Pistachio Spinach Falafel
December 15, 2015

Vegan falafel with a twist: herbs, pistachio nuts, and spinach! Flavorful and healthy, especially drizzled with some green tahini sauce |The Full Helping

Falafel is one of those foods that I wish I had in my fridge all the time. Throw it into a pita or a sandwich, crumble it into a salad, layer it in a bowl–it’s a wonderful way to boost any meal with plant protein. And in spite of the fact that I don’t make it as regularly as I make other protein staples, like hummus or tempeh bacon, it’s not hard to make. The delightfully green pistachio and spinach falafel that I’m sharing today is a new instant favorite–as well as a perfect paring for my delightfully green tahini dressing–and I’m hoping it’ll be the start of a regular falafel trend at home.

Vegan falafel with a twist: herbs, pistachio nuts, and spinach! Flavorful and healthy, especially drizzled with some green tahini sauce |The Full Helping

Shelled pistachios are the base of this falafel, and I love the way their sweet and salty flavor infuses the dish. But if you don’t have shelled pistachios on hand, or you prefer a different type of nut, you could also use cashews, pecans, almonds, or walnuts. Just don’t skip the parsley or the spinach: they lend awesome color, not to mention some healthful phytonutrients, to the falafel!

Vegan falafel with a twist: herbs, pistachio nuts, and spinach! Flavorful and healthy, especially drizzled with some green tahini sauce |The Full Helping

As you can see, I served these wonderful, protein-rich falafel in bowl form, pairing them with rice, steamed broccoli, baked sweet potato spears, and–the final and most flavorful addition–some simple braised red cabbage.

Vegan falafel with a twist: herbs, pistachio nuts, and spinach! Flavorful and healthy, especially drizzled with some green tahini sauce |The Full Helping

The bowl is fantastic, especially drizzled with the green tahini dressing, and I highly recommend it. You’ll find the recipe for it below (along with a separate recipe for the falafel). If you want to create a bowl that includes what you’ve got in your fridge, go for it. I recommend some sort of whole grain as a base, as well as a flavorful dressing for drizzling.

Beyond that, make the dish your own. It’s hard to go wrong with these garlicky, herb-infused flavors, and anyway, bowl meals are all about cleaning out the fridge!

Vegan falafel with a twist: herbs, pistachio nuts, and spinach! Flavorful and healthy, especially drizzled with some green tahini sauce |The Full Helping

Pistachio Spinach Falafel

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yields: 15 Falafel (4-5 servings)

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive grapeseed, or safflower oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 3/4 cup cooked chickpeas or 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup about 2 1/2 ounces shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed parsley leaves
  • 1 cup unpacked spinach leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Heat the oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and give it a nice sprinkle of salt. Cook the onion for about five minutes, or until it's clear. Add the garlic and cook another 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chickpeas and combine everything well.
  • Place the pistachios, salt, black pepper and cumin into a food processor fitted with the S blade. Process till the mixture is a coarse meal. Add the warm chickpea mixture, the parsley, and the spinach. Pulse to combine everything and chop down the greens. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl down, then add the lemon and the chickpea flour. Keep pulsing until the mixture is uniform, but retains some coarse texture.
  • Using clean hands, shape the mixture into 2-inch balls. (If the mixture is too sticky to shape, stir in another tablespoon of chickpea flour, but keep in mind that the falafel balls will firm up considerably as they bake, so a soft mixture is OK.) Place them onto the lined baking sheet and press down gently to flatten slightly. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping over halfway through. Serve with delightfully green tahini dressing or your dressing/sauce of choice!

Notes

Leftover falafel should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. They can be frozen for up to one month.
Pistachio Spinach Falafel Bowls
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • For the bowls:
  • 3 cups cooked brown or white jasmine rice
  • 3 cups steamed broccoli florets
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, cut into spear shapes and baked at 400 till tender (about 20 minutes)
  • 2 cups braised red cabbage (recipe below)
  • 15 pistachio spinach falafel
  • 1 recipe delightfully [url href=”http://www.thefullhelping.com/delightfully-green-tahini-dressing/” target=”_blank”]green tahini dressing[/url]
  • For the braised red cabbage:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 3/4 lb shredded red cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup water
Instructions
  1. To prepare the cabbage, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion. Salt the onion lightly and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until it’s brown, soft, and partially caramelized. Add the cabbage, vinegar, sugar, a generous pinch of salt, black pepper to taste, and the water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for for 15-20 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender and tart/sweet. Add seasoning to taste, and serve (or set aside for your bowls!).
  2. To assemble the bowls, divide the rice, sweet potatoes, broccoli, falafel, and cabbage into four bowls. Top generously with the [url href=”http://www.thefullhelping.com/delightfully-green-tahini-dressing/” target=”_blank”]green tahini dressing[/url]. Serve.

There’s nothing I love more than a great bowl: such a perfect opportunity to get multiple flavors, textures, nutrients, and tastes in one tasty package. But of course, these falafel are perfect for the traditional pita preparation. You can even serve them as an easy appetizer, with lettuce leaves or toothpicks.

Vegan falafel with a twist: herbs, pistachio nuts, and spinach! Flavorful and healthy, especially drizzled with some green tahini sauce |The Full Helping

Hope you love the falafel as much as I do. Let me know what you think!

Before I go, a quick announcement: I’m happy to say that I’ve signed up again to host Spright’s vegan class for January.

Spright logo

There was a ton of interest in the class last time I coached it, in November, and unfortunately, the classes filled up before everyone could have a chance to participate. This time, there’s no limit on signups, and I’d love to see a lot of new (or returning) faces.

Once again, the class is a fun, low-key opportunity to explore veganism in a supportive group environment. It’ll have some new features, like daily challenges, tons of informative curriculum, including a rundown of sourcing nutrients and cooking tips, and inspiring email and message blasts, tips, and supportive guidance from yours truly. You’ll have the opportunity not only to engage with the group, but also do direct message me with burning questions–or if you simply want to share your latest culinary creation!

Read more about the challenge on the Spright website. The class is a one-time payment of $19.95, which covers the whole month of support and engagement. January is a really powerful time to make dietary changes or explore a new way of eating, and Spright offers a very supportive, enthusiastic interface in which to do it. If you sign up, be sure to mention that I referred you, so that you end up in my class!

OK, that’s it for today. Happy falafel bowls, and I’ll be back on Thursday with a festive new dessert 🙂

xo

Vegan falafel with a twist: herbs, pistachio nuts, and spinach! Flavorful and healthy, especially drizzled with some green tahini sauce |The Full Helping

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    15 Comments
  1. 5 stars
    These bowls look so good, Gena! I must admit, I’ve never actually had any “flavored” falafel – I’ve only had the “original” kind. But spinach and pistachio sound like it would be so much tastier! And that green tahini dressing looks divine. Definitely pinning that one for later 😉

  2. Gena, these look SO good. Way to go, you culinary rockstar :). Can’t wait to give these a try!

  3. I wish I also had falafel in my fridge at all times! I feel like it just seems a little time consuming to make and then they go so fast! But this is getting me inspired to make them again! That green tahini sauce also sounds yummy!

  4. HI Gena–these falafel look fabulous! And so do the bowls. Love the combo of pistachio and spinach. There are definitely going on my “to make” list. Thank you! xo