Falafel Quinoa Bowls: along with the cabbage there are diced cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, salty kalamata olives, homemade tzatziki, hummus, quinoa, and homemade falafel in the bowls. Basically my Greek food dream come true!
A couple of weeks ago my sister-in-law mentioned to me that she made her own pita bread and ever since then I couldn’t get pita out of my head. All I wanted was a fluffy pita with crispy fried falafel. Right. Now.
Unfortunately, I haven’t found a Greek restaurant in the Twin Cities that I love (p.s. taking recommendations!!). This was going to be a task I had to take on my own.
While making the dough for the pita (recipe is from My Name Is Yeh!), I dreamt up falafel bowls instead of falafel pitas. The pitas would still be in the picture, but more of a side to dip in hummus and tzatziki.
This ended up working out perfectly because while the pita turned out insanely delicious and fluffy, I don’t think I rolled mine out enough and they were mini pitas. There wouldn’t have been much room to stuff even one falafel inside, let alone all of the garnishes!
Greek Food Dream Come True
One of the unusual additions to the falafel bowl is sautéed red cabbage. I loved the idea of having some purple in the bowl, however I’m not a huge fan of raw cabbage. So I decided to cook it! If you like raw cabbage, you can definitely skip the step of cooking it and add it raw.
Along with the cabbage there are diced cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, salty kalamata olives, homemade tzatziki, hummus, quinoa, and homemade falafel in the bowls. Basically my Greek food dream come true.
And now comes the part of this post where I tell you how we all pretty much fell in love with this dish. Even Marc, my burger/ribs/man food-loving husband told me it was the best thing he had eaten in as long as he could remember. Whaaaaaaat?!
All About the Sauce
I mean, of course I loved them but that’s because they pretty much have my name written all over them. They’re filled with veggies, hearty, filling, and have TWO sauces! Y’all know I’m all about the sauce.
But the fact that Marc flipped over them says something. These bowls are GOOD! Oh and Lars loved them too. Which I figured he would since hummus is in his top 5 foods. He absolutely loves cucumbers and quinoa too, so this meal was a pretty big win for him.
Falafel Quinoa Bowls
A couple of things about this recipe. For one, the falafel holds up MUCH better when cooking if you chill the falafel mixture prior to cooking for at least 1-2 hours. You could definitely make it a day in advance to make things even easier. Second, there are a few steps to making this recipe such as cooking the quinoa, making the falafel, cooking the falafel, making the tzatziki, chopping the veggies and assembling.
As always, I would recommend meal prepping in advance to make it an easier weeknight meal. For example, chop up the veggies, make the falafel mixture, and make the tzatziki ahead of time. You will thank yourself later!
Lastly, just make these! And don’t forget to tag me on social media when you do!
For the falafel:
- 1 15- ounce can chickpeas rinsed, drained and patted dry
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small white onion roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon each sea salt and black pepper depending on taste preference
- 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 4-6 tablespoons grape seed oil or canola oil
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs for coating
For the tzatziki:
- 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 1 small cucumber shredded in a cheese grater or food processor
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
For the bowls:
- 1 cup dried quinoa cooked according to package instructions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 head red cabbage chopped
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cucumber diced (I used mini cucumbers which worked well)
- 1 cup kalamata olives
- Hummus for serving
- Pita for serving
To make the falafel:
- To a food processor, add chickpeas, parsley, onion, garlic, tahini, cumin, salt, pepper and mix/pulse to combine, scraping down sides as needed until thoroughly combined. You want a a crumbly dough, not a paste.
- Add flour 1 tablespoon at a time and pulse/mix to combine until no longer wet and you can mold the dough into a ball without it sticking to your hands.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to firm up. If you need to skip this step, the falafel will be a little more fragile when shaping and cooking.
- Once chilled, scoop out rounded tablespoons and gently form into 11-12 small discs.
- Sprinkle on panko bread crumbs and gently press to adhere - flip and repeat.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to generously coat the pan - about 2 tablespoons.
- Once the oil is hot, add only as many falafel as will fit very comfortably in the pan at a time.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, flipping when the underside is deep golden brown.
- Repeat with all falafel.
To make the tzatziki:
- In a large bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, diced cucumber, lemon juice garlic and dill.
- Stir to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
To assemble bowls:
- Prepare the quinoa.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add cabbage, and season with salt and pepper according to your taste.
- cook for ~10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cabbage has softened.
- Once quinoa and cabbage are cooked, assemble your bowls with your desired amounts of quinoa, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, hummus, falafel, and tzatziki.
- Serve with pita and enjoy!
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