Oil-Free Air-Baked Falafel with Tzatziki Slaw

Creating this air-baked and oil-free falafel was a long journey, since falafel is usually fried. But it was worth every bite.

Because – very happily, I’ve discovered that falafel becomes wonderfully crispy in an air fryer without any oil at all!

Do not fret if you don’t happen to have an air-fryer yet, because this will work in a traditional oven, too. It just won’t get quite as crispy, but it will still be plenty delicious.

I’m including instructions below for both methods, and I can see it may look like lots of steps, but it’s really not hard.

This actually starts with hands-off oven-roasting time for the chickpeas, onions, and garlic, which gives our crisping process a bit of a head start. From there, falafel ingredients blend together in a food processor, then bake in the oven or air fryer.

Add warm pita bread and serve with Tzatziki Slaw for a cool and creamy crunch in every bite.

OIL-FREE AIR-BAKED FALAFEL WITH TZATZIKI SLAW

  • Servings: makes about 12 to 16 falafel
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Falafel

2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh flat parsley, minced
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons hot sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Tzatziki Slaw

1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 1/2 cups shredded green cabbage
1/2 cup plain unsweetened nondairy yogurt
1/4 cup cucumber, chopped finely
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced, and/or 1 tablespoon fresh flat parsley, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

Air Fryer Method

Preheat oven (yes, the traditional oven) to 400 degrees.

Using a nonstick roasting pan, roast chickpeas, onion, and garlic in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes. Add a splash of water, and stir occasionally to avoid sticking. Once the ingredients are golden, remove pan from oven, and set aside.

Into the bowl of a large food processor add all falafel ingredients (including roasted chickpeas, onions, and garlic), and process until almost smooth.

Remove bowl and blade from base. Form falafel mixture into small patties, and place them in a single layer in the basket of the air fryer. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to make two batches. I do.

Set air fryer to 350 degrees. (I use a  Philips Air Fryer Avance Digital TurboStar, and love it.) 

Bake for 12 minutes, or until nice and crispy.

Remove from oven and serve immediately with Tzatziki Slaw, favorite toppings (tomato, pickles, mustard, hummus, etc.), and toasted whole grain pita bread.

Oven Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Using a nonstick roasting pan, roast chickpeas, onion, and garlic in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes. Add a splash of water, and stir occasionally to avoid sticking. Once the ingredients are golden, remove pan from oven, and set aside.

Turn oven temperature down to 375 degrees.

Into the bowl of a large food processor add all falafel ingredients (including roasted chickpeas, onions, and garlic), and process until almost smooth.

Remove bowl and blade from base. Form falafel mixture into small patties, and place them on a nonstick baking sheet or oven-safe griddle.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until crispy.

Remove from oven and serve immediately with Tzatziki Slaw, favorite toppings (tomato, pickles, mustard, hummus, etc.), and toasted whole grain pita bread.

To make the Tzatziki Slaw…

Mix all Tzatziki Slaw ingredients together in a large bowl. That’s it!

Refrigerate until ready to serve with warm falafel.

Copyright © Vicki Brett-Gach | Ann Arbor Vegan Kitchen

Roasted Beet and Roasted Garlic Hummus

Recently, I started creating my own beet hummus, and my daughter and I have fallen in love with this. It’s creamy and deeply flavorful, and we’re enjoying it with raw vegetables (of course), on sprouted grain toast, in salad wraps, over Buddha Bowls, and my newest favorite – with Air-Fried Falafel! The stunning color will just about knock your socks off.

My friend Michele Gallo inspired me a year ago to create my own variation of a beet hummus recipe that she created for her family.

I know, I know. Beets have a strong flavor, and can be tough to love – at least for the uninitiated.

But one of the keys can be roasting, which makes them so much sweeter.

So be patient as you try to find new opportunities to sneak them into your menu, because discovering your Inner-Beet Enthusiast can repay you with big dividends.

Beets are powerfully rich in phytonutrients, and provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. They’re high in immune-boosting vitamin C, as well as potassium, manganese, and fiber. Plus beets are also known to improve blood flow, boost stamina, lower blood pressure, and provide protection against certain forms of cancers. Pretty good stuff.

ROASTED BEET AND ROASTED GARLIC HUMMUS

  • Servings: makes about 3 cups
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1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained (reserve 1/3 cup of aquafaba)
2 small beets, roasted, then peeled (guidance below)*
3 cloves garlic, roasted, then peeled (guidance below)*
1/3 cup aquafaba
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
coarse ground black pepper, to taste
dash cayenne pepper

Garnish: fresh Italian parsley (optional)

Instructions

As you rinse chickpeas, rub vigorously and remove any loose skins. Drain. (This step makes the final hummus extra creamy).

Place peeled chickpeas, roasted beets, and roasted garlic in bowl of a large food processor. Add remaining ingredients, and process until very smooth. Taste for seasoning; adjust if needed. Refrigerator until ready to serve, and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

*  To roast beets with garlic…

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash and trim beets. Slice the tops off of the garlic cloves.

Place the beets and garlic into a small covered baking dish – or wrap beets individually in aluminum foil, and separately create a foil packet of all three garlic cloves together.

Roast garlic for 20 minutes, and roast the beets for one hour. Remove each from the oven after the proper roasting time, and allow to cool, without opening. (Roasting can be completed early in the day, or even the day before. If making ahead, refrigerate cooled vegetables until ready to use.)

Once the beets and garlic have cooled, discard the thin outer skin on the beets, and the paper-thin skin on the garlic cloves, and proceed with recipe.

Copyright © Vicki Brett-Gach | Ann Arbor Vegan Kitchen