July 17, 2008
Fat-Free Vegan Baked Yam Falafels with Vegan Cilantro Yogurt Sauce Recipe
Because orange is cool. I made these babies back in July and had forgotten about them until a reader sent me an email last night. Falafel, how I love thee. I will never forget you again.
As much as I'd like to claim the genius behind this "idea," I can't. I first saw this recipe but I thought the instructions were terribly unclear and I'm not a a fan of pre-made mixes anyway. I also didn't want to fry my falafel balls so I had to come up with something... and since Scott says a falafel is not a falafel without a 'yogurt' dressing, I had to make that too.
(Sorry about the photo, Scott took it at work, it really doesn't show off how cute the balls came out.)
Here's is an equally bad picture of the cilantro "yogurt" spread that goes with them!
Variation: For a traditional falafel, use 1 can 15oz drained chickpeas, mashed with the falafel mix (in place of the yam and bulgar).
A spin on traditional chickpea falafal balls. Two small sweet potatoes may be substituted for the yam. Whole wheat flour may also be substituted for the chickpea flour. Did you know that the vegetables those of us in the US call yams are actually a variety of sweet potato? A true yam is a large, starchy African root vegetable that looks and tastes very different than our reddish skinned garnet and jewel "yams" commonly found in grocery stores.
½ cup bulgar wheat
1 whole yam (large)
2 tbsp plant-based milk
1 whole garlic clove
3 tbsp fresh Italian parsley
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 tbsp chickpea flour
3 tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp dried parsley flakes
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper and set aside. Add bulgar with 3/4 cup of water in a pot without heat and set aside to soak. Meanwhile, cook yam until fork tender by steaming, microwaving or boiling (peeling skin away is optional). Using hand beaters or a potato masher, blend cooked yam with non-dairy milk until the consistency is like mashed potatoes and set aside. Return to bulgar, which should have absorbed some of the water. Bring the pot to a boil and once boiling reduce to low heat and simmer. Continue to cook, uncovered, until all the water is gone, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
Meanwhile toss garlic, parsley, onion powder, cumin, coriander, chickpea flour, bread crumbs and salt in a food processor. Allow the motor run until it's very crumbly and spice-like. Mix spice mixture with yam mixture until well combined. Then add in cooked bulgar. Drop tablespoon-sized portion on to the cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray. Lightly cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Flip the balls, respray and then bake another 20 minutes, or until the outsides are crispy.
While the falafel balls are baking, make cilantro-yogurt sauce. Stuff warm whole-wheat pitas with falafel balls, chopped lettuce and the "yogurt" sauce.