Recipe: Falafel with a Zesty Yogurt Sauce

Add to a pita with greens and veggies

Falafel is a Middle Eastern specialty consisting of croquettes or balls that are made of spiced ground chickpeas. Traditionally, it is deep-fried, but you can pan fry in a small amount of canola oil.

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Serve falafel in a pita pocket filled with fresh greens, tomatoes, scallions and cucumbers. Top with the yogurt sauce and enjoy.

Ingredients

Yogurt sauce ingredients:
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped and drained of excess water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro
½ teaspoon cumin

Falafel ingredients:
Falafel mix
1 ¼ cups water
1 Tbsp canola oil

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Directions

  1. For falafel: follow directions according to the box. Usually you add falafel mixture to 1 ¼ cups water in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly and let sit 10-15 minutes while preparing yogurt sauce.
  2. For yogurt sauce: in a small bowl mix all ingredients. To further enhance flavor, prepare ahead of time and let sit in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Stir before serving.
  3. Once falafel mixture has had time to set, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add canola oil and let heat.
  4. Once oil has heated, turn down to medium. Scoop approximately 1/8-1/4 cup of falafel mixture into palm of hand and form a small ball or disk. Continue with rest of mixture, placing each ball onto frying pan. Let falafel cook for approximately 5 minutes before turning over, paying special attention that they do not burn. Falafel should be slightly soft in the center yet golden brown on the outside.
  5. Once falafel is cooked serve as an appetizer dipped in the yogurt sauce, atop a fresh greens salad or with a warm pita pocket filled with vegetables.

Nutrition information

1 serving (2 falafel patties) contains:

Calories: 170 (16% of calories from fat)
Total Fat: 3g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 840mg
Carbohydrates: 27g
Dietary Fiber: 8g
Protein: 15g

2 tablespoons yogurt sauce contains:

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Calories: 20
Total Fat: 0g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 20mg
Carbohydrate: 4g
Dietary fiber: 0g
Protein: 1g

Recipe provided by Melissa Stevens, MS, RD, LD, Nutrition Program Coordinator, Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitative Services

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