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Falafel Recipe: 10 Minute Healthy Dinner

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Though I am a make-from-scratch mom, there are some things that don’t make sense. Making your own falafel mix, for example. I buy falafel mix, dried and cooked chickpeas with onions herbs and spices, because cooking chickpeas takes a long time, and then you have to grind everything up. The mix is quick and nutritious—plus my kids love it. I find this a great choice to provide a healthy dinner for my family.

Falafel and vegetables on white plate

Healthy baking

The standard way to prepare falafel is to deep fry the balls, but I prefer to bake them. I don’t like heavily fried food, and baking is both healthier and easier.

Kid-Friendly

Most falafel mixes just require you to add water and wait 10 minutes. You can have them measure the water, pour it in, and stir it with a spoon.

Falafel mixture in a bowl

During the 10-minute wait time, you can chop up tomatoes and cucumbers to go with the falafel. Lettuce or a full salad can also be served on the side. This is a great way to make sure your kids are eating a serving of greens.

Tahini Sauce

You can also use the 10-minute wait time to mix your tahini sauce. This sauce is made from tahini paste, lemon juice, water and parsley. If you like spicy food, you can add some hot sauce, but since one of my kids is spice averse, we leave the hot sauce on the side.

At Seven Minutes...

You still have about three minutes left, so you can pour yourself a glass of wine and wait for the falafel mix to gel.

Or you can save that three minutes for later since you have to spend a few minutes making the falafel balls. This is similar to making meatballs; you want to squish the falafel together so it doesn’t fall apart. My kids really enjoy helping with this.
If your kids aren’t up to the challenge, they can make Play-Doh falafel while you finish up dinner.

While you bake the falafel, which takes 15 minutes or so, in a 350 degree oven, sip your wine or make more Play-Doh creations with your kids. Towards the end of the baking, toss in a couple of pitas to warm up.

So I may have lied a little. Start to finish, this meal takes about 27 minutes. But the hands-on time is truly less than 10.

Do you like to make falafel for your family? What are some other dishes that are healthy and quick to prepare?

Judy Antell, mother of 3, has been a vegetarian since her teens. She blogs as Vegetarian TravelingMom on travelingmom.com and as Veggie Mom on travelveggiemom.blogspot.com/. Follow her on twitter, @judy511.

 

Featured image courtesy of Flickr.
Falafel mixture image courtesy of Flickr.
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