This delicious vegan recipe is a combination of everything I love about food – wholesome, good-for-you fare that’s easy to prepare, fun to eat and full of fresh and tasty flavour.
A healthy recipe that is the result of me playing around with different grains and ways to include a variety of protein and other good things into our family dinners. And at the moment our little girl loves anything she can dip into yoghurt and sauces – food that is fun and easy to eat, plus the sauce tends to help new foods actually make it into the mouth :)
We eat falafel often in our house so I thought it’d be a good idea to mix it up a little and throw in a few different ingredients and flavours – with roasted sweet potato and sunflower seeds in the falafel and freekeh in place of the cracked wheat or bulgur in the tabouli. Freekeh has a lovely subtle flavour and is something like a cross between cracked wheat and barley – super good for you and delicious too.
With the addition of a quick cabbage and apple pickle and a vegan almond and tahini cream these sweet potato falafel make a healthy vegetarian meal full of goodness. Serve as a plate or stuff all the goodies into the pita pocket instead. Either way this is super delicious, simple vegan food the whole family will enjoy.
Sweet Potato Falafel
Preparation time: 45mins
Makes approx. 12 falafel
- 2 cups diced organic sweet potato
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1½ cups cooked or tinned chickpeas
- 3 tbs sunflower seeds
- 1 tbs chia seeds
- ½ cup sesame seeds
- handful each of fresh coriander and parsley
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/356°F.
Toss the diced sweet potato and whole garlic cloves (with the skins still on) into a large baking tray. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, sprinkle over the coriander seeds, cumin and paprika and toss to coat well.
Pop the tray in the oven and roast for around 25-30mins until the sweet potato is gooey on the inside. Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool.
Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from their skins and add these along with the cooled sweet potato and remaining ingredients, except the olive oil and sesame seeds, to a large food processor adding salt and pepper to taste.
Pulse the ingredients adding enough olive oil as you go to create a soft coarse dough like mixture. Be careful not to over process the ingredients to a smooth paste, you still want some texture to it.
Place the sesame seeds in a shallow bowl. Using your hands from a small tablespoon of the falafel mixture at a time into a ball and toss in the sesame seeds. Repeat with the remaining mixture until you have around 12-14 falafel balls.
The balls can be refrigerated in a covered container for up to 12 or even 24 hours.
The falafel can be deep fried in batches in plenty of hot peanut oil, baked in a moderate oven for around 25 mins or shallow fried over a medium heat turning frequently until golden on all sides.
Serve warm with the following accompaniments.
Preparation time: 30mins
Serves 4 as a side
- ½ cup freekeh
- 2 cups water
- good handful of mixed fresh herbs (I used coriander, parsley and basil)
- 2 tbs olive oil
- ½ lemon, juice
Place the freekeh in a medium sized pot and top with the water. Bring to the boil and allow to gently simmer for around 20-25 mins stirring occasionally until the freekeh is tender and water absorbed. Watch carefully towards the end to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Allow to cool slightly before tossing through the herbs, olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Great served either warm or cold from the fridge.
Red Cabbage & Green Apple Pickle
Preparation time: 5 mins (+ optional 1 hour in the fridge)
Serves 4 as a side
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- ½ organic green apple, grated
- 3 tbs apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp brown sugar
- good pinch of salt flakes
Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl. Best if made ahead of time and allowed to sit in the fridge for at least an hour. Before serving drain off any excess liquid and check seasoning adding more salt or sugar if needed.
Almond, Tahini Cream
Preparation time 5 mins
Serves 4 as a side
- ¼ cup raw almonds
- 1 tbs tahini
- ½ lemon, juice
- ¼ cup water
Add all the ingredients, except the water, to a small food processor. Adding a little water at a time, process the ingredients until they form a smooth, thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve – you may need to add a little more water if the cream becomes too thick once refrigerated.
Sweet Potato Falafel Plate w/ Freekeh Tabouli, Pickle & Almond, Tahini Cream
- Sweet Potato Falafel
- Freekeh Tabouli
- Red Cabbage & Green Apple Pickle
- Almond, Tahini Cream
- 4 pita pockets, warmed in the oven and torn into pieces
- fresh mint leaves
- chilli sauce (optional)
Arrange all the elements on separate plates and scatter with chili sauce, if using, and fresh mint leaves.
Alternatively cut the pita bread in half and stuff full with all the goodies.
A great healthy and tasty vegetarian recipe that makes a fun family dinner or great to serve as a casual meal with friends.
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