I like to say I was born with a stainless steel thumb - my culinary equivalent of the green thumb - and that's a lucky thing for me since my passion in life is food and cooking, and everything that comes a long with it.
What do I do with my life? I dream food, think food, look at food, read about food, work in the food business, travel via food, talk about food, use food as my artistic muse, teach others about food, and clearly, cook, play with and EAT food!
Food is my compass.
This one goes out to all my vegans and (potentially) raw foodists. And yes, I know, I made regular falafel a bit back, but I couldn't contain myself.
A couple weeks back, I was traipsing around Manhattan, moseying my way up to Organic Avenue on Lex & 73rd to check it out. I wasn't planning on purchasing anything because I have all the means necessary to make my own refreshing juices. Alas, I was sucked in as I am in a vast array of places. Date Cashew Hemp Mylk Smoothie for breakfast the next day since I never have any time to make anything anyway? Check. (It was delicious.) Raw sunflower seed falafel with tahini sauce? CHECK MATE! I don't know why I got the urge to buy these, and also save them for lunch at work, but I did. And let me tell you, I am glad that I did, because these little puppies were absolutely delicious! All the amazing flavors of street falafel, but a heck of a lot healthier for you. Frankly, they were so delicious that I was craving them and talking about them for days after the fact.
So, on that note, I had to make my own version - except I used raw pepitas - tasty, shelled pumpkin seeds. I've been adding them to a lot of salads and having them as little snacks as of late. Having a good quantity on hand, I figured I'd attempt to make falafel using these as opposed to sunflower seeds! The pepitas have a sort of smoky, earthy flavor to them to being with, so they definitely seemed like a good option. So, if you have some of these sitting around, or any kind of seed for that matter really, give this recipe a shot - just be sure to soak the seeds overnight, or at least for eight hours.
Pepita Fauxlafel (makes about 20 tiny falafel)
1 1/2 C raw pepitas, soaked overnight
2 T fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 T mint, roughly chopped
2 T scallion or spring onion, roughly chopped
2 T tahini
1/4 C fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, smashed
1 t ground cumin
1 t sea salt
1/2 t fresh ground black pepper
Paprika, for sprinkling
If you're baking these, preheat the oven to 350F, and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
Throw EVERYTHING but the paprika into a food processor, and whir away. Scrape down the sides a few times and continue pulsing to ensure that everything is evenly distributed. Take a taste and smile. Try not to eat the whole thing. At this point, you could probably use this as a spread for a multitude of things. Maybe even a crust on seafood? Who knows - maybe I'll try that in the future! Make little falafel balls with an ice cream scoop, or just by using your hands to roll them out, finishing each by sprinkling a bit of paprika on top.
If you're going to use this as a raw food recipe and have a dehydrator, go ahead and throw them in there using the machines instructions - this will help crisp them up a bit so they don't remain solely as a spreadable paste. Otherwise, pop them in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the outside is crispy.
Once they're ready, prepare a plate for yourself and chow down! I had mine with a delicious white bean hummus, arugula, and sweet pea shoots. You can absolutely serve it with a tahini sauce, and maybe even a light slaw! Anyway you have it, they are sure to be a hit.