Homemade Falafel

by Adriana


The past couple of weeks have been a bit busy with me and the kids together almost 24/7 and my husband at work for most of the day. This has meant that we have been eating a lot of different things (some homemade, some definitely not) but nothing that interesting or blog worthy up until tonight. This evening I made homemade falafels (which I will share the recipe for below) and couscous. My husband and I were amazed that a baked falafel with butternut squash could possibly taste as good as a deep-fried version… but it did. I was very skeptical about the butternut squash in the falafel, thinking it might give too much flavour, but as you will see by the other ingredients, you can barely taste the squash at all.

Sometimes after we finish eating falafel, we feel so full, almost as if we have eaten meat. It can be too much. These homemade falafels are filling but not so much so that you need a nap after eating them. The couscous I made was a recent acquisition from Costco. They were selling a 1 kg bag of an orzo/mini-chick pea/couscous mix which, start to finish, is done in about 12 minutes… I like this. I usually leave everything for dinner to the last minute, and then kick myself afterwards for doing that. But this entire homemade delicious meal was started and finished in about 1 hour (or 1 episode of Sesame Street) and it was worth it.

Baked Butternut Squash Falafel
adapted from Vegetarian by Alice Hart

1 small butternut squash, peeled, descended and cubed
3 – 4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 can organic or no-salt added chick peas, drained and rinsed
handful of parsley
handful of cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 – 2 tbsp water

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the butternut squash on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with half of the olive oil. Allow to roast until tender and starting to get dark.
2. While your squash is baking, place the chick peas, fresh herbs, garlic, cumin, baking soda and water in a food processor and pulse until pasty. *I had my mixture in the magic bullet at first but because of the lack of liquid, it did nothing.* Move to a bowl.
3. Once the squash is done, mash it up and then add it to the chick pea mixture. If you have time, you can chill it for 30 minutes, if not, don’t worry.
4. Make small balls using two spoons and place the falafel on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle the falafel with the other half of the olive oil. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until nicely crisped on the outside. The falafel will remain tender on the inside. Enjoy with your favorite toppings – we had a mint-cucumber yogurt, tahini, hummus and all sorts of fresh vegetables.