Vegan Falafel with Dill Cashew Cream / by lee tilghman

The best vegan falafel you've never had. 

Let me be perfectly straight with you guys. I love falafel. And I'm not just saying that. I really, really love it. Falafel (and all Mediterranean food) has to be my favorite type of food to eat... ever. It's vegetable-heavy, centered around plant-based protein, super flavorful, and all about the condiments. Any type of food that allows for a glorious spread of breads, sauces, hummus, salads, and fresh herbs, is a spread I want to be around.

I also love the communal aspect of Mediterranean food. It's super social. You gather around a table and share everything with everyone. Less isolating than the American way of eating, where each person is served a plate for themselves. 

I think the biggest reason I love falafel is because it is super hearty, spicy, flavorful, and full of fresh ingredients that I can easily pronounce or make myself. I love getting falafel when I go out to eat, so I figured it was about time to make one myself. These take a little bit of time, but don't be alarmed! Feel free to double the recipe and freeze some extra balls for those nights you come home late and want falafel fast.

Vegan Falafel with Dill Cashew Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz. can of chickpeas (or sprout them yourselves. Whatever you like!)

  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Start by blending or processing the parsley, cilantro, garlic, chickpeas, salt, cumin, pepper, garlic, and sesame seeds together. Don't blend too much or it will turn into a hummus! You still want some clumps in there. 
  3. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add in the brown rice. 
  4. Form into balls, 3" each.
  5. Place on a parchment lined baking tray, 2" apart.
  6. Flatten down the top with your finger. Sprinkle with sesame seeds!
  7. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees F.
  8. Serve and enjoy alongside the cashew cream (recipe below!) Add to bowls with sweet potato, avocado, quinoa, broccoli sprouts and any fresh greens of your choice. 

Cashew Cream 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw soaked unsalted cashews
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary

Instructions:

  1. Add all of your ingredients to a blender. 
  2. Blend on high until smooth, about 1 or 2 minutes. Store in a mason jar in the fridge for up to 1 week. Great sauce for dipping fresh vegetables into, add to your buddha bowls, as a dressing, get creative!