Thanks Tom for the Healthy Baked Falafel Recipe X
Updated: Feb 17
Healthy eating is at the heart of the food we eat at home. "Please can we have chips and chicken nuggets" used to be a regular request when the kids were young. And they did have them as long as I made them myself and they were baked in the oven. Somehow I have managed to bring up 4 kids who get the importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise. We tend to avoid all processed foods and limit the amount of refined carbs (white pasta, white rice, white bread and sugar). One of my children once said when a friend was coming for supper "can we please have normal food for tea like everyone else". We are talking the 90s when turkey twizzlers were were the devil's food on many a menu. Back then I was testing recipes for Bella Magazine so the menu was never 'normal'.
Falafel are a great way to introduce children to new flavours and are delicious served in a pita with tzatziki and hummus. I can't get any credit for this recipe because although I've been making them for years Tom Kerridge oven baked falafel are a perfect kick start to a healthier way of eating. Spray oil is great for cutting down the cals and oven baking gives a lovely crisp coating to the falafels.
TOM KERRIDGE'S HEALTHY OVEN BAKED FALFEL
What you need:
1 tsp olive oil
2 small onions or a bunch of spring onions (200g in total), finely chopped
2 x 400g tins chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1-2 tsp sea salt flakes
30g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
30g flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped (optional)
40g plain flour
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil to drizzle (you can also use an olive oil spray)
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 230C/210C Fan/Gas 8 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
Heat the olive oil in small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 10 minutes, or until softened and starting to brown (add a splash of water if they start to stick). Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Put the onions, chickpeas, garlic, spices, salt, chopped herbs, flour and some pepper in a food processor. Blitz until the mixture is fairly smooth, stopping every so often to scrape down the sides with a spatula. You want to retain some texture but the paste should be able to hold together.
Divide the mixture into 18 equal pieces and shape into patties. Place on the prepared baking tray and spray the patties with about 10 sprays of oil.
Cook on the top shelf of the oven for 20–25 minutes, or until golden-brown.
Cook with Steph Top Tips
These are yummy served in pita bread with tzatziki, which is also super easy to make.
Simply mix together 200ml low fat Greek yoghurt, 1/4 cucumber finely chopped or grated,1 crushed garlic clove, 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves, a pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
A colourful Greek salad is also another delicious addition to this recipe.