green pepper chopped
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp chili powder Optional
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp salt Adjust to your salt preference
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sriracha Yogurt Sauce
- 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 gralic cloves minced
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder roasted
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Take the per-soaked chickpeas in the food processor. Add in the chopped herbs, green chili, and garlic.
- Process in the food processor for a few minutes until a mixture is formed.
- Now add the olive oil, spices and salt and pulse a few more times to create a grainy mixture. The mixture will look like this.
- Take a spoonful of the mixture and form a small ball on your greased palm.
- I use a non-stick Ebeleskiver pan to make these falafel. Spray the pan with olive oil and cover the pan for a few minutes. You can also cook these falafel on a skillet sprayed with olive oil or on a baking sheet.
- (If using the baking method, preheat the oven to 350F. Place the falafels on a greased baking sheet and bake for twenty minutes. Turn the falafels after ten minutes for uniform cooking.)
- After a few minutes of cooking, flip each falfel and allow the other side to cook. I just cook these falafel balls for ten minutes on this pan.
- Cook till the falafels turn brown and crispy.
Sriracha yogurt sauce
- To make the sauce, take all your ingredients except the yogurt and lemon juice listed above and put those in a blender.
- Add half of the yogurt and pulse for a few minutes until smooth.
- Pour the mixture in a bowl and add the remaining yogurt and lemon juice. Mix well. The sauce should look semi-thick after adding the yogurt.
- Adjust the salt as per your taste. Now the sauce is ready.
- Serve the homemade baked falafel with this sauce and hummus.
- Take few fresh iceberg or romaine lettuce leaves.
- Place two falafels on each leaf, and add toppings of your choice. I like to add chopped grape tomatoes and sometimes with red onion and walnuts, and grated carrot.
- Add a spoonful of sriracha yogurt sauce onto it, and enjoy your lettuce wrap.
- Adding lentil is an optional choice.
- The baking time may vary based on the condition and type of oven you are using.
- Over cooking in the oven will make these falafels dry. To avoid that, add some more oil while preparing the falafel batter.