These Vegan Beet Falafel Pitas are most definitely needed on your Meatless Monday meal plan. Serve with a homemade ginger tahini sauce in a pita and this meal is super satisfying!
It is hard to believe that this time last year I was preparing for a trip to the UK with my Pal and her husband. I remember being pretty nervous, but mostly excited. We started out our trip in England. Well, they did and I was supposed to, but that is another story. Oh man I just went through that post and now I am all nostalgic!
When we traveled up to Scotland we visited both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Thankfully I was traveling with fellow foodies so a lot of food was involved. I remember we went to this cute little brew pub restaurant for lunch one day –Ubiquitous Chip– where I ordered some “beetroot” toast. There was actually a lot of beet items on various menus throughout the UK. I always find it so interesting how different countries have different names for the same fruit or vegetable – i.e. capsicum = bell pepper – and also how prevalent a particular ingredient is. I feel like you don’t often see beets (beetroot) on a lot of restaurant menus in the States…
Or maybe that is just where I’m from with not a lot of options? I remember when I studied abroad in Australia I’m pretty sure I didn’t actually know what a true “kebab” was. I certainly had never had Thai food, or sushi either. Or probably any true cultural inspired food at that… Gosh what a lame palette I had growing up! I really hope my future children grow up with better taste buds than I did.
Anywho… I know there are still a few beet haters out there but you just have to give them a chance! I’m thinking this beet falafel pita could be just what you need to get on the beet train. I found the beet flavor in the falafel to be subtle and not overpowering at all. As in it doesn’t scream BEETS as if you were eating them on their own. Although I totally do eat them plain because I love them. I snacked on them while frying up the falafel 🙂
And if you’re wondering about making your own falafel, it is actually fairly easy! You just need a food processor or high-speed blender to break down the chickpeas and beets.
What you need
gluten-free 1:1 all-purpose flour
Once the beet-chickpea mixture has come together you scoop out little rounds to prepare them for frying! Or baking if you wish. Honestly though, you’ll get the best texture from pan-frying or even deep-frying. I opted to pan-fry because I didn’t feel like getting out the deep fryer. But true falafel is fried and mighty tasty – can’t deny it!
And to make this a meal, I went ahead and made falafel pitas because what else does one do with falafel? Well, I suppose we could have made some salad bowls but I was feeling pitas today. Don’t forget all the stuffings for inside for the falafel pitas too! I went with greens, red cabbage and carrots. Oh em gee I totally forgot avocado!! Shame on me. Don’t forget the avocado…
OH. Now I remember. I must have forgotten the avocado because I made this ginger tahini sauce 😀 Mmmmm it really adds so much love to this falafel pita, you guys!
Let me know if you try it!
- 1 13.5oz canned chickpeas, no salt added, rinsed and drained (about 1 3/4 cups)
- 4 small cooked Love Beets, 4oz
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup gluten-free 1:1 flour blend*, or regular all-purpose
- oil for frying (I used avocado)
Ginger Tahini Sauce
- 3 TBS tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 2 1/2 TBS coconut aminos
- 1 TBS freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1+ TBS coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
For the Pitas
- gluten-free pitas (or regular)
- shredded cabbage
- shredded carrots
- fresh cilantro
1. Gently pat dry rinsed chickpeas and cooked beets to soak up some moisture.
2. In the bowl of your food processor combine chickpeas, cooked beets, cilantro, salt, cumin and chili powder. Pulse until chickpeas and beets have broken down – careful not to over-process. The falafel mixture should still have some chunks left. Add in minced garlic and diced onion pulsing a couple of times.
3. Next start adding in flour 1/4 cup at a time pulsing until combined. I used a full half cup. If trying another flour blend you may need more or less. Dough should not be too sticky. If it is, add more flour 1 TBS at a time.
4. Transfer falafel dough to mixing bowl and chill in fridge for 45 minutes. I tested both chilled and un-chilled dough. Both work but I found chilling makes the dough easier to handle.
5. Once the falafel has chilled use a rounded tablespoon to scoop dough onto lined baking sheet.
6. Heat large skillet to medium heat (I like a cast iron here) and pour enough oil in to coat pan. Allow oil to get hot before adding in the falafel.
7. Start adding falafel into the pan (don't overcrowd) and cook for about 2 minutes on one side before flipping to brown the other side. Flip again once more gently pressing the falafel into the pan to flatten slightly. Make sure the falafel is a nice golden color before removing from pan. Place cooked falafel on plate lined with paper towel, covering with lid to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining falafel.
8. While falafel is resting you can quickly whisk together the ginger tahini sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
9. Serve falafel pitas with your choice of toppings listed above. Enjoy!
*I have not tried this recipe with other flours like almond or coconut. You will likely only need 2-3 tablespoons if going with coconut flour, as it is more absorbent than other flours. Let me know if you try it!
-Falafel should keep in airtight container stored in fridge up to one week, or tightly wrapped in freezer for about one month.
Recipe adapted from https://www.justataste.com/homemade-falafel-with-tahini-sauce/
Making this recipe? I would love to see it!
Tag @fitmittenkitchen and hashtag #fitmittenkitchen