Monday, July 30, 2007

Easy Falafels

Falafels + tahini sauce = yummy.

but... sometimes:

making falafels from scratch + making tahini sauce = too much work for one day!

Finally, I've found some prepared falafels that I like! You see, I've tried the dried mixes where you add water, mix up, then form in patties and fry. They are oddly spicy to me, and I always have leftovers that I don't use because they just aren't worthy of a second meal.

Then, I come across these refrigerated prepared falafels by Pita's in our local supermarket (Save-On). I'd give you a website for more info, but I wasn't able to find one. Too bad, because these are tasty "instant" falafels. Even though I'd take homemade falafels over prepared any day, the blend of ingredients in these is not too spicy, and pairs perfectly with a homemade tahini sauce.

Speaking of tahini sauce, I've posted my Tahini-Tamari Sauce from TEV and my Sesame Mustard Tahini Sauce from Vive on my recipe page. Why both? I can't choose which one I like best, so you can choose which one you want to use! The Tahini-Tamari sauce is more lemony with parsley, and the Sesame Mustard Tahini Sauce is a little richer with more toasted sesame oil. Personally, I often choose the Tahini-Tamari Sauce for falafels, and then the Sesame Mustard Tahini Sauce for other dishes (like my Sunflower-Lentil Pie or Moroccan Chickpea Patties from Vive, or as a salad/sandwich dressing).

Whichever you choose, they are simple to make. I whiz them up with my handblender, directly in a jar (this is one of those 'Nuts to You' larger nut butter jars). This pic is the Tahini-Tamari Sauce, and you can see the flecks of parsley blended in - nummy!

These falafels are a snap to prepare. Just have to place them on a baking sheet to reheat. No need to fry them, because they already been fried to get a crispy coating before packaging. But... they aren't too oily or greasy - just have a nice crispy coating that gives a crunch to bite into.

I served them in these very thin flatbreads instead of pitas (just less bread so I can enjoy the taste of the falafel more). I had picked these Mountain Bread wraps at Capers in Vancouver, and haven't seen them in our local area. Checking out their website, I'm now jealous to see all the varieties they have - oat, corn, barley - wow! These were great for the falafels, and would work nicely for any type of wrap. But, if you can't find them, use whole-wheat tortillas instead. Or, if you can find whole-wheat pitas that aren't too thick and bready, go for those.

So, the falafels are served up on the flatbreads with the tahini sauce drizzled over top. We also had salad and leftover home fries to add to the meal.

And what's that in the corner of the plate? Cranberry sauce! Yep, cranberry sauce. Trust me, this works. I wanted something to contrast the spice and savory flavors of the falafel and tahini sauce, and the cranberry sauce did the trick! Much like a mango chutney with Indian food. Anyhow, this was my own cranberry sauce from E,D&BV, but you can buy a prepared cranberry sauce or relish - there are some on the market now that are quite good and made with natural sweeteners.

I hope you can find some of these 'convenience' foods in your area. Makes for an easy falafel dinner.


Everyday Superhero said...

mOMG! Falafels are one of my fave meals EVER! I recently bought a dry mix but have yet to make it. Looking at your pics makes my hummus and pita sandwich that I ate look pretty boring. I wish I had some ready-to-eat falafels to add.

laura k said...

I'm going to look for those falafels... there's nothing like homemade, of course, but sometimes it really is too much work! I like both your tahini sauces but I have to say that the Tahini-Tamari Sauce trumps for me! :)

aimee said...

I have both TEV and Vive and have no idea how I've missed those 2 recipes. Since you've never let me down with any of your recipes (seriously...if someone ever asks me to reccommend a vegan cookbook to them I always tell them "either TEV or Vive-you'll never be disappointed!") I'm going to have to look for those sauces and try one (even though I've never been a big tahini fan).
(Oh, and my twin and I don't look like anything more than sisters. Our mom did dress us a like when we were little, though!)

Isil Simsek said...

These look fantastic!
Today we ate your millet black bean burgers from TEV.I love them!
We discoverd the same wraps in our local store last week and they are delicious.Must try out your sauces.

Peace, Love and Veganism said...

Yum! If it's one thing I love to eat but avoid pretty often, it's falafel (because in restaurants they are deep-fried!). I think that flatbread that might be easy to find would be lavash bread, which a middle eastern store would typically carry (although I've found it at my local regular grocery store, too!). Also, I have made a box mix before, and baked them, with good results (Fantastic Foods brand). You have made me crave falafel now, which I could probably taste even through this nasty summer cold! Isn't food so much fun??

Sheree' said...

These looks wonderful. I have been craving falafels and tahini sauce so bad. My DH went to a greek restaurant and bought me some. What a rip off! He paid $1.89 for 1/4 cup of the sauce and the price of 3 falafels the size of a dollar piece on a piece of pita bread was highway robbery $7.65.! I tried to buy roasted tahini and all of our markets have none. I mean the shelves are empty. I know there was a recall months ago, but darn I wish it would get back. Maybe I will have to find somewhere online to purchase. Well, enough of my ranting.. lol Your meal looks wonderful. Enjoy!!

