Appetizers Entrees

Falafel Grain Bowl

falafel grain bowl

Falafels are much easier to make than expected. They don’t take much effort, but you DO have to plan ahead. If you take away one thing from this recipe it’s this – don’t use canned chickpeas to make falafels, they will be too soft and won’t work out. Seriously guys, you need to take the time to soak your chickpeas overnight to make this recipe work. That said, if you use the right chickpeas, the recipe is pretty fool proof!

falafels

I first discovered falafels as a teenager growing up in rural Alberta. I had decided to become a vegetarian, but had no idea how to actually BE a vegetarian. So I did what any prairie raised kid would do and replaced all of the meat I ate with an endless supply of grocery store bought falafels. At the time I thought they were amazing, and that I was being an A+ vegetarian. I was wrong on both accounts. As I got a bit older (and you know, started to develop more mature taste buds) I discovered that homemade falafels were seriously so good and they are still one of my favourite vegetarian/vegan friendly meals. 

falafels

I’ve recently gotten into a bad habit of buying my lunch at work instead of making my own. And one of my favourite go to lunches is a Vegan Grain Bowl from a far too convenient delivery service. It’s delicious, but also really expensive. Not good for the wallet. So I decided to make my own complete with homemade falafels. This recipe lasted for a few work lunches and a couple of snacks. Not only did it taste better, it saved me lots of $$$.

falafel grain bowl

This is one of those recipes that you make on a Sunday afternoon when you’re doing laundry and have a lot of spare time on your hands. Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you away. Once you’re eating those fresh falafels, you’ll know it was completely worth it!

Falafel Grain Bowl

Ingredients

    For the Falafels
  • 1 1/2 cups (1 lb) of dry chickpeas **you must start with dry chickpeas as canned chickpeas will not work in this recipe
  • 1 small to medium yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup of chopped parsley
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • For the Quinoa
  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • For the Pickled Cabbage
  • 1/2 small head of red cabbage
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic - pressed
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons of mustard seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Tahini Dressing
  • 1/2 cup of tahini
  • 2/3 cups of water
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoons of sale
  • black pepper to taste
  • Other Toppings You Could Include
  • Fresh cucumber
  • Olives
  • Hummus
  • Fresh bell peppers

Instructions

    To make Falafels
    (recipe adapted from Tori Avey)
  1. First you'll need to soak the chickpeas. Cover them in cold water. Let them soak overnight and you will have about 4 cups
  2. Drain the beans and rinse them well.
  3. Place them in your food processor with the chopped onion, garlic cloves, parsley, flour, sale, cumin, coriander, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
  4. Pulse food processor until the texture of your mixture looks similar to a couscous.
  5. Pour mixture into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  6. Once you're ready to cook, fill a skilled with oil about 1 1/2 inches deep and head over medium heat.
  7. While you're waiting for the oil to heat you can form the falafel mixture into small balls -- about 2 tbsp per falafel.
  8. The falafels wont stick together 100%, but should be perfectly binded when you fry them. If that's not happening, then you can put the mixture back into your food processor to form more of a paste mixture and try again.
  9. Once you're ready to fry, your best bet is to have a test falafel to make sure that your oil is set on the correct heat.
  10. It should take 2-3 minutes per side to brown.
  11. You should be able to fry a few at a time.
  12. Once the falafels are done frying, let them drain on paper towel and enjoy!
  13. To make Quinoa
  14. Mix all ingredients together and use as a base for your grain bowl.
  15. To make Pickled Cabbage
  16. Slice your cabbage in half and remove the core.
  17. Shred the cabbage with your amazing knife skills OR with a mandolin
  18. Place in a large bowl or pretty jar
  19. In a separate bowl, place water, vinegar, and sugar in a bowl and whisk together until the sugar is dissolved
  20. Stir in the remaining ingredients and pour over cabbage.
  21. Seal the cabbage tightly with either the jars lid or saran wrap.
  22. Let the cabbage sit on your counter for 3-4 hours, stir again, and place in your fridge until it's chilled
  23. Keeps for up to 2 weeks sealed in your fridge.
  24. To make Tahini Dressing
    Recipe directly from here
  25. Whisk or blend all of your ingredients together, starting with 2/3 cup of water and adding more water if you need to.
  26. Will keep 5 to 6 days in the fridge.
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falafel grain bowl

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Shirley
    March 31, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Wow. This looks amazing. Can’t wat to try this.

    • Reply
      Kelsey
      April 3, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      It really is easier than you’d think! You just need to have a food processor and a little patience.

  • Reply
    Dana
    April 7, 2017 at 6:14 am

    This is a timely post, because I’m totally planning on making falafel this month and I had no idea that canned chickpeas wouldn’t work! So glad I stopped by here today.

    I don’t have a food processor, but I have a Vitamix. Do you think that would work if I’m careful to not puree the heck out of it all?

    Anyway, these look fantastic and I’m even more excited to make them now. Falafel is one of my fave foods, hands down.

    • Reply
      Kelsey
      April 7, 2017 at 9:34 am

      Hey Dana, yeah I think that a Vitamix would work! Just be careful that it doesn’t turn into a paste!

  • Reply
    Gabrielle @ eyecandypopper
    April 7, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Seriously, this bowl looks so good! I love falafels and yet, I’ve never made any… I must!

  • Reply
    Sean@Diversivore
    April 7, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Ok, first of all, I don’t judge you in the slightest for replacing all your meats with falafel. I’m perfectly happy substituting almost anything for falafel. Chicken? Falafel. Lamb? Falafel. Banana bread? Falafel. Trip to the gym? FALAFEL.

    Secondly, I need to try this. I’ve had middling success with falafel recipes, and you’ve got some lovely little tips and tricks here that might help turn the tide for me. And man, that crunchy crispy exterior looks PERFECT.

    FALAFEL.

    • Reply
      Kelsey
      April 10, 2017 at 11:56 am

      I’m not going to lie to you…I was surprised by how amazing the crispy exterior was. This recipe works out really well again and again.

  • Reply
    Justine | JustineCelina.com
    April 9, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    I’ve been so into grain bowls this month and this is such an inventive spin — I love it! Fantastic flavours and textures here. Also, where in rural Alberta did you grow up? I grew up on the prairies too! Hope you had a lovely weekend. 🙂

    • Reply
      Kelsey
      April 10, 2017 at 11:57 am

      We grew up in Camrose, AB. We may romanticize just how rural it is, but every time we go back there… it is just REALLY… rural.

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