by Buffy Ellen 0 Comments

One common question I’m often asked by people thinking about embarking on a plant-based diet is, where will I get my protein? Often followed by, what about my iron, calcium, and (if they're really savvy), my B12?

These are all valid questions and ones I’d love to tackle in more depth here on the blog. So today I wanted to focus on the protein and iron part of this equation. And of course share with you this incredible Falafel Salad recipe, served on a silky soft bed of Massaged Kale, and smothered in the best ever creamy Garlic Tahini Dressing. Heavenly, I tell you.

Easy 15 minute FALAFEL SALADS WITH GARLIC TAHINI #vegan #dairyfree #eggfree #glutenfree #vegetarian #chickpeas #healthy #recipe #salad #kale #begoodorganics

I’ve spoken about protein before, most notably in this Top 75 Sources of Plant-Based Protein post here. If you’re interested in discovering a few new places to get high quality protein in your diet, that aren’t all chicken breast and egg whites, then definitely have a read of that.

Easy 15 minute FALAFEL SALADS WITH GARLIC TAHINI #vegan #dairyfree #eggfree #glutenfree #vegetarian #chickpeas #healthy #recipe #salad #kale #begoodorganics

Iron - the power nutrient
Iron meanwhile is something I haven’t discussed much before, but it’s an important one to cover. Iron is the most common mineral deficiency in the world, affecting 2 billion people or over 30% of the world’s population. This is particularly prevalent amongst women, children and pregnant women, in both developing and industrialised countries as well.

This is caused by a number of factors – inadequate intake of a range of iron rich foods; poor absorption due to malabsorptive conditions, suboptimal diet, alcohol, coffee, environmental factors and stress; infectious disease in developing countries; and other compounding nutrient deficiencies such as vitamin B12, vitamin A and folate. Not only can iron deficiency make you feel tired and run down, it can also cause more serious consequences such as impaired physical and cognitive development in children, or failure to thrive.

It’s a common misconception that the only place you can get iron is from red meat, and yet there are so many more wonderful sources if you look past the media hype and beef and lamb industry propaganda (have a look next time you're at the doctors surgery on the back of the nutritional pamphlets... you might be shocked to find who the authors are). Chickpeas in particular are one of my favourite iron pumping foods, with 2.9g per 100g of cooked beans (similar to red meat). They’re easy to source, simple to cook (or you can buy pre-cooked in cans), high in protein (19%), and as you’re going to find out shortly, exceptionally delicious in these falafels!

Easy 15 minute FALAFEL SALADS WITH GARLIC TAHINI #vegan #dairyfree #eggfree #glutenfree #vegetarian #chickpeas #healthy #recipe #salad #kale #begoodorganics

This gorgeous recipe is super quick, light and easy. It takes a classic falafel combination, jams it packed with fresh herbs for flavour, colour and extra nutrients, then sets them atop a gorgeously smooth massaged kale salad. All topped off with the most amazing creamy Garlic Tahini Dressing. You are going to want to make double the dressing recipe alone after you try it, it’s that good.

Easy 15 minute FALAFEL SALADS WITH GARLIC TAHINI #vegan #dairyfree #eggfree #glutenfree #vegetarian #chickpeas #healthy #recipe #salad #kale #begoodorganics

The only prep you have to do for these falafels is to simply pop your dry chickpeas in a big bowl of water the night before. They’ll soak up all the water (two cups of chickpeas will quickly become five), and become soft and tender. You can even do this two days in advance which I often do, so that the chickpeas have begun to sprout by the time you cook them, enhancing their nutritional content even more (the amount of protein actually increases after sprouting!). Simply rinse off the next evening, drain and use, or leave the drained chickpeas sitting in your colander covered with a tea towel for another day to let them sprout.

Easy 15 minute FALAFEL SALADS WITH GARLIC TAHINI #vegan #dairyfree #eggfree #glutenfree #vegetarian #chickpeas #healthy #recipe #salad #kale #begoodorganics

I’ve served these gorgeous falafel salads with some simple toasted wholemeal pita breads, along with extra Garlic Tahini Sauce for drizzling. The whole recipe makes 42 odd falafels so enough to feed a crowd of 8, but we normally just save the extras for a second dinner or popping on lunches over the coming days. They make great salad toppers to add a punch of protein and iron to your lunch, or inside salad stuffed pita pockets!

