With predicted meat shortages on the horizon the grocery stores in my city have begun limiting meat purchases. As a result, I’ve been looking at ways to stretch my current supply of meat as well as vegetarian options for Dylan and me. One of those meat-less options that is packed with protein and flavor is an old standby recipe – Falafel from BudgetBytes. This recipe is also wallet-friendly, coming in at around 50 cents a serving depending on food prices in your area. As a new, stay at home mother many years ago, I would often make up a double batch of falafel and freeze for easy lunches between marathon breastfeeding sessions.
“What?” you say. “Falafel is complicated!” No, it really isn’t. There is some pre-chopping of the onions and garlic, but your food processor will do most of the work for you. If you don’t have a food processor, you could use a small food chopper and work in smaller batches. Like Beth at BudgetBytes, I have chosen to form these falafel and shallow fry instead of deep fry them as well, which helps cut down on the fuss. To form the patties, scoop out the chilled mixture with an ice cream scoop drop onto a baking sheet and flatten with your hand. However, if you feel a falafel isn’t a falafel if it’s not deep fried, use your ice cream scoop and roll the mixture in your hands instead.
If you’re avoiding wheat, like me, chickpea (or garbanzo bean) flour works almost better than wheat flour in this recipe. But don’t feel you need to try to find chickpea flour just for this recipe! Falafel freeze very well and defrost within a few hours on a plate in the refrigerator for lunch or supper. They are also versatile. Serve in a pita, over a salad, as a burger, or plain with some fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and tzatziki on the side. (BudgetBytes’ easy tzatziki is a favorite.) In a search for ways to serve falafel, I came up with some interesting ideas and options. Falafel waffle, anyone? Not only are falafel a good way to be creative, this is a great time to give yourself permission to do so!