Rockin’ Gluten Free Falafel

That’s right Sis, I got you.  In the weird world of cooking for my family, I have made some surprising discoveries.  First, my children don’t like ALL sweet things (and I am so glad). Secondly, my kids usually accept my food dicta without significant complaint and finally (drumroll) my kids will eat anything that has anything to do with chickpeas.  Errrrrrrh….. what what WHAT?  Yes, that’s right chickpeas.  I have no explanation for you.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the little buggers myself, but that discovery certainly had not happened by age 6.  There was not significant trickery to get them to try the little beans, although I admit to calling them tushies and pointing out that they look like a little pile of baby bums.  Some people might not want to eat that, but it worked for my kids… go figure.  So when trying to decide what to make for dinner the other night, and since I was feeling kind of summery and listening to great music, I thought falafel made a lot of sense (if you don’t get the connection you probably wasted less of your 20s than I did).

When I found a falafel recipe, however, I noticed that it had wheat flour and breadcrumbs in it.  Not surprising – most pattie type foods have one or both of these, but thought, I couldn’t possibly serve these to my sister’s family as written, and so I began my usual alteration dance with gluten free falafel as the goal.  And guess what? Gluten free falafel is awesome, regardless of whether or not you’re in the parking lot of a large concert venue.  Gluten free falafel rocked this suburban (okay exurban for the geography geeks – holla!) momma and Ms. Picky Pants?  She had thirds.  Yep. Thirds.  Enough said. If Ms. Picky Pants has thirds, I’m pretty convinced everyone should give this one a go.

Rockin’ Gluten Free Falafel – adapted from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’ falafel found in Vegan with a Vengeance (Grrrrr. Sorry, just being vengeful)

  • 1/3 c gluten free rolled oatsIMG_9202
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (canned is fine, just drain and rinse)
  • 2 T chickpea flour
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3/4 t garlic powder ( I usually use fresh garlic, but had a garlic emergency – AAAAGH!)
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t ground cumin (more for folks with cumin love – unlike Ms. PP)
  • 1 t ground coriander
  • 1/4 t of cayenne (I replaced with 1/8 t white pepper – yeah, you get the drill)
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 t salt
  • vegetable oil for frying (I used olive oil, but will use safflower next time)
  • large leaf lettuce
  • falafel fixings (chopped tomato, cukes, whatever floats your boat)
  • tahini dressing

Put the oats in a food processor and pulse until the oats look more like bread crumbs than oats.  Add chickpeas and pulse until chickpeas are chopped.  Add ingredients through the salt and process until you have a cohesive, but somewhat coarse mixture.  It will be a little green from the parsley – it’s okay.  You may want to stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times. Remove bowl of food processor (with blade inside) and put in the fridge (with the cover on) for at least 1/2 an hour.

When the time is right, form the batter into 2 inch patties about 1/2 inch thick (no, again, I didn’t and won’t any time soon measure).  Warm oil in the bottom of a pan (I used my cast iron and it worked supah).  How much oil?  More than a low fat cook would normally use, but i avoided the 1/2 inch recommended in the original because I thought that was gross.  I know falafel are traditionally deep fried – my shallow fried falafel were fab.  When oil is warm (shimmery and bubbles up a little when a little batter is added), place patties in pan.  Flip after a couple of minutes, watching for browning.  Remove to drain on paper towels or paper bag you wish to reuse.

IMG_9189 IMG_9193 IMG_9196

Tahini Dressing – this one was also from VWAV, and I strayed less, which is to say only because of what was on hand rather than some dietary goal…

  • 8 t olive oilIMG_9191
  • 1 1/2 garlic powder (or 3 cloves garlic)
  • 1/2 c tahini (or realize you don’t have that much and sub out almond butter for half)
  • 2 t balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/4 c parsley
  • 1/2 c water

Throw it all in a blender and go.  Yep, that’s it and it’s tremendously good.

Serve the falafel wrapped in a lettuce leaf or your favorite gluten free bread product.  If you aren’t so concerned about gluten, try the traditional pita arrangement.  Add fresh veg and some tahini and you’ve got yourself a little party.  I have to admit.  I ate too many.  They were just so freaking good. Delish.

This post was shared on Wildcrafting Wednesday.

36 responses

  1. YOU are indeed a rockin Sister. This sounds fantastic, and going on the menu this week 😉 And if Miss PP likes it, mine will definitely like it.

  2. These look very delish and are making me hungry for the little restaurant below hubby’s office!

    Thanks for sharing on our Healthy Tuesdays Blog Hop. Hope you will join us again next week!
    Kerry from Country Living On A Hill

  3. OH YUM!! I love falafels! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂

    Can’t wait to see what you are bringing to the party this week! We have another GREAT giveaway!

    Cindy from

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