Lemon and Herb Falafel Bowls with Tahini Dressing

Lemon and Herb Falafel Bowls with Tahini Dressing | These healthy baked falafels work just as great in a buddha bowl as they do as an on-the-go snack! | My Fresh Perspective | #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #glutenfree #mealprep

Plant-based? No problem! These oven-baked Lemon and Herb Falafel Bowls with Tahini Dressing make going meatless easy while still providing a hefty dose of protein and fiber – not to mention a TON of flavour! Enjoy as a meal or pack the falafels as an on-the-go snack.


Confession: I am a HUGE sucker for self development books.

Actually, I should clarify: I mean I’m a sucker for audiobooks, since putting a real book in my hands is pretty much guaranteed to put me to sleep faster than a sleeping pill – especially if it’s after 8pm.

There’s a self development book for pretty much everything you could want to do these days, and according to this 2018 article, “the U.S. self-improvement market was worth $9.9 billion in 2016. It is forecast to post 5.6% average yearly gains from 2016 to 2022, when the market should be worth $13.2 billion.” That’s a lot of money.

Lemon and Herb Falafel Bowls with Tahini Dressing | These healthy baked falafels work just as great in a buddha bowl as they do as an on-the-go snack! | My Fresh Perspective | #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #glutenfree #mealprep

While I’m always keen to check out the latest and greatest books in this category, there are a select few that stick out in my mind as oldies but goodies that have withstood the test of time. The first is Strengths Finder by Tom Rath, and the second is The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Both have been updated over the years, and versions of The 5 Love Languages have also been published specifically for men, women, children, teens, singles, and work environments. No matter which edition, the premise of this one is still the same: humans tend to show their love in one of five dominant ways. Similarly, we feel most appreciated when those around us (significant others, friends, family, co-workers etc) show their appreciation in one of these five ways. They are:

  1. Words of affirmation
  2. Quality time
  3. Physical touch
  4. Acts of service
  5. Receiving gifts

The original content of this book was written for couples, but like the Meyers Briggs and Strengths Finder assessments. However, I think it’s really helpful to know the primary love language(s) of those around us because it helps us to be better people for each other.

Prior to having heard about this book and the 5 dominant love languages, had you asked what mine was, I’d have probably jokingly (kind of) answered “food!” Shopping for food, preparing food, making nourishing, delicious food for myself and others, gifting food, eating together… all those things. With that in mind, it wasn’t much of a surprise for me to learn upon taking this quiz that my top results were Quality Time and Receiving Gifts, closely followed by Acts of Service.

(Side note: It used to irk me that Receiving Gifts was one of my primary love languages because I thought this meant I was a materialistic person. Reading further, I was pleasantly reassured that this isn’t the case. The book clarifies that for someone whose primary love language is Gifts (giving and/or receiving), the feeling of appreciation is very much rooted in the  effort that goes into hunting down and selecting a thoughtful gift for a specific individual, observing what they need and understanding what they would most appreciate. So if you too, are dominant on this one, know that it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re an overly materialistic person!)

Lemon and Herb Falafel Bowls with Tahini Dressing | These healthy baked falafels work just as great in a buddha bowl as they do as an on-the-go snack! | My Fresh Perspective | #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #glutenfree #mealprep

So what on earth could the 5 love languages possibly have to do with falafels? Don’t worry – we’re getting there.

My sister spent about 3 weeks visiting me over the holidays, and what you need to know about her is that she’s a vegetarian who doesn’t get nearly as much joy out of cooking as I do. She has a few standard meals on repeat, and while she’s come a long way since her carb-itarian days (aka the vegetarian whose diet was about 90% baked goods and sweets), dinner on a tired night could easily become chips and salsa. Having not seen her in over 3 years and being the loving big sister that I am, you can bet I jumped at the chance to spend time making all sorts of food for us to enjoy.

Several of the veggie-friendly faves from the blog were on the menu, including my Vegan Lentil Walnut Taco Bowl, Super Simple Hummus, Thai Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl, and the more recent Thai Butternut Squash Soup. But there was one more recipe, oven-baked Lemon and Herb Falafels, which I made years ago and had been meaning to re-photograph.

