January means we’re eating all things green! These baked falafel get their bright-green color from my die-hard favorites, avocado and cilantro.
We might not be winning any beauty contests, but we’re killing it in the flavor department.
I love falafel because they’re SO versatile. I find myself adding them to literally every meal – with a poached egg and a drizzle of hot sauce for breakfast, over a hearty greens salad for lunch, a plate by themselves for dinner with a big scoop of pico and too-much-just-right drizzle of Pinch of Yum’s magic green sauce (← majorly recommend keeping a jar in your fridge always).
This recipe makes a big batch – about forty falafel – because I’m lazy and want to make (and eat!) lots at once rather than a small batch every week. They freeze really well if you find yourself with too many, which isn’t usually a problem around here.
These isn’t your typical falafel recipe and a big part is because we’re using lentils instead of chickpeas. One, I prefer the meaty taste of lentils, and two, they’re even better for you. Compared to chickpeas, lentils are lower in calories, fat, and carbs as well as higher in fiber and protein – all good things nutrition-wise!
Each of these is just 50 calories which is perfect for adding in every meal, see above, or just as a quick afternoon snack boost until dinner. (Also see: me eating one as I type this, right now.) We’re doing craveable healthy foods right.
- 1 lb. lentils
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro about 1 cup
- 1 bunch fresh parsley about 1 cup
- 1 avocado
- 1 jalapeño
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 T. lemon juice
- 2 t. salt
- 1/4 cup flour
Cook lentils according to package directions. Let cool to room temp.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Pulse lentils, fresh cilantro and parsley including stems, avocado, jalapeno, garlic, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor until combined (see note).
Stir together pulsed mixture and slowly fold in flour. Mixture will be soft and wet.
Scoop falafels onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about a scant 1/4 cup each.
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes, until tops are just beginning to brown.
Let cool completely on the counter before storing. For crisper falafel, turn over and bake an additional 5 minutes.
You'll likely need to process this in several batches - I usually do four so my small processor isn't crowded. Don't worry about each batch being exactly evenly distributed, just make sure to stir all of it together well when you're done.
Substituting most gluten-free or other flours won't affect the final taste, since it's a relatively small quantity and only needed to give the falafels body.