By Jilly Lagasse
These Herby Gluten-Free Falafels with Zingy Greek Yogurt Dip are baked instead of deep fried. I use a tiny bit of baking powder, no flour, so they really are just mighty protein-packed balls of goodness. The lemon juice and olive oil help to keep them moist, but since they aren’t deep fried, they can be a bit on the drier side, so dunk away in the Zingy Greek Yogurt Dip. I LOVE these, and even my lil’ 10-month-old baby seemed to enjoy the flavors, so definitely a crowd pleaser. Score for Mom! For a more filling meal, serve with some of my Minty Mediterranean Salad. The falafels are gluten free, dairy free and vegan. The dip is gluten free and vegetarian.
- Cooking spray
- 3 15-ounce cans low-sodium chickpeas, drained
- 2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 large handful fresh parsley (⅓ cup chopped)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- Pinch of cayenne pepper, more if desired
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- Salad greens and tomato slices to serve, if desired
- ZINGY GREEK YOGURT DIP
- 1 cup Greek yogurt, any percentage you like
- Zest and juice from 1 fresh lime
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Grease 2 12-cup muffin tins with cooking spray and set aside. You can bake on sheet pans as well, but I find that the muffin tins help to hold the falafels’ shapes.
In a large food processor bowl, combine the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, mint and parsley. Close the lid and pulse all together well until no large chunks remain and you have a mealy consistency that stays together. You may need to do this in batches, taking time to scrape down the sides and pulsing again.
Once well combined, put mixture in a large mixing bowl and add the cumin, cayenne pepper, a bit of salt and pepper, and the baking powder. Mix together well until the baking powder is well mixed in.
Using a measuring cup, scoop out ¼ cup of the falafel batter and roll into a ball as you would a meatball. Place into the well-greased muffin tins, one falafel ball per cup.
Repeat until all falafels are in the muffin tins and bake at 375° F for 25 minutes. The tops should be nice and brown. Allow to cool fully in the tin before serving, this will ensure they firm up and stay together.
While they are baking or cooling, mix together the dipping sauce.
In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dip and a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to combine. Cover with cling film and keep refrigerated until needed.
To serve, if desired, place a bit of salad greens on a plate along with some slices of tomatoes. Place a few falafels on top and either serve with dipping sauce on the side or drizzle some over top.
Nutrition Analysis: 200 cal, 7 g fat, 0 mg chol, 220 mg sodium, 25 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 11 g protein.
Jilly Lagasse began cooking as a child when her father, Chef Emeril Lagasse, gave her a set of chef’s whites and let her help in the pastry and dessert department in one of his restaurants. She was diagnosed with celiac in 2004 and has written two gluten-free cookbooks with her sister, Jessie Lagasse Swanson, as the duo The Lagasse Girls, lagassegirls.com.
Photo by Jilly Lagasse