Everyone loves falafel right? Those deep fried balls of chickpea wonder from the Mediterranean. It has been one of my favorite meals of all time since I first had it in London when I was 12. Only downside is that they are deep fried. For those of us who like healthy eating, fried foods are a once in a while treat. But with this recipe, you could have falafel every day!
For this culinary experiment, I used garbanzo bean flour, cumin, lemon, onion, garlic, and sea salt to get that falafel taste, and conveniently, garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, are gluten free! So for those of you whose bodies hate on wheat, these pancakes are for you.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of coriander or cilantro, but you could add those to get an even more falafelly flavor into these pancakes.
What I DID add which is probably pretty weird, is ground up flax seeds, gives some healthy omega 3’s and replaces egg in the pancake batter. I also blended onion and garlic right into the batter, AND because I love to include green things in every meal, I blended some broccoli into the batter as well. I really wanted to blend zucchini in, but I didn’t have any in the fridge. Oh yeah, also sliced up some mushrooms and threw those in with the pancakes as well.
To top it all off I chopped up cucumber, tomato, avocado, and drizzled some lemony tahini dressing all over it. So creamy. So delicious. And vegan.
Seriously, this was the most delicious and filling breakfast of ALL TIME. But let it be known, making it is a laborious act of love. This is not a quick, 5 minute breakfast, this is a lazy sunday morning let’s-get-super-hungry-while-we-cook-incredible-pancakes breakfast.
Or, if you’re between jobs like me, it’s a perfect let’s-procrastinate-sending-more-resumes-into-the-abyss-and-cook-amazing-pancakes breakfast.
And if you’re a calorie counter, it comes out to under 500 calories. Yeah. I’m awesome. You’re welcome.
So without further ado, the ingredients list:
For the pancakes:
½ cup garbanzo bean flour
¾ cup water
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tsp baking soda
pinch sea salt
1-3 tsp cumin
2 cloves garlic
1 spear broccoli
juice of a nice sized wedge of lemon
For the topping
For the Tahini Dressing
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp water
1 clove garlic
drizzle of honey
ALRIGHT! The prep work. Learn to love it my friends.
I buy whole flax seed, because it keeps longer than ground flax seed. I also have a nutribullet which is AMAZING and turns flax seed into flaxseed meal in about .5 seconds. So do that first, if you need to.
Next, combine all DRY ingredients, flour, baking soda, flax seed meal, salt, and cumin and whisk them or blend them together. Set aside.
Take your onion, I was lucky enough to have a yummy onion grown in my own garden! Just harvested! Cut it in half, and cut that half up into little bits.
Chop up the broccoli just for good measure.
Now, take half of that onion pile, so ¼ of the onion, and throw it in the blender/food processor with the dry ingredients. Also throw in 1 garlic clove, the lemon juice, the chopped up broccoli, and the water. Blend.
**If you do not have a blender or food processor, no worries, just use garlic and onion powder and forget about the broccoli, it’s not necessary**
***In terms of water: I err on the side of too little, and whenever I make pancakes I always end up adjusting once I start cooking the batter and see how it actually cooks. Just remember, you can always add MORE water, but its much more difficult to make batter thicker***
OKAY. So our batter is all done. Give it a little taste test. Is it delicious? Good. It’s not? Add salt? Add cumin? Add lemon?
Now, your onion is already chopped. Next chop up a clove of garlic, and chop up those mushrooms into pieces. Mix them all together in a small bowl. Excellent.
Before we start cooking lets just prepare everything yeah? Dice the cucumber, tomato, and avocado. In the end I ended up just mashing up the avocado and spreading it on the pancakes but you know your own tastes.
Combine all the tahini dressing ingredients in a (different) blender cup and blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Get out some olive oil and paprika and then….
Woooooo! The fun part! Cooking!!
Get out your favorite pancake griddle, and some olive oil to grease the pan.
Heat up your pan and spray some olive oil. Then take a small handfull of the garlic, onion, and mushroom mixture and start to sauté, only for a little bit. The mushrooms should start to brown. If they start to burn, turn the heat down. Next, gather them into a little group in the middle of the pan, maybe add another spritz of olive oil, and pour your first test pancake on top. I like to use a ¼ cup measuring cup to dole out smallish sized pancakes.
This is a good time to see if your batter has enough water. Mine did not.
If you’re new to the pancake world, here is how to properly cook a pancake.
Pour the batter onto the pan.
Watch it bubble. When the bubbles don’t disappear back into wet batter but instead stay visible, then it is time to flip.
(optional): Forgive yourself for making a mess of a perfectly pretty pancake.
Let it cook longer than you think it needs.
Remove from heat, add next pancake.
I usually develop a system where I have 2 pancakes going at the same time, one has been flipped one is new, so when it is time to flip the new one, it is time to take the finished one off of the pan.
I also started sprinkling paprika on the pancakes. Yummmmm…
Once you’ve got your glorious stack of falafel pancakes stuffed with onion, garlic, and mushroom then all that left is to load that stack up with cucumber, tomato, and avocado, and drizzle some of that tahini dressing all over it.