Baked Falafels with Cucumber Tomato Salad : #116 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Falafels are a plant-based street food from the Middle East. It’s made from ground up chickpeas (garbanzo beans), fava beans, and spices like parsley, garlic, cumin, and coriander. I couldn’t find any raw garbanzo beans to grind up, so we used a falafel mix. They’re traditionally deep-fried, but they tasted delicious baked!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7.50 for 12 falafels = 62 cents per falafel)

1 box Trader Joe’s falafel mix – $2.99
2 1/4 cups water – free
Olive oil for brushing on top – $0.10
1/2 onion, chopped – $0.25
4 cluster tomatoes, chopped – $2.99
4 small cucumbers, chopped – $1.25
2 sprigs each fresh thyme and oregano, chopped (dried would work too) – free from the farm
Salt and pepper to taste
Tahini sauce from this recipe

Directions

1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the falafel mix and water. Cover and let it sit for 1 hour at room temperature (package directions). Then use your hands to shape the mixture into 12 balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently brush the tops with a little bit of olive oil.

2. In a medium bowl, mix the onion, cucumber, tomato, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Toss thoroughly with two large spoons. Set aside for the flavors to combine.

3. Bake the falafels at 350F for 25-30 minutes until the tops get nice and golden. (You could also fry them if you prefer). Cool for 2-3 minutes, then serve with the salad, some cooked rice or pita bread, and tahini sauce (ketchup and mayonnaise could work too in a pinch).

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  2 = 4-6 servings if each person has 2 falafels
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal (the two youngest ones weren’t crazy about it)
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish if fried
  • TOTAL: 14/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!