Middle Eastern Lentil Falafel with Greek Yogurt and Dill Sauce
Does it get any healthier than this? I don’t think so!
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)
For the falafel:
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, diced
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/3 cup whole wheat seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 large egg white
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
In a medium saucepan combine water, lentils, onion, carrot and ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir and simmer covered for 30 minutes.
Drain and cool. In a food processor, combine lentil mixture, remaining salt, spices, bread crumbs and egg white. Pulse until combined. In the meantime, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet (swirl to coat pan), until oil is hot enough that a droplet of water sizzles.
Shape falafel mixture into small, round, approximately 1 inch balls. Drop in oil (be careful not to splatter hot oil!) and fry in batches, adding more oil as necessary, until golden brown on both sides (approximately 3-5 minutes). Remove and place on paper towels to soak up excess oil.
For the tahini sauce:
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup tahini paste
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Juice from 1 fresh lemon
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
In a food processor, mince garlic cloves. Add tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, water and salt and puree until mixture is well blended. Mixture should be thin and pour able.
For the Greek yogurt sauce:
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 cup non-fat, 0% plain Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- Juice from ½ a fresh lemon
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
In a food processor, mince garlic clove. Add yogurt and olive oil and pulse until blended. Add in lemon juice and pulse again until mixture is blended. Pour yogurt mixture into serving dish, add in dill and stir to blend.
For the pita pockets:
- 2 large whole wheat pita bread
- ½ cup chopped tomato
- ½ cup peeled and chopped cucumber
- 1 cup shredded lettuce (I use spinach or red leaf, for the most nutrition)
Cut whole wheat pita bread in half to make two pockets. Pour a tablespoon or two of tahini sauce inside each pita half. Fill each pocket with falafel, cucumber, tomato and spinach.Top with yogurt sauce and serve.
Nutritional Information per Serving (1 pita pocket sandwich with 2 falafels, ½ vegetables, 2 tablespoons tahini and 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt sauce):
Calories: 428, Fat: 21 g, Cholesterol: 1 mg, Sodium: 607 mg,
Carbohydrate: 50 g, Dietary Fiber: 8 g, Sugars: 7 g, Protein: 14 g
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