Confession time – I’ve never made a falafel myself at home that didn’t turn out terrible. Not sure what it is exactly that I do to them but they seem to want to disintegrate whenever I deep fry them, and baking makes them taste too… healthy (you know [junk food] me). But now folks, I have managed to make a falafel that didn’t fall apart and tasted boss. BEHOLD.
These quinoa and sweet potato falafel are a game changer. I didn’t bother with the deep fryer and went the grilling route, instead of baking. Oh yes, it works. FINALLY. Trying to get more chickpeas and quinoa into your life has never been easier. Well, for some people it’s easy, but for me with my regular #FattyFriday’s and penchant for vegan burgers and Vego bars, it tends to be quite difficult getting the healthy stuff in me.
Make these sexy balls as big or small as you like – they tend to stick together well with the squishy-ness of the sweet potato. Use whatever herbs and spices you fancy too – these ones are a touch spicy but feel free to tone the spice down and give it more of your own flavours. Enjoy in pita, part of a salad or on their own as a snack. SO yum.
1 x medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
60g uncooked quinoa
1/2 a 400g tin of chickpeas (reserve the juice to make some chocolate mousse!)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 TBsp minced ginger
1 TBsp sunflower oil (or other high smoke point oil)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp rice vinegar
juice of 1/2 a lime
handful of coriander or parsley (optional)
Peel, dice and boil the sweet potato on the hob for 15 minutes, or until tender
While the sweet potato is cooking, cook the quinoa according to packet instructions
When the sweet potato and quinoa are cooked, set aside.
Add the oil, garlic and ginger to a fry pan and cook on low-medium heat for around one minute, ensuring the garlic doesn’t brown
Add the remaining ingredients to the fry pan, including the quinoa and sweet potato, and mash with a potato masher (or a fork if you don’t have a masher) until the mix is well combined and there are barely any chunky bits
Set aside the mix for a few minutes until it is cool enough for you to handle
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and turn on your grill to medium high heat
Roll the mix into balls of the same size (however big/small you like) and place on the parchment paper with plenty of space between them
I use either a little bit of water or oil to wet my hands with when rolling the balls, as it makes the mix less sticky on the hands and comes away easier (#toptip!)
Once all the mix has been rolled into balls, place your tray of balls under the grill for around 25 minutes, turning every 7 minutes or so. Keep an eye on them to ensure they brown but don’t burn.
Once ready, serve with salad, avocado, tahini or in a wrap. Enjoy!
Time to make: 10 minutes prep, 50 minutes cooking (including sweet potato/quinoa) = 1 hour
On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 2.5, relatively simple but with a few moving parts. Not the quickest of recipes, but you could cook the sweet potato/quinoa in advance and heat up the balls when you need them