Baked Quinoa Falafel Pita with Tzatziki

Baked Quinoa Falafel Pita with Tzatziki

“College taught me many things, but in the food department I’m thankful that my college cafeteria introduced me to falafel. When I walked up to the vegetarian-friendly line my freshman year, I had never heard of the little fried chickpea balls, but the obsession started immediately after I bit into my first one. It took me a while to perfect a recipe to use at home, but I’ve found that the spice mixture below brings me back to that college cafeteria experience. I like adding quinoa to my falafel because it adds extra fiber and protein, as well as a boost in texture. Instead of deep-frying my falafel, I simply bake them to firm them up, then quickly pan-fry them to give them a good crunch on the outside. The refreshing tzatziki is tangy, cool, and a perfect balance to the spiced falafel patties.” — Katie Parker, author of The High-Protein Vegetarian Cookbook

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4
Servings
101
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Notes

Recipe courtesy of The High-Protein Vegetarian Cookbook

Ingredients

For the Quinoa Falafel

  • ½  Cup  water
  • ¼  Cup  quinoa, uncooked
  • (14.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
  • ¼  Cup  chopped red onion
  • cloves garlic
  • ½  Cup  flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½  Teaspoon  fine sea salt
  • ¼  Teaspoon  ground black pepper
  • ½  Tablespoon  cumin
  • ½  Tablespoon  dried coriander
  • 1¼  Teaspoon  chili powder
  • 1/8  Teaspoon  cayenne pepper
  • egg yolk
  • ¼  Cup  olive oil, divided

For the Tzatziki

  • ½  cucumber, peeled and grated
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1/4 small lemon
  • 2  Tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1  Cup  2% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1  Teaspoon  dried dill
  • ¼  Teaspoon  kosher salt
  • ¼  Teaspoon  ground black pepper

For Assembly

  • whole wheat pitas, cut in half

Directions

For the Quinoa Falafel

Bring the water to a boil. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Pulse together the chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, and other spices in a food processor. Process until everything is finely chopped (it won’t become completely smooth, and that’s okay). Transfer to a bowl, and mix in the quinoa. Add the egg yolk and stir until fully incorporated.

Shape the dough into eight balls, and then flatten with your palm into about ½-inch-thick patties. Transfer to a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip each patty, and bake for another 10 minutes.

Heat half of the oil in a large nonstick fry pan. Place four of the patties in the heated oil and fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining oil and remaining patties.

For the Tzatziki

Place the grated cucumber in a fine-mesh strainer set over the sink or a bowl, and let drain for 10 to 15 minutes.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

For Assembly

Fill each pita half with two falafel patties, tzatziki, and any other toppings you like (I recommend crunchy romaine leaves, tomato slices, and red onion).

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
8g
11%
Sugar
2g
2%
Saturated Fat
7g
29%
Cholesterol
3mg
1%
Carbohydrate, by difference
3g
2%
Protein
5g
11%
Vitamin A, RAE
27µg
4%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
2µg
2%
Calcium, Ca
61mg
6%
Choline, total
9mg
2%
Fiber, total dietary
1g
4%
Folate, total
4µg
1%
Magnesium, Mg
8mg
3%
Phosphorus, P
73mg
10%
Selenium, Se
5µg
9%
Sodium, Na
73mg
5%
Water
44g
2%

Quinoa Shopping Tip

Stock up on quinoa and have it available for the days you are tired of rice or pasta. It's a great substitute for rice, beans, cereal, bulgar, or couscous.

Quinoa Cooking Tip

The general rule is to add one part quinoa to two parts liquid in a saucepan. One cup of quinoa will take about 15 minutes.