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Lentil falafel summer bliss bowl.
If i had to describe this recipe in one word I'd have to say - an-explosion-of-delicious-flavors-in-your-mouth.
Ok that's not one word but to be fair, this bowl tastes too good to describe using only one word. You try it.
It is literally an explosion of different flavors in your mouth with every bite.
We've got cauliflower rice cooked in coconut aminos, perfectly roasted garlicky summer vegetables, and the star of the show - baked lentil falafel balls topped with a creamy dreamy magic green sauce that is so good it got it's own blog post. If you want to learn how to make cauliflower rice with a food processor and a stovetop make sure to check out this blog post.
These lentil falafel balls are what summer dreams are made of.
I'll eat these alone, one by one, straight out of the oven.. or cold straight out of the fridge - because they're so damn tasty.
What is falafel?
I remember my first taste of falafel.
It was winter 2013 .. new york city.. sooo good.
And if you've never heard of falafel... it's basically a Middle Eastern dish where pulses, most commonly chickpeas, are smashed up and seasoned with herbs and spices and then deep fried.
They're truly delicious in their traditional common form buttttt here at Sprouting Zen we like to experiment...
So instead of chickpeas we're using lentils (I used green lentils specifically but they should work with brown as well) and instead of deep frying we're gonna keep things a bit healthier around here and opt for baking instead.
Also, 2019 should be the year of the lentils. Let's make that happen.
Because lentils are super chill.
They don't require any pre-soaking which is great because sometimes, ummm we forget to do that the night before. 🙂
They also cook really quickly and easy without fuss.. 30 minutes on the stove top give or take and they're ready to go.
These balls are no different... just a few extra steps (transfer to food processor, mix in herbs/spices, form into balls, bake) and viola you've got the most flavorful lentil falafel balls that are oil free and super nutritious - loaded with the many benefits of pulses.
Speaking of pulses..
I'm on a roll lately creating recipes that are loaded with PULSES ...
I'm not sure I can even pick a favorite...
There's the smoky red lentil sushi roll,
and the kidney bean pasta summer salad..
and now I can add this lentil falafel to the long list.
so why pulses?
Because pulses are a really nutritious power-house of a food that should be included often in your meals.
Just a 1/2 cup of serving of pulses (or 3 lentil falafels in this case), three times a week, is enough to load your body up with the nutrients that these ingredients provide.
Also, don't be intimidated by the jargon. The term pulses is simply an umbrella term used to describe certain legumes like lentils, chickpeas, split peas and beans.
Not only are they delicious.. but pulses are also sustainable, affordable, and super versatile. What isn't there to love?
The cool people over at USA Pulses and Pulse Canada have created an amazing organization aimed at increasing awareness of the many benefits of including more pulses in your meals.
Their current campaign, the half-cup habit, is a fun way to remember that all you need is 1/2 cup of pulses, three times a week in order to enjoy the potential benefits of pulses such as maintaining a healthy weight and improve your overall well-being.
Join the half-cup habit with me this summer and pledge to include more pulses in your meals.
By signing up at PULSES.org you'll receive pulse-loaded recipes just like this one right to your inbox which will help you stay on track this summer.
You can also check out pulses.org for more information on pulses, like, what are they, what are the benefits, and a tonnn of other pulse-filled recipes that are available for free on their site.
I kid you not when I say I will undoubtedly be eating this baked lentil falafel bowl for the rest of summer.
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Want to see more pulse-filled recipes?
summer bliss bowl with lentil falafel
Flavorful baked lentil falafel served in a bed of greens, cauliflower rice, roasted vegetables and topped with a creamy dreamy green herb sauce. Plant based and Oil free.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6 1x
For baked falafel:
- 2 cups cooked green lentils (1 cup uncooked lentils + 3.75 cups water)
- 2 garlic cloves
- handful of parsley with stems (27g)
- 7 to 8 fresh basil leaves (7g)
- 1 tablespoon of chickpea miso
- the juice of 1/2 a lemon = 2 tablespoons (15g)
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground flaxmeal
- 3 tablespoons of coconut flour (or more as needed to thicken the mix)
- 1/2 teaspoon of himalayan salt
For cauliflower rice:
- 1 head of cauliflower shredded using your food processor (or pre-made cauli rice, or quinoa works too)
- 2–3 tablespoons of coconut aminos to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon of himalayan salt
Other sides for bliss bowl:
- your choice of roasted veggies – my go-to’s are red bell pepper, zucchini, and brussel sprouts.
- roughly chopped spinach (or your choice of greens) to serve as a ‘bed’.
- Add 1 cup of uncooked lentils and 3.75 cups of water to a pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and continue to cook on a gentle simmer with a tilted lid. Cook until lentils are soft, but not mushy.. and until the water has mostly evaporated (usually takes around 20 minutes). Remember we will be processing this in the food processor so no need to make them super super soft. Set aside to let cool down.
- To food processor add: cooked lentils, garlic cloves, parsley, basil leaves, chickpea miso, lemon juice, flaxmeal, salt and process until well-combined. Add coconut flour (or your choice of flour) as needed to thicken the mixture in order to make it easier to form the balls. I needed 3 tablespoons but you might need to add a bit more or less depending on how thick your mix is to begin with.
- Preheat oven to 350F and form bite-sized falafel balls using the mix (1/2 cup yields around 3 balls) and place in baking sheet. Bake at 350f for 40 minutes or until balls are golden brown and slightly crispy. Remove from oven and set aside to cool down a bit. If balls feel soft do not worry as they will continue to harden as they cool down outside of the oven.
- If making cauliflower rice: Add shredded cauliflower, coconut aminos, and salt to a pan and cook over medium heat until ‘rice’ is soft and tender. This usually takes around 10 minutes.
- Serve with a bed of greens (I used chopped spinach), a side of cauliflower rice or quinoa, and roasted veggies and don’t forget to top with this cashew-free vegan parsley and basil herb sauce. Enjoy!
- 3 baked lentil falafel = 1 serving of 1/2 cup of pulses
- I use coconut flour to thicken the mix because it’s gluten free and pretty flavorless, but feel free to use your own favorite flour.
Keywords: baked lentil falafel, summer bliss bowl, vegan, pulses, lentils, oil free,