I'm not sure why, but I always crave falafel. There's something about the combination of chickpeas, cumin, and crispiness that make it the perfect comfort food. Plus, let's be real, hummus is delicious. I think I consumed enough hummus to feed a small village my freshman year of college.. but that's what happens when you prefer pita chips and hummus for dinner over the dining hall food. Anyways, I'm currently not able to bake up a batch of Trader Joe's falafel because it doesn't fit into my templates (unless I had a serious caloric deficit or the desire to have a treat meal). Instead, I decided to whip up my own batch of 'falafel' that was pretty darn compliant with my RP template. Since I've been on a riced cauliflower kick, I decided to add some falafel themed spices to my cauliflower rice sauté for lunch yesterday. The result was magical. I knew I had to transform the mix into falafel bites. The cauli rice is the perfect texture for the filling and it gets nice and crispy if you bake it long enough. This recipe is super simple and I used lots of ingredients that I already had in my pantry. Enjoy!
BAKED CAULIFLOWER RICE FALAFEL
1 bag of frozen cauliflower rice (Trader Joe's or whichever brand you prefer)
1 cup of spinach, chopped small
1 handful of cilantro, chopped small
2 egg whites
1 tbsp hummus (I used TJ's roasted garlic hummus)
1 heaping tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp almond meal
3 tbsp coconut flour
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika, garlic powder, onion powder
-Preheat oven to 375
-Pour frozen cauliflower rice into a microwavable bowl and cook for about 4-5 minutes until heated through
-In a mixing bowl, add cauliflower rice, spinach, cilantro and egg whites, mix until incorporated (should be a wet mixture)
-Add in hummus, nutritional yeast, almond meal, seasonings, and mix
-Add in the coconut flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture starts to stick together, 3 tablespoons was ideal for me, but you don't want it to be too dry.
-roll into golf sized balls and flatten on a coconut oil sprayed baking sheet--parchment paper would probably work too!
-Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes, flip, broil for 5 minutes
-Enjoy with hummus, finely chopped onions, yogurt or tahini. I used plain greek yogurt and mixed it with a little sea salt and cumin to make a nice cool sauce.
I'll be honest, there were only two falafel bites left to spare. I demolished the entire batch, partly out of hanger but partly because they were absolutely delicious. A lot of people are working on eating clean this month so this is the perfect way to satisfy your cravings without feeling super guilty. Regardless of if you're being health conscious or not, falafel will make you happy.