A perfect protein packed lunch that’s healthy and full of flavor!
I just found my new favourite way to eat falafels. With picked beets!
When I was in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica I kept returning to the Falafel Bar because they served the most amazing falafels. And guess what? Picked beets were a filling option. Except the only problem with restaurant falafels is that they are deep-fried making them delicious but also unhealthy. So in my many attempts to try to master this falafel I think I finally created a falafel that isn’t greasy or mushy, but is still full of flavor.
Health warning! These falafels are…
Packed with protein
High in fiber
High in beta-carotene
Helpful at reducing unhealthy cholesterol
This health pocket is filled with protein, fiber, beta-carotene, and antioxidants. The chickpeas provide protein and fiber. Fiber has been shown to bind with fatty acids in the digestive system, which helps reduce levels of unhealthy (LDL) cholesterol. And there is no secret that carrots are high in beta-carotene but did you know that they contain lutein and lycopene for eye health. So eat a carrot a day to help maintain good eyesight and night vision.
Now for the star… beets!
These bad boys may look tough but once you remove their dirty layer they are very delicate with a unique source of phytonutrients known as betacyanins. This is what gives beets their dark red color and they are a source of many benefits like supporting the liver, improving circulation and purifying the blood. But like I said, they are delicate so keep steaming time to less than 15 minutes and roasting times under an hour.
- 1 can chickpeas drained
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 1 carrot grated
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tbsp chickpea flour (or another flour)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 8 whole wheat pitas
- 1 beet cubed, steamed
- 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Drain chickpeas and place on a roasting pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Prepare pickled beets. Wash, peel and quarter the beet. Steam for 5 minutes. Let cool and grate with a cheese grater can shred. Add beets to a small jar along with vinegar, salt, and sugar. Place in fridge until ready to use.
When chickpeas have finished baking place in food processor along with onion, carrot, lemon juice, and garlic. Pulse until the mixture becomes grainy, do not over process; you do not want the mixture to turn it into a puree.
Add the flour, oil and spices and blend with chickpea mixture.
With your hands form into patties or balls and place each one on an oiled baking sheet or parchment paper.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden.
As the falafels are baking prepare the sauce.
Wash, peel and cut beets in 2” cubes.
Place beets in a steaming pot and steam for 5 minutes.
Place beets in jar and cover with apple cider vinegar, salt and coconut sugar.
Place in fridge until falafels are ready.
Lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumber, cilantro
Note: For a gluten-free version, replace pitas with a bed of salad or quinoa. If you don’t have time to make the pickled beets you can buy them but make sure they are free of artificial colors or preservatives.
Nutrition Facts per serving
Calories 351/ Fat 12.8g / Carbs 49.8g / Protein 13.1g / Fiber 9.3g / Sodium 1000mg / Sugars 11.9g