Easy 15 minute FALAFEL SALADS WITH GARLIC TAHINI #vegan #dairyfree #eggfree #glutenfree #vegetarian #chickpeas #healthy #recipe #salad #kale #begoodorganics

If you give these delightful Falafel Salads with Garlic Tahini Sauce a go, let me know how you go in the comments below. Or share your Middle Eastern creations on Instagram with the tags @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Have a fantastic rest of your Friday, FriYAY!

x Buffy-Ellen

PS If this recipe looks like a little bit of you, pin it on Pinterest, share it on Facebook or Twitter, or post it to Instagram. And if you're not already subscribed to my weekly recipe emails, make sure you do that here!

Falafel Salads With Garlic Tahini

Easy 15 minute FALAFEL SALADS WITH GARLIC TAHINI #vegan #dairyfree #eggfree #glutenfree #vegetarian #chickpeas #healthy #recipe #salad #kale #begoodorganics

VeganVegetarianDairy FreeGluten FreeWheat FreeNut FreeSugar FreeSoy FreeContains Organic IngredientsCruelty Free

Makes 42 Falafels (Serves 8)

Takes 15 minutes (+ overnight pre-soaking)

Make with

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Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible

Falafels 
2 c dry chickpeas (soaked overnight)*
1 c fresh parsley (packed)
1 c fresh coriander (packed)
4 cloves of garlic 
1 lemon (zest, juice and flesh)
1 tbsp cumin
1 large onion (diced)
1 tsp sea salt
Black pepper to taste

Kale Salad 
1 bunch kale
1/2 c red onion (thinly sliced)
1c tomatoes (chopped)
1c cucumber (sliced)
1 tbsp olive oil

Garlic Tahini Dressing
1/2 c hulled tahini
1/2 c hot water
1 lemon (zest, juice and flesh)
2 cloves of garlic
2 tsp coconut nectar
1 tsp sea salt

* 5 cups soaked and sprouted 

c = 250ml cup, tbsp = 15ml tablespoon, tsp = 5ml teaspoon 

How to
  1. Falafels: Soak your chickpeas overnight in a big bowl of water, then drain and rinse before using. You can also do the two day soak and sprout method, by leaving them in your colander on day two covered with a tea towel - they'll sprout little tails by the next day.
  2. Roughly chop your herbs, then blend all falafel ingredients in a food processor until they form a smooth paste, but still with a little bit of texture. You can omit the lemon zest if you don't love lemon (I do!).
  3. Heat a little coconut oil in a fry pan on medium high, then fry tablespoon sized balls on each side for around 3 minutes until golden.
  4. Kale Salad: Pull the kale leaves off their stems by grabbing the stem with one hand and pushing your thumb and forefinger from the top of the stem down to the tip, removing the leaf. Wash and dry the leaves (put the stems in the compost), roughly chop, place in a bowl with the olive oil, then massage with your hands for a minute until the leaves go bright green and soft. Add remaining ingredients.
  5. Garlic Tahini Dressing: Blend all ingredients in a blender until super creamy and smooth. Make double if you dare - it's incredible on anything!
  6. Add as much dressing to the salad as you like (I used around half), then pour the rest into a bowl for drizzling at the table. Mix the salad gently with your hands to combine, then platter up, top with falafels, drizzle with sauce, sprinkle some extra herbs and sesame seeds if you like, and serve with freshly toasted wholemeal pita breads.
Notes
  • The smoother the paste, the better the falafels will be. However, you can use 2 tbsp brown rice flour as a binder if you like (though I haven't needed to)
  • Leftover dressing (what leftover dressing?) will keep in the fridge in a sealed jar for 3-4 days - it will thicken overnight making it great for spreading on toast toppers and burgers.
  • Leftover falafels will keep in the fridge for up to a week, and can freeze for up to a month. Simply take them out to defrost, and reheat in a pan on low to serve.
Substitutions
  • Don't like coriander/parsley? Feel free to use all of one or the other instead of the blend.
  • This falafel salad is also equally as delicious on a simple mesclun or cos salad, which I often use if kale isn't in season.

Easy 15 minute FALAFEL SALADS WITH GARLIC TAHINI #vegan #dairyfree #eggfree #glutenfree #vegetarian #chickpeas #healthy #recipe #salad #kale #begoodorganics

Easy 15 minute FALAFEL SALADS WITH GARLIC TAHINI #vegan #dairyfree #eggfree #glutenfree #vegetarian #chickpeas #healthy #recipe #salad #kale #begoodorganics



Buffy Ellen
Buffy Ellen

Author

Buffy is the founder of Be Good Organics, and loves creating delicious yet simple plant-based whole foods recipes. Buffy also oversees our Be Good Organics online store, full of plant based goodies that she personally uses and loves. Sign up for our newsletter below to be the first to receive her weekly recipes.




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