Unfried Falafel Pockets
It takes a little bit of work to make falafel, but this healthy version makes these pockets delicious.
Serves: 6 servings
- Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
- 3 whole wheat or oat bran pita pockets (6-inch rounds), cut in half
- 18 thin slices cucumber
- 6 slices tomato
- 1 1/2 cups alfalfa sprouts or shredded romaine lettuce
- FALAFEL MIXTURE
- 1 can (19 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup diced cooked sweet potato (about 1 medium)
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons crushed fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
- 1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
- 2-3 tablespoons toasted sesame tahini
- 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed fresh garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- To make the dressing, place all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or mini-food processor, and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- To make the falafel, place all of the falafel mixture ingredients except for the wheat germ in a food processor, and process until puréed, but still slightly chunky. Add a few teaspoons of plain yogurt or water if the mixture seems too dry to shape into patties.
- Coat a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.
- Place the wheat germ in a shallow dish. Shape the falafel mixture into 12 (2-inch) patties and, 1 at a time, lay the patties in the dish containing the wheat germ, turning to coat both sides. Arrange the patties in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Spray the tops of the patties lightly with olive oil cooking spray, and bake at 400°F for 10 minutes. Turn the patties, and bake for 10 additional minutes, or until nicely browned.
- To heat the pita pockets, place them on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave on high power for about 45 seconds, or until warm.
- Place 2 falafel patties in each pita half. Add 3 slices of cucumber, 1 slice of tomato, and 1/4 cup of sprouts or lettuce. Drizzle with the dressing, and serve.
Excerpted from The Best-Kept Secrets of Healthy Cooking by Sandra Woodruff, R.D. Copyright © 2000 by Sandra Woodruff.
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