Falafel - a Tasty Thursday post!

Veggie burgers are all the rage. You can find ten zillion varieties in the freezer section of the grocery store, ranging from reasonably nutritious to worse-than-a-big-mac. Just because it's vegetarian, doesn't mean it's healthy.

I've tried a lot of veggie burger recipes. My favorite is one that involves black beans and sweet potatoes, but I'll admit it takes an impressive list of ingredients.

This, however, when I think about it? This is my favorite veggie burger. It's got crunch, taste, flavor. Color, at least somewhat. You can dress it up like any other burger, although I'd personally leave the cheese off of this one. The dairy this one calls for is a tangy tzatziki sauce, if you ask me!

Yeah, falafel. Eat one and it's a slider. Two and it's a snack. Three and it's dinner. You do need a food processor, so that brings it up to a level three on the difficulty scale, a scale I am just now inventing and will roll out more specifically in a week or so. The trick? Don't cook the chickpeas first.

This recipe is already making me rethink my galley storage on Calypso. What do you think? Should I take the food processor with me when we head off again? How big an inverter will we need and can we make it work?

FALAFEL (makes 18-24 patties)

1/2 lb dried chick peas
1/2 onion, 1 small handful fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp coriander, pinch cayenne
juice of 1/2 a lemon
veggie or olive oil or combo

1. Soak the chick peas in water to cover overnight. Drain, rinse, and drain again.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, finely chop the onion and the parsley, then dump it into a large bowl.
3. Process the chick peas (YES YOU ARE NOT COOKING THEM. ONLY SOAKING THEM!) with the spices in the food processor, pulsing, until the texture of coarse sand or even gravel (you do NOT want this to be a paste!), then dump the chick peas on top of the onion and parsley in the large bowl.
4. Add in the garlic, and squeeze the lemon on top.
5. Stir to combine. I like to fold the mixture together so it all blends but is not mush. 
6. Test to see if the mixture will hold together by taking a handful and squeezing. If not, add flour (chick pea flour is great!) by 1/4 c increments and mixing it together carefully before testing again.
7. Heat a combination of oils together in a shallow frying pan (or just use one kind of oil. Pure olive oil has a lower flash point, which means it will not fry as hot - and less hot oil means greasier food.)
8. Using 2 spoons, press the mixture together to form flattish egg-shaped patties, pressing together well. Put in hot oil and flatten a little. Fry until brown on one side, then flip and cook the other side.

Totally sublime with fresh pita bread, tzatziki sauce, hummus thinned with lemon juice, and tomatoes and lettuce. Freeze any extras and pull them out when you need a quick veggie burger fix!