>Not sure this recipe would go over well in Greece.

>

I don’t watch FoodTV as often as I used to, but I do still enjoy the occasional Giada, Guy, and Ellie fix. (Yes, we’re all on a first name basis.) A couple of months ago, I caught a few moments of Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger . I love her show because she’s a nutritionist, and explains why her recipes are healthy for you. Maybe it’s just me, but I love learning (for example) that red bell peppers have more Vitamin C than oranges! Plus, she has great recipes that are simple to make. The show I caught had a lighter version of traditional felafel: baked rather than fried! It was so simple to make, and went well with a Greek salad for a light meal (if you don’t want to make sandwiches). Just plan ahead a little if you make them, as they take 40 minutes to bake.

Baked Felafel Sandwiches
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
Felafel:
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (AKA garbanzo beans), preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup parsley leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil

Tahini Sauce (you can buy pre-made or make your own with this recipe):
1/2 cup pure tahini paste (sesame paste) (available at Middle Eastern stores)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 to 4 tablespoons water, plus more if necessary

Salad:
1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
2 (4-ounce) tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 medium cucumber, seeded, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
4 whole-wheat pita pocket breads, sliced open

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine all felafel ingredients except 1 tablespoon olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 10 seconds. Stop motor and scrape down sides of bowl, then pulse for another 10 seconds, until all ingredients are well incorporated but mixture is still slightly coarse and grainy. Form mixture into 16 felafel balls and brush with remaining tablespoon olive oil. Bake on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes, flip felafel balls and bake an additional 20 minutes, until felafel balls are crisp and browned.

Combine tahini, lemon juice and water and stir to incorporate, adding more water to achieve desired consistency. Reserve.

Toss together lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers in a bowl. Warm pita breads for 2 minutes in oven. Fill each pita with 3/4 cup salad, 4 felafel balls and 1/4 cup tahini sauce.

Also, I love that Ellie (or her crew) lists the nutritional information on her website:
Per Serving: 1 serving = 1 pita bread, 3/4 salad, 4 felafel balls and 1/4 cup tahini sauce
Calories 550; Total Fat 26 g; (Sat Fat 3.5 g, Mono Fat 11 g, Poly Fat 9 g) ; Protein 19 g; Carb 68 g; Fiber 13 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 705 mg. Excellent source of: Protein, Fiber, Vitamin A, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin C, Folate, Vitamin K, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Zinc Good source of: Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium


By the way, does anyone else miss Dave Leiberman’s show as much as me? I miss his adorable self, and of course his inexpensive recipes and tips.

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