Cell Regenerator: Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein, vitamin B6 and folate, which is also known as vitamin B9 or folic acid. Just 1 serving of our falafel sandwich provides almost half of your daily value of folate, a key player in building blocks of DNA and RNA, which are essential for rapidly growing tissues (like those of a developing fetus) and rapidly regenerating cells (like red blood cells and immune cells).
1 head green leaf or red leaf lettuce, coarsely shredded
1 tomato, cut into thin wedges
1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 low-sodium dill pickle, sliced
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
Harissa or other hot sauce, optional
To a food processor, add chickpeas, yellow onion, flour, parsley, whole garlic, baking powder, cumin, coriander and salt and pulse to a grainy paste, scraping down bowl as necessary. With lightly moistened hands, shape paste into 12 golf ball-size rounds, arranging on a plate.
Coat a very large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium-low. Working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the skillet, add balls and use a spatula to flatten to about ½ inch thick. Cook until browned on bottom, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and brown other side, 4 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together tahini, ¼ cup water, lemon juice, remaining minced garlic and paprika.
Cut about 1 inch off top of each pita, forming a pocket. Add 2 falafel to each pita and divide lettuce, tomato, cucumber, pickle, red onion and tahini sauce among pitas. Drizzle each with harissa (if using).
Chill Out with Chickpeas: Chickpeas to help relieve stress? Yes! In fact, chickpeas are a good source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that your body needs to make protein. High-tryptophan foods play a role in boosting your mood, and tryptophan is even used therapeutically to help treat anxiety, depression and sleep disorders.
Deep-fried falafel can be a total calorie bomb. But this baked falafel still gets crispy with equally satisfying results. It's super easy, full of flavor and a really healthy, protein-filled vegan lunch!