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Legume free spiced carrot falafel and coconut yoghurt sauce

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How about these baked, legume free spiced carrot falafel as an alternative to the popular chickpea version? Falafel are one of my favourite snack foods. Traditionally from the Middle East, I love the way that food there is centred around family, a love for sharing and chatter. Served in pittas, wraps or with a colourful salad seems to me a much more sociable way to enjoy them over the plated, sit down familiarity of British culture.

It’s the fresh smells of cumin, coriander and zesty lemon that lure people from their homes, inviting hungry locals and tourists to succumb. Bought from colourful street side stalls, the tahini dressing dripping onto the t-shirts or both young and old. One is simply never enough.

Falafel are normally made using chickpeas and fried, but for some, legumes can cause bloating. So these are my healthy, baked, legume free version. Yes they’re not quite the original (especially with the emittance of chickpeas) but they are my tribute to Middle Eastern food with my low carb, good for your guts spin on them. And most importantly, they are absolutely delicious.

Makes 12 legume free spiced carrot falafel

Ingredients

  • 350g of carrots
  • 135g of cauliflower
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 small red onion (40g)
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest of ½ a lemon
  • 50g of coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons of tahini
  • 25g of parsley, stalks removed, finely chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt and coarse black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil for brushing
Coriander Coconut Yoghurt Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons of coconut yoghurt
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 25g of coriander, stalks removed
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C (fan assisted.)

Remove the skin from the onion and garlic. Chop fine but keep separate. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. On a medium heat fry the onion for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool

Meanwhile, peel and remove the tops from the carrots. Remove the stalk and leaves from the cauliflower. Chop both into 2cm chunks. Place in a steamer over a pan of boiling water and steam for about 18 minutes until soft. Option to simmer on a low heat in a pan of boiling water if you don’t have a steamer for about 12 minutes.

Once cooked, remove the carrots  and cauliflower from the steamer/ drain from the pan of water and allow to cool.

Place the carrots, cauliflower, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, 40g of coconut flour, tahini, 1/2 of the finely chopped parsley, salt and pepper in a food processor like a Vitamix and blitz until almost smooth. You might need to scrape the sides with a spatula and blitz a few times. Empty the mix into a bowl and fold in the remaining chopped parsley and 10g of coconut flour.

Using your hands, roll into falafel sized balls, about 2 cm in diameter. Place the legume free spiced carrot falafel on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper. Brush with a little olive oil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn and cook for a further 20 minutes until golden.

Coriander coconut yoghurt dipping sauce

Simply blitz all the ingredients together in a food processor like a Magimix until almost smooth. Option to use normal cows yoghurt if you’re not dairy free.

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