Winter often means a smaller range of seasonal produce, which can feel rather limiting when it comes to making a meal. Rather than seeing it as a negative, try and use those limitations to get your creative juices flowing, and come up with new ways of using these winter vegetables. My carrot and pumpkin falafels are a nice way of adding some extra veges into a kebab-shop favourite — and a great way of using up leftover roast vegetables from the night before. If you don’t have a chance to make the cashew tzatziki, you can mix together some coconut yoghurt, lemon juice, garlic, salt and herbs. I’ve baked these falafels, but if you want something a little extra crispy, you could always bake them for a shorter time, before finishing them off in the frying pan (just be careful as the sesame seeds will burn easily).
|2 cups||Chickpeas, cooked, ideally home cooked and still with some firmness to them (Main)|
|¾ cup||Pumpkin, roasted, any variety will do (Main)|
|1 tsp||Lime, or lemon zest|
|2||Garlic cloves, crushed|
|1 Tbsp||Cumin powder|
|1 Tbsp||Coriander seeds|
|½ tsp||Smoked paprika|
|3 Tbsp||Chickpea flour|
|½ tsp||Baking powder|
|½ tsp||Sea salt, use up to 1 tsp|
|1||Red chilli, fresh, finely chopped or dried chilli flakes to taste|
|1||Carrot, finely grated (Main)|
|3 Tbsp||Chopped coriander|
|3 Tbsp||Chopped parsley|
|⅓ cup||Sesame seeds, for coating (Main)|
|1 drizzle||Olive oil, for roasting|
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- Make sure you have the cooked chickpeas and roasted pumpkin ready. Heat the oven to 210C fan bake.
- Place all the falafel ingredients (except the carrot, fresh coriander and parsley) into a food processor and blend by pulsing until the mixture comes together, and you can shape it easily in your hand without it falling apart.
- If you need a little extra moisture, add a few teaspoons of water until it comes together; you don't want to over-blend the mixture though, so make sure you leave a little texture to it. If your mixture is too wet, add a little more of the chickpea flour.
- Transfer to a bowl and add the carrot, parsley and coriander, mixing by hand until combined. Check the flavour of the mixture — you may need to add a little more salt or spice depending on the sweetness of your carrot and pumpkin.
- Roll the falafel mixture into balls. Place the sesame seeds on a plate and roll the falafels in the mixture, giving them a light coating
- Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and flatten slightly. Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake for 20 minutes or until the sesame seeds are golden and the falafels cooked all the way through.
- Remove from the oven and serve straight away, drizzled with cashew tzatziki, spicy chilli sauce and fresh salad greens.
1 cup cashews (soaked 2-4 hours)
¼ cup water (more as needed)
⅓ cup lemon juice
½ tsp sea salt
1 crushed garlic clove
2 Tbsp chopped dill or mint
½ cup finely diced cucumber
Drain the soaked cashews and rinse thoroughly. Place all the ingredients in a blender except the herbs and cucumber and blend until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a bowl, and fold in the herbs and cucumber. Leave to rest for a half hour before serving. This will allow the flavours to develop. It will keep in a jar in the fridge for around 5 days.
Megan May is the creator of Little Bird Organics and the Unbakery cafes.