Falafel with Pita & Tzatziki
Mediterranean style food is one of my favorite cuisines. It’s fresh, flavorful, and easy to incorporate into a vegetarian lifestyle. It also tends to be really healthy by focusing on plant-based foods and lean proteins. A perfect example is this Falafel with Pita & Tzatziki. Although falafel is fried, I always use grapeseed oil and it doesn’t even absorb very much. The chickpeas and tzatziki provide a good source of vegetarian protein and the pita bread uses whole wheat bread flour for a hearty, wholesome carbohydrate. Top everything off with a drizzle of tahini to get a rich, nutty flavor!
The falafel is made using dried chickpeas, onion, garlic, fresh herbs, cumin, and Celtic sea salt. The chickpeas do need to soak overnight, so be sure to plan ahead for making this recipe. After soaking, the ingredients are combined in a food processor and formed into balls about the size of ping-pong balls.
I’m not a fan of deep-frying anything. Falafel and French-fried onions (for green bean casserole) are the only things I ever fry and I make sure to use expellar-pressed grapeseed oil. Often times, oil is extracted from the seed using chemical solvents which means there could be hexane residue left over. Expellar-pressing oil does not use these chemicals, so you get a purer product.
I only use about 1/2 inch of oil in my saucepan and gently flip each falafel as it browns. You could also bake falafel or put it in a waffle iron to make falafel-waffles! These won’t have the same satisfying crunch as the fried version, but they will still be delicious.
Whole Wheat Pita Bread
Pita bread is a perfect side for falafel and is also super easy to make at home. Skip the store bought stuff and make these delicious, soft flat-breads from scratch! All you need is water, olive oil, sugar, salt, yeast, and whole wheat bread flour.
Combine the ingredients, knead for eight to ten minutes with a dough hook and stand mixer (or by hand) and let the dough rise for and one and a half hours. Then, divide the dough into ten balls and roll them out on a lightly floured surface. Let the pitas rest for 20 minutes while the oven preheats to 500 degrees. Bake each pita for four and half minutes. They should be puffed up when ready. See the recipe below for detailed instructions. Enjoy!
Tzatziki is a delicious Greek dip/sauce/spread made with a base of Greek yogurt and shredded cucumbers and flavored with lemon and dill. The recipe I use is from Cookie + Kate and I definitely recommend checking out her blog!
The dip is so easy to make and is a great addition alongside falafel and pita bread. All you have to do is grate the cucumber (and squeeze out the extra water) and mix it with Greek yogurt, olive oil, dill, lemon juice, garlic and sea salt. Give it a good stir and it’s ready to go! It’s fresh, flavorful, and a great source of lean protein!
Shopping List for Falafel with Pita & Tzatziki
Here’s everything you’ll need the make the Falafel with Pita & Tzatziki. Follow the links to find the dry goods and Thrive Market!
- Dried chickpeas
- Celtic sea salt
- Expellar-pressed grapeseed oil
- Whole wheat bread flour
- Olive oil
- Plain Greek yogurt