Anonymous said...

making falafels from scratch is lots of work for sure! tahini-tamari combo sounds great! that reminds me of monastery dishes in japan... yum!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

oh my goodness, I've been looking for an easy, good-tasting "prepared" falafel meal, for those days when there isn't enough time to create a full meal from scratch - I wish that company had a website!

oOo, those tahini sauces sound incredible - as does your cranberry sauce!! I will definitely be making that as soon as I get E,D,&BV

Teresa said...

I once decided that heaven would be a big room full of the best falafel wraps, complete with tahini sauce and other fixings. And hummus too of course.

I do love both of your tahini sauces, and I agree with you that they are both good for different sorts of dishes. I couldn't actually say one is better than the other.

How's the foot?

Judy said...

I have been raving about your sesame mustard tahini sauce to everyone, ever since I first made it months ago. I can't wait to try the other sauce, since I don't have TEV yet. I'm sure I'll like it just as much!

Dreena said...

Veggie Vixen, I hope you like the dry mix. I'm rarely happy with dry mixes, except the Fantastic Foods Nature Burger - and with that mix I add a lil more water. But with some of the other ones for falafels and such, they have an odd spiciness that overwhelms the flavor (for me, anyhow). Good luck - if all else fails, smother them with tahini sauce!

Laura, I found them around the deli section of my grocery store - near where the hummus and olives are kept chilled. Good luck!

Aw, Aimee you're quite a peach, thank you. :) If you're not overly fond of tahini, try subbing in some cashew butter in place for about 1/3 - 1/2 of the tahini. Tahini *is* very bitter naturally, and it needs some elements to balance the bitterness. The sauces have some agave nectar to help with this, but using a sweeter nut butter would also help. I really disliked tahini when I first tried it - and several times after that, but now I like it. Hope you like it!

Hi Isil... what a nice pic of you and Defne. Your blog pics are adorable too, my, she is very cute! I'm so glad you like those patties - I really love them but haven't made a batch now in years - time to do so I think, and maybe blog about them.

Hi Peace, love... the food photos always trigger the craving, huh?

Veg-A-Nut, that IS a rip-off. Man, I'm always so bothered by how restaurant food can be so expensive for so little. If we eat somewhere and pay $12-$15 for a veggie pasta or pizza, I always think it's ridiculous, and I try to look at it as a break rather than being good value for the food, because it rarely is. I'm a 'saucy' girl, and so I always love extra sauce on stuff - I'd be so ticked about paying that much for extra tahini sauce - though I used to pay close to that for extra cheese sauces and such back in my non-veg days! btw, I don't use roasted tahini in my sauces, just regular tahini. Not sure if you like it unroasted, but that's what I use if you have it in your stores.

Thanks Stonielove. :)

Hi Veggiegirl, thanks! I mentioned above that I found these falafels in the deli section of our grocery store - where they have refrigerated olives, hummus, salsa, etc... so try there. It's odd that I couldn't find a website for them - too bad as well.

ha, Teresa, that's cute. My food heaven would probably be filled with every variety of ice cream. :) My foot is so much better, thanks for asking. I still have to watch how I'm moving sometimes, can feel it's still not completely there, but I'm doing all of my daily stuff now!

Hi Judy, that's so awesome, thank you! And now you can try the other sauce... and which will you like the best, hmmmmm??! :)

Carrie™ said...

I really like falafels. I've never made them from scratch and mixes are OK - sometimes. I usually just get them at a restaurant. I do have some in the freezer that I should try and review. They are different than the ones you found. And cranberry sauce!? Sounds like it would work very well. I must try that.

Katie said...

In Denver Falafel King restaurant sells its premade falafels and they are pretty tasty. Its just always such a hassle to fry them all in my little pan and it takes so long! I love them though! I cant wait to make some of the tahini sauces. mmmm.

shawna said...

i was soooo excited to see mountain bread is available in canada. i moved to australia a few years ago and had to find an alternative to flour totillas (which are expensive and usually just come in the smaller size here). mountain bread is a great alternative and it's made right in my suburb here in australia (although i think they recently moved to a bigger factory a few suburbs away). good to know on visits back to canada i should be able to find it around there too).

Sheree' said...

Oh man are those Moutain Bread Wraps good! They had them at our Whole Foods Market. Kinda pricey, but so worth it! They work so much better than a tortilla. I think because they are thinner. Yum-O!

There was no tahini at all so I guess I will have to order online. I hate paying shipping charges.

Anonymous said...

I was very surprised to see that you used Mountain Bread, I didn't realise they exported them from Australia, they are great!

Looking fwd to purchasing your books soon