Dehydrator-Free Raw-Lafel


Hey guys!

Happy Monday. It’s a beautiful, balmy evening here in NYC; looks like spring is finally here!

Tonight is the first night in a long time that I’ve been able to prepare a photogenic dinner, and it may be the last for some time. So I’m glad to report that the dinner I chose was a great one — thanks to my friend Philip.

Have all you rawcurious readers checked out Philip’s blog? For those of you who haven’t, I’ll give you the 411: Philip McCluskey is a chef, author, and motivational speaker who transformed his own life with a raw food diet. After trying every diet plan known to man, Philip decided to explore raw foods. The results? Well, see for yourself. Before:


…and after:


What a transformation!

I’ve known Philip for some time through various friends in the raw community. He is, simply put, a wonderful guy: kind, generous, wise, funny. He also happens to be an incredible chef, who, like me, values simple, unfussy food. I am always thrilled when I prepare Philip’s dishes (or have a chance to taste them!), and now I’ve got ample material: Philip’s magnificent new cookbook, Raw Food, Fast Food.

rfffbookcoverIn case the title didn’t give it away, the idea is this: an un-cookbook that makes raw cuisine every bit as easy and accessible as running downstairs for some Chinese. You can read plenty about the book here, but let me assure you from firsthand experience that Philip makes good on his promise: all of the dishes in RFFF take about 10-20 minutes to prepare. In about the same amount of time you’d need to pick up some mediocre takeout, or to spend $13.00 at the Whole Foods salad bar, Philip will teach you how to prepare a sumptuous, nourishing, and energizing raw meal from scratch!

If you order a copy of RFFF, which you should, you’ll notice my name on the copyright page: that’s because I was fortunate enough to work as Philip’s freelance editor! So I know for a fact that Philip’s food is stellar, his passion for healthy living genuine, and his language truthful. My only complaint during the editing process was that I was too busy editing the book to serve as a recipe tester! Now that the book’s on the shelves, as it were, I can correct that.

Tonight, I made the RFFF entree I’ve most been wanting to try: Philip’s street corner falafel. You all know I love falafel (raw and baked), and I’m always excited to try a new variety. Unlike my carrot falafel, which is absolutely scrumptious but a bit time consuming (it necessitates juice pulp and dehydration), this falafel recipe is ready in a second. Philip ingeniously calls for a base of dried, shredded coconut and almond butter. The upshot is that this falafel can be mixed by hand and is “dry” enough to cohere without dehydration. Score! Philip has graciously allowed me to share my modified version of the recipe.


Loving Raw Falafel (serves 2-4, depending on the course and the appetite)


4 tbsp almond butter
1 cup dried, shredded, and unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped very finely
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp maca powder (optional — I usually hate the taste of maca but couldn’t detect it too much here!)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
Dash cayenne pepper


Mix all ingredients and form into falafel balls.

That’s it!

Chef’s note: If you’d like to add garlic and onion, please go ahead: Philip’s original recipe calls for 1 small minced onion and 4 cloves garlic. I’d say that unless your tolerance for raw garlic, which is very strong, is immense, you should stick to half of a finely minced clove!

Also: I needed a few more drops of olive oil to get my mix to stick together perfectly. So don’t shy away from it (or some extra almond butter) if you need it.

And what’s that topping in the photo, you ask? Well, I thought I would give Philip’s recipe a little Choosing Raw twist. I’m a huge fan of cilantro — a taste I acquired later in life — and recently saw a recipe for creamy cilantro lime dressing that used buttermilk. It sounded awesome, aside from the buttermilk. Tonight, I figured I’d give it a little raw spin, and pair it with my delicious falafel. Here’s how:

Creamy Cilantro Dressing (yields about 1 cup)

1/2 cup sesame seeds
3 tbsps lime juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup cilantro, packed
1/4 tsp coriander
1 tbsp agave, or 1 large medjool date

Blend all ingredients on high in a blender or Vitamix. If the mix is too thick, add water to thin.

These falafel would be delicious on top of salads or simply on their own, but tonight I decided to recreate that perennially popular street sammie, falafel on pita, with a collard leaf. I layered it with cucumber, carrot, and peppers, cut out the tough inner spine, and filled it with three of my falafel balls and their cilantro dressing. Next to my dinnertime staple, kale salad, it was very pretty:


Major kudos to Philip! These falafel are packed with flavor — the heavy spice mix is key — but not at all heavy. Philip’s very conscious of not packing each of his recipes with too many tree nuts, and the result is that his raw cuisine is always refreshingly light.

I urge you all to check out Philip’s recipes for yourself, and to sweeten the deal, Philip’s offering all Choosing Raw readers 10% off at checkout on his website. All you have to do is enter CHOOSINGRAW in the coupon code field at checkout. So what are you waiting for? Dive into speedy raw cuisine with Philip’s expert help.


Me, I’m happily digesting my falafel dinner and looking forward to leftovers. Have a sweet night.


