The other day I was chatting with a friend and we got around to talking about what she usually eats, since she doesn’t cook much and has a super busy lifestyle in a cat shelter. I’m usually quite flummoxed in such situations because cooking is the only way I eat, so when she said she mostly chowed on salads that were pumped up with things like beans and corn I was at ease again, because that’s the best kind of salad there is: filling and stuffed with goodness. Since I received a falafel mix box as part of a foodie xmas gift, I decided this was the perfect time to try out my version of a filling salad. Too much tasty! Before we move on, however, don’t forget that there are 5 days left to enter the NuNaturals giveaway – 4 possible winners and it’s super easy to enter: follow the Rafflecopter link and answer the question in the comments section with your email address. It’s that simple!
Even though I mention brands and what not, everything here can be made from scratch (which I’ve done lots of times!). I give examples of my own recipes or those I’ve tried before next to each relevant ingredient, just in case you’re currently experiencing a phobia for boxed goods. I love fresh produce and food, but sometimes it’s also nice to eat something great out of what you have in the house as emergency rations that still happens to be nourishing and energizing. 🙂
- 1/5 batch GF Orgran falafel mix – baked (see instructions OR try my zucchini and carrot falafel balls)
- 2 handfuls mixed lettuce
- 1/2 medium cucumber, sliced thinly
- 1 small green pepper, sliced thinly
- 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup salsa (or try some homemade salsa)
- 1 brown pita bread (try this recipe) – you will only use half eventually (or use a GF-friendly version)
- 2 TBSP tahini oil (not the tahini itself)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 TBSP nutritional yeast
- 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar to serve
- 1/4 avocado to serve
- 2 tsp sesame seeds to serve
- Mix your falafel mix with the 170ml water as per instructions on the box and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray.
- Roll your falafel into approximately 24 balls, flattening them somewhat.
- Bake for 35 minutes, turning them over at the 20 minute mark. Keep a close eye that they don’t burn. They will turn out super crunchy, which is what you want! Otherwise reduce baking time by 10 minutes, still turning at 20.
- Keep your falafel covered whilst you carry on and keep your oven on.
- Either make your pita from scratch or place a pita in the oven for 2 minutes to let it puff.
- Take it out and carefully cut it in half. Mix your tahini oil and smoked paprika and paint both sides of your pita with a food brush.
- Sprinkle half your nutritional yeast on the surface.
- Return to the oven for another 8 minutes, turning halfway.
- When done switch off the oven and cut half a pita into little triangles.
- Toss your cucumbers, salad and tomatoes together, adding in the falafel. Pour salsa on top and splash with the rest of the nutritional yeast and other optional elements, like nuts or sesame seeds.
These little gems are also scrumptious in soup or can be milled down as breadcrumbs for any savoury recipe such as homemade burgers. The paint of spicy tahini oil really gives such an amazing flavour! SO much goodness in one place! I was having such a blast eating this, and it reminded me of why I love being a vegan and more health conscious than I used to be – occasionally I do eat mindlessly (and c’mon, who doesn’t on occasion?), but I am much more present when tasting flavours and texture combinations than when I was living off of thick grilled toasted cheese sandwiches.
I had this salad stuffed inside a pita the next day when the pal in question and I went for a jaunt in the botanical gardens, and the amazement at yumminess was so much so that I messaged Man-thing a gloating message about my fabulous lunch (which was pretty evil I guess, all things considered). I’m definitely taking these falafel balls along to our holiday at the end of the month, and think they’ll be pretty amazing as part of vegetable sosatie sticks.
What are some of your key ingredients to make a salad filling?