Easy Herb and Chickpea Falafel Balls

I have been cooking food on a beautiful retreat this last week. Usually, the retreats I’ve worked on have mostly been detox retreats or specific raw vegan retreats, whereas as this one is more of a luxury retreat focusing on yoga and surfing, but with everything from massage to facials to cocktails! I had a whole menu planned and I enjoyed the process of mapping out breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert for the guests for a week of wellness!

This week however, Autumn really hit with temperatures dropping and the sunny days have maintained a hint of freshness in the air. The guests have been returning from the ocean with goosebumps or waking and reaching for the hot coffee pot, so my menu was forced to change! These guests have also been new to eating vegetarian cuisine, and the idea of raw vegan wasn’t really what their luxurious week in Byron Bay conjured in their minds!

At first I was disheartened and thrown off centre by the need to drastically alter my menu plan! Alas, when I surrendered, I accepted a new challenge, and cooking in the kitchen this week has been invigorating and fun- a real change to what I have been focussing on these last few years.

I mended my relationship with the oven and stovetop! And with that I have enjoyed making all kinds of new recipes such as Warm Quinoa, Coconut & Blueberry Porridge, Sweet Potato & Kidney Bean Soup, Gluten Free Millet and Market Veggie Pizzas and these Herb and Chickpea Falafels that I am going to share with you today.

I have snuck in a few raw favourites such as Vanilla and Pecan Chia Seed Pudding, Raw Raspberry and Lime Cheesecake, Zucchini Linguini with Pesto and Olives and a selection of bliss balls and raw dips for the guests to snack on at their leisure.

It has been a great adventure and I am grateful for the reminder that I do indeed know how to cook vegetarian food for people! It has reminded me how to play with ingredients in different ways and pushed me out of my raw comfort zone!

Here is my recipe for the Falafels, I have been making raw falafels for the past 12 months or so but I have to say in all honesty, these are a million times nicer! I served these with a Quinoa and Mint Tabouli and a Roast Eggplant Baba Ganoush! You can also have them as they are with hummus or in pita pockets with fresh salad! Enjoy!

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This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients-

  • 1/4 bunch of mint, leaves only
  • 1/4 bunch of parsley, leaves only,
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 of a brown onion
  • 1/2 a cup of pistachios
  • 1 tin of organic chickpeas
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2  a teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of spelt four
  •  1 teaspoon of baking powder

I a food processor, blend the herbs, garlic and onion until they break down to a paste, add all the other ingredients and process until the mixture comes together. You may need to scrape down the sides to make sure everything is well combined.

Roll the mixture into small balls and place these on a oven tray lined with baking paper.

Cook the balls at 200 degrees Celsius for around 20 minutes, flipping them over half way through to make sure the top and bottom brow slightly.

Serve the balls as suggested above with a quinoa tabouli and fresh hummus or baba ganoush.

My mind is quick to say you could most likely make these raw by sprouting the chickpeas and omitting the flour and baking powder! feel free to try them like this and dehydrate them until they are dry. Or, enjoy these warm little balls of goodness as they are!

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