Red Lentil, Sweet Potato, Quinoa Falafel with Spicy Tahini Sauce
For the falafel:
- 1 cup dry red lentils
- 1/2 cup dry quinoa — I had a wild rice quinoa blend leftover when I made this so I used that, but plain quinoa would work fine
- 1/2 - 1 small sweet potato, steamed, cooled, and finely chopped
- 2 cups loosely packed parsley, finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- cumin, sage, cayenne
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- flour of choice - I used a combination of a GF blend and corn flour
For the spicy tahini sauce:
- 4 tablespoons tahini
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Prepare lentils - put dried lentils in a pot with 2.5 cups water. Bring to boil then reduce heat to a simmer and let lentils simmer, stirring periodically, until the lentils are cooked. Red lentils break down when they are cooked into a kind of mush — taste them when you think they look done, you’ll know they are done if there aren’t any little hard bits. Set aside and allow to cool completely.
- While you’re making the lentils, prepare your quinoa. I use 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water so for this recipe, 1/2 quinoa with 1 cup water—or make extra quinoa so you have it for another meal. Put the quinoa and water in a pot and bring to boil, reduce heat and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes or until done. Set aside and let cook. At this point you can also steam the sweet potato if you didn’t already. Let that cool too, and cut it up fine.
- Once the lentils, quinoa and sweet potato are cooled, add everything but the flour. Mix together. The amount of cumin, cayenne and sage you use is up to you, I did a couple tsps of sage and cumin, and a dash of cayenne. Just add a little and taste as you go. You might also want to add salt and pepper.
- Let this mixture cool in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes. This helps it be more firm so you can make it into nice little balls. Preheat your oven to 375F.
- While the falafel mixture is cooling, make the tahini sauce. Mix all three ingredients together in a bowl. The amount of Sriracha is up to you - more if you like really spicy stuff, less if you don’t. Because tahini is high in fat it might repel the lemon juice so make sure to really stir thoroughly until the mixture is well combined. If the mixture is too thick, add some water until you have the desired consistency.
- Take the falafel mixture out of the fridge. add as much flour as you need to form a mixture thick enough to be able to roll into balls (or a general sphere type shape, you don’t need a super, super thick mixture or have the flavors lost by adding too much flour). Start with a couple tablespoons of flour and go from there.
- Form balls or little patties with the mixture and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake for ~20 minutes, flipping halfway through. I’m not 100% positive on the time, but you want them to be lightly browned.
- Remove from oven and let cool a little before eating. I would eat these on a salad with romaine or mixed greens, quinoa if you made extra, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, avocado, and the spicy tahini sauce on top.
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