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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! 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.

1. Wash the parsley and place the leaves in a large food processor. Process until finely chopped. 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. Peel and slightly crush two cloves of the garlic; add them to the mix. Peel and quarter an onion and throw it in the processor, too. Squeeze 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and add that. 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. While you're getting the falafel mixture ready, heat about two inches of grapeseed oil in a large, deep pot over medium-high heat. Process everything together in the food processor. 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.) 3. Scoop the mixture into a large bowl and add flour as needed. Form the falafel into little balls. (One heaping tablespoon should be sufficient for each.) Gently lower them into the hot oil with a spoon. 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. 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. 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. Lovely.

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.


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