Winter is so divided when it comes to food cravings. Should I stay true to my resolutions to eat healthily or snuggle up with comfort foods and watch the snowfall? This week’s recipe allows me to do both. Today, I’m making one of my favorite bowls (Buddha bowls) with easy homemade falafel. Buddha Bowls are named to describe the piled high bowl that resembles the rounded belly of the Buddha. I started with a pretty big bowl today so it’s not exactly piled high but it is packed with goodness and flavor. Full disclosure: I went back for seconds! Buddha Bowls can contain anything that puts a complete meal in one bowl. Get creative! Easy clean up: HURRAY!
My whole family flocks to the kitchen when I roast these vegetables with cumin and garlic. The house smells wonderful. I usually double the vegetable amounts because they get eaten right off the pan as I’m assembling the bowls. They’re also great as leftovers!
Have you ever made falafel? Have you ever eaten falafel? If you’ve had it and think you don’t like it, I challenge you to try this recipe. Homemade falafel is so much better than something you might buy ready-made. Plus, this one is baked, not fried, so it is much lower in calories. Just packed with fresh, good ingredients.
Typically falafel is made from chickpeas but today I made them with a combo of cooked lentils and chickpeas. I usually always have both in my pantry. Cooking lentils is easy, you don’t have to soak lentils overnight like some dried beans. Simply bring them to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until tender. (Make sure the level of water stays slightly above the lentils. Add some water during cooking if necessary). I like to toss in a bay leaf and clove of garlic for added flavor.
- 1 cup cooked lentils
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems
- 1 cup fresh parsley leaves and stems
- half a jalapeño
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- a squeeze of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (sub a gluten-free flour if needed)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pulse all ingredients except flour in a food processor until combined. The mixture should form semi-dry crumbles that stick together when you press them.
- Stir in the flour – just one tablespoon at a time, until it’s just dry enough to handle. Form into 9 patties and bake for 18 minutes. Pictured, you can see I used a scoop to create balls then I used the back of a measuring cup to flatten the balls to make a uniform patty.
- Remove from oven and use in salads, sandwiches, bowls, etc. Refrigerate for a few days or freeze.
For the roasted veggies:
- 5-7 carrots
- 1 head cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 4 teaspoons cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
For the bliss bowls:
- 8-10 pieces Baked Falafel
- 2-3 cups spinach
- 1-2 cups chopped red cabbage
- 1 jalapeño, cut into slices
See the note below…
For the sauce:
- 2 Tbs tahini
- 1 Tbs almond butter
- 2-3 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 Tbs honey
- 1 tsp white balsamic vinegar
- add olive oil for drizzling
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Peel the carrots and cut into thin strips and place on a roasting pan.
- Chop the cauliflower into small florets and place on a separate roasting pan. Drizzle each pan with oil and sprinkle each pan with cumin, salt, and pepper. Toss around on the pan to combine.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes – stir occasionally, but not too often otherwise you’ll disrupt the browning process.
- To get more browning, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.
- When the veggies are done, remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Buddha Bowl Assembly:
- Assemble spinach, red cabbage, falafel, carrots, and roasted cauliflower in the bowls. Top with jalapeño. Drizzle with tahini sauce and a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper as needed.
- Whisk ingredients together. Adjust amounts for consistency. I didn’t get a photo of it but I like my sauce to be more of a paste than a pourable sauce.
I recommend doubling or tripling the sauce. I like to put it on everything. It’s a delicious dip for veggies, chicken, shrimp, or use it as a spread if you decide to turn your falafel into a sandwich with warm naan bread or pita.
This bowl recipe is good as it is but this recipe can be a starting place for your creative appetite. Add a protein or hummus, nuts, any variety of your favorite vegetables, or my favorite … put an egg on it!