This time around, I decided to make a complete meal with the falafels as the stars, served with an amazing tahini lemon sauce that works perfectly as a falafel dip and salad dressing. I totally know that the recipe below looks a little high maintenance in terms of the long ingredient list, but really, it’s just a lot of the same seasonings repeated for each part. And heck, if falafels and dip are really all you want (and I don’t blame you, because they’re GOOD), feel free to skip the rest. either way, you won’t be disappointed – and my taste tester agrees!

Lemon and Herb Falafel Bowls with Tahini Dressing | These healthy baked falafels work just as great in a buddha bowl as they do as an on-the-go snack! | My Fresh Perspective | #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #glutenfree #mealprep

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Lemon and Herb Falafel Bowls with Tahini Dressing | These healthy baked falafels work just as great in a buddha bowl as they do as an on-the-go snack! | My Fresh Perspective | #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #glutenfree #mealprep

Lemon and Herb Falafel Bowls with Tahini Dressing


  • Author: Angela Simpson
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 40-50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 2-3 servings 1x

Description

Plant-based? No problem! These oven-baked Lemon and Herb Falafel Bowls with Tahini Dressing make going meatless easy while still providing a hefty dose of protein and fiber – not to mention a TON of flavour! Enjoy as a meal or pack the falafels as an on-the-go snack.


Scale

Ingredients

Falafels

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2 cups total loosely packed, roughly chopped mixed cilantro, parsley and basil
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds (I like Navitas Organics ones which you can get here.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • generous pinches of sea salt and black pepper

Turmeric roasted cauliflower

  • 1 small head of cauliflower, chopped into bite-size florets
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil (or avocado oil spray)
  • 1 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • sea salt + pepper to taste

Sweet potato wedges

  • 1 medium sweet potato, sliced into wedges
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil (or avocado oil spray)
  • sea salt + pepper to taste

Tahini lemon dressing

  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2” peeled chopped ginger
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • pinch of cumin and cayenne
  • water, to thin

The rest

  • mixed greens of choice
  • torn fresh herb and lemon wedges, to serve

Instructions

For the falafels:

  • Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Pulse until everything has turned into a coarse mixture.
  • Using your hands, shape the ‘dough’ into 6-8 falafel patties, pressing down slightly in the center of each one. Lay them each on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 30 mins, flipping half way.

For the turmeric roasted cauliflower and sweet potato wedges:

  • Line another baking sheet with parchment or foil. Preheat the oven to 400F if not already done.
  • In a big bowl, mist or toss the cauliflower in oil, followed by seasonings. Stir well to coat.
  • Scatter florets onto the baking sheet in one even layer. (Try not to overlap any – they’ll be more crispy this way.) Roast for 25-30 mins, flipping half way.
  • Do the exact same thing with the sweet potato wedges and their seasonings.

For the tahini lemon dressing:

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree until completely smooth.  Thin with water as needed until the dressing reaches your desired consistency.*

Assembly:

  • Divide the greens, torn herbs, sweet potato wedges and roasted cauliflower between bowls. If you prefer, toss the greens in a bit of the tahini dressing before plating.
  • Top with the falafels and lemon wedges. Serve remaining dressing on the side.

Notes

Store any leftover dressing in a sealed glass jar in the fridge. Note that it will thicken when cooled, but adding a bit more water and giving it a good shake will fix that!

  • Category: dinner
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Keywords: chickpeas, vegan, vegetarian, Lebanese, Middle Eastern, gluten free, grain free, dairy free, falafel

Tell me… have you read the 5 Love Languages and/or taken the quiz? Which ones are you most dominant in? Did this surprise you in any way?

2 thoughts on “Lemon and Herb Falafel Bowls with Tahini Dressing

  1. I LOVE falafel. Excited to try making my own!

    Interesting stuff about the love langs. My love language is tied between Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation, followed closely by Quality Time. Honestly wasn’t surprised at all! I definitely show love in term of words of affirmation (writing letter and poems) but I feel most loved when someone does my dishes or vacuuming without being asked.

    1. So interesting, Rebecca! Like you, when I found out what mine were, it certainly didn’t come as a shock. I think it’s also cool to see if/how these change over time, and have definitely noticed that I value acts of service more now than I used to. Thanks so much for sharing!

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