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Categories: Vegan Basics
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, Raw

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  1. These raw falafels look amazing! I always want to make raw vegan falafel but I don’t have the patience to dehydrate them!

  2. These are amazing. Addictive, even. I did the whole mess in my little food processor. I’m going to need more coconut to keep up with my need for this recipe!

  3. There are some fascinating points in time in this article however I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There’s some validity however I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we would like extra! Added to FeedBurner as effectively

  4. Whoa DUDE! you are RAWkin’ Isn’t Raw food amazing? It’s how we humans were built to eat…

  5. Hi Gena, I’m not sure what happened to my commet posted yesterday but maybe I did something wrong on my end. Quick question, why didn’t you use the hempseed butter called for in the original recipe? Is it just a taste preference or is it hard to find. I purchased Philip’s e-book and noticed he uses it in many recipes. I found some today at our co-op. Just wondering why almond butter in lieu of the hempseed butter. (I can’t wait to make his ‘special’ brownies with hempseed butter lol)

    Love your blog!
    jholsten at gmail dot com

  6. Gena!! You have no idea how badly I’ve been craving falafel and then i logged onto your blog today — it was as if you heard my cravings. I also have been following Phillip and he’s amazing! I’ll have to check out his book.


    I finished my meal only a minute ago and seriously, my tastebuds are still singing hallelujah. This was so delicious! And I truly appreciate the fact that Philip’s recipes can be done with minimal effort. It’s a bit depressing when I see something I’d like to prepare but when I check the recipe, it’s like use juicer and then dehydrator and then again the juicer etc etc.

    Thank you for this amazing recipe and keep up the good work! I love your take on raw foods, and you’ve been so inspiring in many other ways, too. Actually, because of you, I’m transitioning to a vegan diet and I’ve never been more proud of my food choices! I ditched dairy and meat quite some time ago, and now the only animal product I eat is fish, and that’s only for the sake of my parents’ sanity 😀

    You’re my food idol! 😉

  8. This is exactly what I’m looking for. Recipes that call for no appliances! Especially now that we just shipped all our stuff back to Canada, I’m literally only with 1 knife and 2 cutting boards! ^^; Just wanted to ask before I buy; are most of the ingredients easy to find? (I live the the Netherlands currently and it can be almost impossible to find certain things…I’ve so far only found 1 store near where I live that sells almond butter!). Thanks for showing me this incredible story/cookbook 🙂

    Jen xx

  9. What a transformation — he shed an entire Philip in pounds lost! Yay raw food!

    I’d heard high praise of his book and meant to check it out — for some reason I thought it was an e-book. But it’s a real book that I can thumb through, even better.

    Thanks for the review, I love no fuss easy raw meals and can always use a fab new uncookbook 🙂

    And Gena, your weeknight meal all plated up beautiful like that looks pretty darn fancy — hope you enjoyed!

  10. Hey Gena! I was only just thinking of purchasing this book the other day and reading your post has just confirmed the decision for me. Thanks for reminding me, I cannot wait to try it out.

  11. I love this!! I can’t wait to make it, especailly since I don’t need a dehydrator.

  12. Wow, we had this for dinner tonight and all four members of my family (including the veg-phobic 15 y.o. son!) gave it two enthusiastic thumbs up! Fabulous stuff! Thanks a million to Gena and Philip!

  13. Thanks for your blog. It inspires me daily. I’m still way addicted to the Gena Divine dressing. I’m glad you gave the recipe for a small amount so I don’t have to make tons and be eating it for days (unless I want to, of course… which right now, I do!).
    This looks really good! Thanks for another recipe to try.

  14. But do they TASTE like falafel? I’m worried the coconut, nut butter combination is going to taste sweet like dessert – maybe unnecessarily. I’ve checked out Phillip’s blog before, such an inspiring guy.

  15. Phillip’s transformation is simply awe inspiring! The book sounds fantastic. I love easy to make meals! Raw falafal too? yum!

  16. I love philip’s blog i follow it too 🙂 his story is so amazing and he has had such a wonderful transformation. I am super interested in getting his book – ill have to see if I can find it in Borders!

  17. AAaahhhh!!! This is so exciting! I love falafel and can’t wait to try a raw version!

  18. Those falafels look delish. I don’t have a dehydrator so I could probably actually make this. Except I’m not sure that I can find almond butter here. Maybe I’ll have to make some from scratch.

  19. This looks fantastic! I love my dehydrator, but it’s nice to find raw recipes that are fast and easy and don’t require me to wait a day or two to enjoy them! I’ll definitely be checking out the cookbook!

  20. Wow, that is a seriously amazing transformation! I really want to check out his cookbook now – I love raw food recipes, but get so frustrated that the majority involve dehydration, and I don’t have a dehydrator. Totally trying those falafels though!

