Hummus turned Baked Falafel with Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Not to brag or anything, but this past weekend, Mark and I spent 2 nights in the Adirondacks in this totally cute little cabin on Fourth Lake in Inlet, NY, population 600. We did some hiking, kayaking and grilling… all of our favorite things. And Mark even got a bit of sun which is good since his internship involves working full time in a cubicle financing loans.

I have 8 days of water quality research left… and an abstract to write on my findings (gulp)… summer vacation here I come (finally, well… minus my internship once a week). I’m heading home for a few days once research is over which I’m super excited about.

Ok, bragging aside… Hummus has been on my to make list (kind of like a to-do list of foods) for quite some time. I love hummus, but not necessarily the preservatives or plastic containers it comes in, hence my desire to make my own. Mark and I had this absolutely delicious hummus in Prague when I went to visit him at the end of fall semester this past year (little recap: I was in Australia and he was in Prague, so I flew ½ way around the world to visit him once my trip was over). We got this curried hummus from the BakeShop and I proceeded to make curried veggies with BakeShop bread and hummus and some mushroom cous cous… in the smallest kitchen you’ve ever seen.

It was my goal to attempt a similar hummus. And though mine was a bit smoother, I’d call it a success. I also noticed recently, while perusing recipes for falafel, that falafel is basically just a thickened version of hummus… so tonight I turned my left over hummus into some falafel, which I baked instead of frying Baking them left them a little more burger-shaped and a whole lot less greasy. I know this might not be entirely authentic but it was tasty… and I did warn you of the lack of authenticity.

Hummus

1 cans chick peas, drained and rinsed

½ carrot, grated (or 4-6 baby carrots)

¼ Vidalia onion, diced

¼ red bell pepper, diced

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

black pepper, to taste

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon curry powder

Prepare veggies: rinse and drain chickpeas, grate carrot, dice onion and bell pepper. Add veggies to food processor then add remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth.

Baked Falafel with Yogurt Dipping Sauce

makes about 8 falafels

½ of hummus recipe above

4 tablespoons of flour, plus extra for your hands to keep falafel from sticking

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ cup plain yogurt

½ teaspoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon of cumin

Pita bread (optional)

Lettuce or spinach (optional)

Tomatoes, diced (optional)

Cucumbers, diced (optional, I did not have any)

Cooking spray

Heat oven to 375. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place hummus in food processor with 4 tablespoons of flour and baking powder. Pulse until well combined.

Coat hands in flour and take about 2 tablespoons of mixture out of food processor and pat/roll into a ball…. It can be sticky so use a fair amount of flour. Place the falafel on the cookie sheet. Then repeat, until all of the mixture has been used… I found it useful to wash and dry my hands then re coat with flour in between rolling each falafel.

Place in oven and cook for about 6 mins, or until bottoms are golden brown. Remove from the oven and flip each falafel with a spatula. Place back in the oven and cook for an additional 6 mins, or until the underside is golden brown. Remove from heat

While the falafel bake, mix together yogurt, lemon juice and cumin. Dice tomatoes and cucumbers and slice open pitas. Fill each pita with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and as many falafel as will fit… I had mini pitas so that meant 1. Top with yogurt sauce or use it for dipping.

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