FODMAP Friendly Falafel (Gluten Free, Vegan) / by lee tilghman

Rejoice - for today I am sharing with you the FODMAP friendly falafel!

I have been fooling around with a couple different options for this recipe- and finally settled on one and cannot wait to share with you. 

Many of you were asking what FODMAP is, and long story short- a low FODMAP is a type of diet that helps alleviate symptoms of IBS. If you don't know what IBS is, well, google it :)

FODMAP stands for: Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. A low FODMAP diet eliminates the foods that contain the above. It is supposed to help with reducing symptoms from IBS such as bloat, indigestion, constipation, gas, diarrhea, and more.

Through my experience eliminating foods like gluten, dairy, and sugar, I have become more aware of my food sensitives. I could eat a huge salad, as healthy and clean as could be, but still experience serious stomach discomfort, bloat, and gas. Through doing some research I found that the FODMAP diet is supposed to help with those symptoms (also, like 80% of the population has IBS).

Doing the elimination diet in March 2016 opened my eyes to food sensitivities and gave me an answer for all of those years that I had been eating healthy but still experiencing IBS symptoms. The elimination diet actually made me realize that there may be more foods that my body cannot handle and doesn't want to digest. So, through exploring the FODMAP diet (I am not 100% FODMAP yet) I am learning more about what my body and what it needs. I am paying close attention to how I feel 15, 30, and 120 minutes after I eat it. I've even started keeping a journal so that I remember everything.

Us healthy eaters eat a lot of cruciferous vegetables, beans, legumes, and high fiber foods that could contribute to the feeling of bloat, constipation, diarrhea, or stomach discomfort. Every body is different and I implore you to listen to your own body and its needs.

Many folks have trouble sticking to the FODMAP diet as it can be hard to find things to eat. It is also nearly impossible to go out for dinner because the 2 huge things you need to avoid on a low FODMAP diet are onions and garlic, and those are like, the basic foundation of cooking. One of the things on the "no" list are falafel, since they inherently always contain both garlic and onion. If you are interested in learning more about foods on the FODMAP list click here

I set off on a quest to make FODMAP friendly falafel and here they are, I hope you enjoy. 

FODMAP Friendly Falafel

Ingredients

Falafel

  • 1 can chickpeas (rinsed, drained)
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 scallions (GREEN parts only, discard the white parts since low FODMAP-pers cannot eat them)
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 3/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • lots of cracked pepper (fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp paprika powder
  • collard greens

Toppings:

  • pomegranate seeds
  • tomatoes
  • mint
  • avocado
  • spoonful of quinoa salad (toss it in lemon, sea salt and olive oil for extra flavor)
  • tahini drizzle (mix 1/4 cup tahini, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp water, and a few stalks of the green part of a scallion, salt and pepper to taste in a blender, shake and enjoy)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Place cooked quinoa and chickpeas in a food processor and pulse until a fine meal is achieved. Next, add scallion, herbs, and all the spices into a food processor and pulse a few more times until everything is evenly mixed.
  3. Transfer for a mixing bowl, and using your hands, make small ball shaped falafels and place them onto a parchment-paper lined baking tray. Gently press down on them so they cook evenly through.
  4. Place your falafel in the oven and cook for 25 minutes or until brown and crispy on the outside. 
  5. While the falafel is cooking, prepare your quinoa salad (recipe above) and tahini drizzle (recipe above)
  6. Lay out your cleaned collard greens on a big clean prep table, and cut the piece of the stem off where it meets the leaf. Feel free to also turn the collard green on around (so the lighter/matte part of the leaf is facing you) and carefully shave off the bulging part of the stem. This will help make it easier to wrap up your collard greens like a burrito. 
  7. When the falafel are done cooking, let them sit on top of the stove to cool for 10 minutes. Then, place a spoonful of quinoa salad onto each collard green, followed by 2 or 3 falafel.
  8. Next, add some avocado, pomegranate seeds, mint leaves, tomatoes, and a nice drizzle of your homemade tahini drizzle (the best part!)
  9. Finally, wrap up your collard green like you would a burrito (fold in both sides, then roll up using both hands) and ENJOY! Food is a gift and is something to be cherished and you just made yourself a delightfully healthy lunch or dinner and should be so proud. 

Let me know if you guys want to see more FODMAP friendly recipes up here!