I've had a tough week, and instead of being cryptic like in my last post, I'll just tell you what's been going on. One of my closest friends, and quite possibly the most amazing person I've ever known, lost her two and half year battle with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma last Sunday. During the past week I've had to try to accept this fact, study for my first two grad school exams, go to work each day like nothing was wrong, and prepare for a difficult trip to Ohio. Not surprisingly, my health (sleep and food included) were put on the back burner. Even though I'm not sure I've found "closure" (if it even exists), I know that we have to keep moving forward and do our best to live lives that honor those we've lost. One way we can do this is by being grateful for what we have and taking care of our bodies by eating well--hence, this Sweet Potato Falafel.
If you're looking for a traditional, "normal" falafel, you should probably go with this one I made before, but if you're looking to mix it up and try something different, try this! They were pretty simple to make, soooo flavorful, and made a big batch that will feed me all week.
Nutritional Highlights: These are so great for you. They're baked instead of fried like most falafel, taking out the only guilty aspect of falafel. The main ingredient in these is sweet potato, something we know if filled with beta carotene and has antioxidant effects. Plus, it has bulgar wheat, whole wheat bread crumbs, and chickpea flour...all great complex carbohydrate sources that provide protein, fiber, and will keep us full. Eat these on a whole wheat pita or on a salad for an amazingly healthy meal.
Sweet Potato Falafel
adapted from Happy Herbivore
- ½ cup bulgar wheat
- 1 whole yam (large)
- 2 tbsp milk (dairy or non dairy milk are both fine)
- 1 whole garlic clove
- 1-2 tbsp each fresh Italian parsley and cilantro
- 1 tbsp onion powder (I used some fresh red onion instead since I didn't have onion powder)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 2 tbsp chickpea flour
- 3 tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs
- ¼ tsp salt
- Sesame seeds, optional
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper and set aside. Add bulgar with 3/4 cup of water in a pot without heat and set aside to soak. Meanwhile, cook yam until fork tender by steaming, microwaving or boiling (peeling skin away is optional). Using a potato masher or fork, blend cooked yam with non-dairy milk until the consistency is like mashed potatoes and set aside. Return to bulgar, which should have absorbed some of the water. Bring the pot to a boil and once boiling reduce to low heat and simmer. Continue to cook, uncovered, until all the water is gone, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
Meanwhile toss garlic, parsley, cilantro, onion powder, cumin, coriander, chickpea flour, bread crumbs and salt in a food processor. Allow the motor run until it's very crumbly and spice-like. Mix spice mixture with yam mixture until well combined. Then add in cooked bulgar. Drop tablespoon-sized portion on to the cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 15 minutes. Flip the balls, respray and then bake another 15 minutes, or until the outsides are crispy.