Roasted Carrot Falafel Pita Pockets w/ Creamy Harissa Sauce

So, it’s been a loooong time with very few new recipes here on Veggie num num and I apologies for that! Still, with the site update, it’s been great to hear from so many of you who still use this little space regularly and keep coming back for your favourite veg food recipes. Big veggie hugs to all of you for your continued support and love!!

As our little man approaches one I’m finding more freedom and space to get stuck into a few projects and Veggie num num is somewhere near the top of that list. New vegetarian recipes here we come!!

To kick it off I’ve got another favourite healthy vegan recipe from my vegetarian cook book. These roasted carrot falafel pockets are everything I love about healthy vegan food. Plus they are great to serve up to little kids (just use a mild curry powder and replace the harrisa with tomato paste).

Carrots are the star of this healthy vegan recipe and for good reason. They’re cheap, typically available all year round and packed with a great nutritional profile (think anti-oxidant and nutrient rich). In our house we go through a bag nearly every week. Great in a pita pocket, these tasty carrot falafel, are also great in a turkish bun or if you prefer, serve them up in a lettuce wrap for a super veggie powered meal.

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Roasted Carrot Falafel Pita Pockets w/ Creamy Harissa Sauce
Preparation time: 45mins // Serves 4

Carrot Falafels

  • 2 large carrots, sliced into thick rounds (approx. 1½ cups)
  • ½ red onion, peeled and cut into two wedges
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp good quality curry powder (use a mild one if you’re making these for kids)
  • 1½ tbs rolled rye (or oats)
  • 1 tbs sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1½ cups cooked or tinned chickpeas, rinsed well
  • ½ cup sultanas (raisins)
  • sunflower or rice bran oil for frying

Creamy Harissa Sauce

  • ¾ cup silken tofu
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp harissa (to taste) (or use tomato paste for a mild, kid friendly version)
  • ¼ tsp maple syrup

for the pita pockets

  • 1-2 tbs sunflower oil
  • 4 wholemeal pocket or pita breads, warmed in a low oven
  • sliced cucumber
  • grated carrot
  • snow pea sprouts

Preheat the oven to 390F (200C).

Throw the chopped carrot and wedges of onion into a baking tray. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle over the spices along with salt flakes and cracked pepper to taste and then toss to coat well.

Place in the hot oven for 25-30 minutes until carrot is golden and tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, process the rolled rye and sunflower seeds to form a coarse flour. Add the fresh herbs and process for a few seconds until finely chopped.

Add the chickpeas, sultanas, roasted carrot and onions, along with all the oil and spices in the bottom of the roasting pan, to the other ingredients in the food processor.

Using the pulse setting, pulse the ingredients until they just start to come together. Be sure not to over process the ingredients – you want to keep some texture and not end up with a mixture that resembles hummus.

Using clean hands form a large tablespoon of falafel mixture into a ball and then flatten slightly into a small round patty. Repeat with the remaining mixture (the falafels can be made ahead of time and stored, covered in the refrigerator).

Prepare the creamy harissa sauce by blending all the ingredients together, either using a stick blender or in a small food processor, until smooth. Set aside.

To fry the falafel, heat a small amount of sunflower or rice bran oil in a heavy-based frying or grill pan. Alternatively you can fry the patties on a barbeque grill. Working in small batches, fry the falafels over a medium/high heat, turning once golden on one side to cook on the other. Remove from the pan, place on absorbent paper and keep warm while you cook the remainder.

Serve the falafel immediately, piled into the warm pita pockets with lots of sprouts, cucumber, grated carrot and a good drizzle of the creamy harissa sauce.

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