  21. Wow, this looks amazing!

    The one thing that is intimidating (to me) about so many raw recipes is the timing, but this book sounds perfect! I’d love to try more raw recipes, and if you don’t need a dehydrator, that’s right up my alley since I don’t have one OR have the room for one 🙂

  22. Hi! I kind of recently discovered raw food, but likes it more and more! Both the raw falafelrecipes (yours and Philips) totally blew me away, I gotta try it very, very soon! =D

  23. I’m so interested in this book! But I’m nowhere near having the money for a dehydrator. How many of the recipes would you say require one?

    • Hey Caroline,

      The whole point of the title of the post is that you DON’T need a dehydrator! Philip’s book definitely doesn’t call for dehydration, and in fact, I’m not a huge fan of dehydrators either.


  24. Yum!!! I love falafel and this recipe looks so simple! Philip is such an inspiration, I am definitely going to order his book. XOXO

  25. What a delicious sounding and unique recipe! I think I have all those ingredients on hand… I will definitely be trying it asap!

    Also, AMAZING transformation your friend went through! That’s so awesome.

  26. That looks fabulous! I really need recipes like that: delicious (well, it looks delicious!), easy to make, and no fancy equipment reqired. Does most of the recipes in the book can be done without a dehydrator?

    Thanks Gena for sharing this.

    • Veronica,

      Literally all of them. What makes the book so cool is that it’s designed for appliance-free or minimal appliance use recipes.


  27. OMG, that does look delish. Especially since I don’t have a dehydrator!

    I’ve read about his cookbook before — I don’t remember if it was on your blog or someone else’s. I’ll have to try this recipe and see if this needs to be added to my wish list.

    Fast is always good!

  28. looks fantastic! i was looking for a raw falafel recipe that didn’t need dehydration and your tweet re: this was right on time! big THX!

    really raw almond butter is kind of pricey. is there a way i can use almonds instead? i have a vita mix.

    re: the dressing: i purchased an expensive jar of really raw tahini. can i use that instead of the sesame seeds?


    • You could use any nut butter or tahini. You could also grind hemp nuts or almonds in a food processor and use the powder.

      And yes, tahini would work fine in the sauce — I’d say 1/2 cup, and then reduce water to 2 tbsp.

  29. Dang, Philip is a fine fellow!

    I am so trying to make this. I don’t have a dehydrator, and while I could just use an oven on its lowest setting…I confess, I’m impatient to the extreme.

    I’ll definitely check out the book too. Those are the kind of meals I’m interested in making. I’ll be super busy with an internship this summer, so I need quick stuff.

  30. Thank you Gena for the lovely blog, and thank you everyone for the kind words. Its been quite a journey… now its time to eat! Eat lightly that is… lol.
    Enjoy! : )

  31. Oooh! So great to see that you made my sweetie’s falafel – I haven’t tried that one yet, but you sure made it look scrumptious Gena!

    Also, I love the pics of the adventure you and your friend had going to Angelica’s – I’ve heard about it and would love to go there next time Im in the city. Thanks for the review!


  32. Wow, I’m surprised how much coconut there is- I’m very curious to try this!
    At the moment I can’t stomach the thought of dried coconut because of a disastrous coconut mush I prepared last night trying to make raw maccaroons with no recipe whatsoever… lol.
    Thanks for sharing Philip’s blog, I’m excited to check it out!
    I’m been watching the first few episodes of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and finding it very inspiring. It is amazing what a transformation it is for many people to eat real food- forget vegetarian, vegan, raw, etc.

    • Update- holy crap, that was delicious!!!! It might have helped that I was dubious about the combination of ingredients, but this is truly a winner! And it took about 3 minutes tops to make! Thank you both, and I’ll be looking into that book…

  33. wait, is this an e-book or a hard copy book like the one you have in the picture?

    and … A RAW FALAFEL RECIPE THAT DOESNT REQUIRE THE DEHYDRATOR!… am going to have to try this real soon.

  34. Wow I have to admit, I would never have thought to throw those ingredients together and call it falafel! But it sounds like a great recipe. Thanks for sharing – and PS, when you come visit Chicago, wanna bring him and your other hottie raw model friend with you? 😉

  35. Oh wow Gina, great job on the recipe! And yesterday’s post too, you’re a machine in the last 24 🙂

    One thing to add to this: “He is, simply put, a wonderful guy: kind, generous, wise, funny. He also happens to be an incredible chef, who, like me, values simple, unfussy food.”
    He’s a hottie too 🙂

  36. This is such an interesting combination…totally a departure from regular falafel! Love how you make recipes like this.

    Great job on your amazing transformation Philip! You are an inspiration.

  37. Great recipe! I actually have ALL the ingredients for the raw falafel (minus the optional maca) so that is a huge plus for me. I just made your original raw falafel (SO good!) yesterday, but I’ll definitely print this out and try it soon. I’m a falafel lover so I feel that you can never have too much!


  38. That looks delicious! I’ve tried your dehydrated falafel and loved it (a non-veg friend asked my to make it again). I might even combine these two! I’m also a RFFF marketing affiliate–he has great recipes!

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