Saturday, February 5, 2011

Green Bean Falafel

When I was growing up, my family never ate fried food.  And, whether due to some biological instinct, to the associations with fast food, or to the very strong healthy-food prejudices of my mother, the smell of frying oil always seemed like a dirty smell, the smell of something barely edible and potentially toxic.

However, as I came to eat less and less meat, and then less and less dairy, this changed.  I think it's because a vegan diet naturally has so much less fat in it that the occasional fatty food is not only appealing, but actually nutritionally smart.  And of course, it's the "good fat," as there are no vegan sources of cholesterol and relatively few of saturated fat... so long live the tempura avocado!

Speaking of frying...

Falafel, like hummus, seems nearly infinitely adaptable (next up: sweet potato falafel).  I was intrigued when I saw a recipe for Yemeni style falafel--made with green beans!--on taste of beirut, one of the few non-vegetarian blogs I read regularly (seaweed snacks and smitten kitchen, along with some friends' blogs, are probably the others).

Given that there was no gluten and no real eggs in this recipe, I was a little doubtful that these would hold together, but they actually did.  I had a hard time getting the green beans to really blend, so they were a bit chunky.  If I were to make this again, I'd use more spices and less onion--frying takes away much of the raw taste, but they're still pretty oniony.  Using the leftover batter, I remade them the following day as slightly larger patties, brushed with oil and broiled for a few minutes right after I finished making cookies in the broiled (post forthcoming).  They were equally good this way, so as long as you use enough oil, you don't have to fry them.  Paired up with the recently posted creamy hummus, these made for some great wrap sandwiches.

Yemeni Style Falafel

1 pound of green beans (I used thawed frozen green beans)
2  jalapeño pepper, minced (and seeded if you don't want it too spicy)
1 large onion, chopped (or less--I thought this was a bit too much)
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, mashed with a dash of salt (or less--I used 2 and thought it was just right)
2 eggs (I used 2 TB ground flax + 6 TB water)
1 c cornmeal 
1/2 c chopped pecans or other nuts
oil for frying

In a food processor, process green beans, then add remaining ingredients and blend well.  Form into balls or patties and fry in oil or brush with oil and broil until golden brown.  Serves about 4-5.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

WOWZAHS. That looks amazinggg.