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Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

If you're looking for a good online (vegan!) recipe bank, then the Humane Society's Meatless Monday recipe of the week is an excellent source; we made this week's falafel with the accompanying tahini sauce and served it in pita bread with fresh greens. Yum!

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

You will need:

3 25-ounce cans chickpeas (or 1 3/4 cup dried chickpeas)

5 cloves garlic

1 small onion

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon Italian parsley leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

Flour, as needed

Grapeseed oil for frying

If you're using dried chickpeas, cover in plenty of water and allow to soak for 24 hours, then drain, reserving some of the soaking liquid.

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

1. Wash the parsley and place the leaves in a large food processor.

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

Process until finely chopped.

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

2. Drain the canned chickpeas (or the once-dried chickpeas, if you used those and soaked them) and reserve a little of the liquid. Put them in the food processor.

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

Peel and slightly crush two cloves of the garlic; add them to the mix.

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

Peel and quarter an onion and throw it in the processor, too.

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

Squeeze 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and add that.

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

Add the cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper (we use really hot cayenne, so adjust to taste), 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the cracked black pepper and the baking soda.

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

While you're getting the falafel mixture ready, heat about two inches of grapeseed oil in a large, deep pot over medium-high heat.

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

Process everything together in the food processor.

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

You can add a tablespoon or two of the reserved water from the chickpeas -- but don't add too much! (If you do, you'll need to mix in some flour to help the patties stick together.)

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

3. Scoop the mixture into a large bowl and add flour as needed.

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

Form the falafel into little balls. (One heaping tablespoon should be sufficient for each.)

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

Gently lower them into the hot oil with a spoon.

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

Depending on how big your pot is, you can cook more than one at a time; wait a minute and a half to two minutes before you try turning the patties.

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

The balls usually need to cook four to five minutes; when they're a perfect golden brown, place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

4. Meanwhile, start getting the tahini sauce ready; mix the 1/2 cup of tahini, 3 cloves garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and the rest of the parsley leaves you saved in the food processor, blending until smooth.

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

Lovely.

Falafel with tahini sauce for a Mid-East treat on Meatless Monday

Serve by spreading the tahini sauce on the inside of the pita bread and stuffing with fresh lettuce and falafel; you can also add tomatoes.