Lent can be a challenging time. As a period of penance, repentance and atonement, Lent has deep spiritual significance to Catholics. Those practicing are asked to deprive themselves of one indulgence or personal vice for forty days until Easter Sunday. People can choose to give up certain habits while others may choose certain foods. One obligatory food item that Catholics abstain from particularly on Fridays is meat. Although this practice isn’t new, some may find it particularly difficult to come up with other healthy and delicious meatless options. While alternatives such as fish or pasta dinners every Friday sound great, they can get repetitive, expensive and sometimes, even unhealthy.
The solution? Falafel Fridays! A timeless classic, falafel is speculated to have originated in Egypt as a meat replacement during Lent. Today, falafel is commonly eaten as a street food in the Middle East. Falafel can be enjoyed many different ways as an appetizer or a snack. However, in today’s recipe, we decided to make them the star of the show by stuffing them into pita bread. This recipe utilizes one very important ingredient that’s also found in hummus–garbanzo beans! Our Steamed Garbanzo Beans conveniently require no soaking and are immediately available for use. For other wonderful healthy and high protein items for Lent, check out the rest of our Steamed Line.
Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
- 3 packages of Steamed Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 tomato, diced
- 3 cups of fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 5 tablespoons of flour
- Oil, for frying
- 4 Pita breads, top third removed
1. Put some of the chopped onions aside. Cook the onions, bell pepper and garlic in a medium-sized pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
2. Using a food processor, pulse the Steamed Garbanzo Beans, ground cumin, egg, salt, black pepper and red chili flakes until coarsely mixed.
3. Put some of the chopped cilantro aside. Mix in flour, parsley and the rest of the cilantro and continue pulsing until the mixture is well blended.
4. Remove from the food processor and add to the cooked onions, bell peppers and garlic.
5. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls.
6. Heat up some oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Drop in the falafel a few at a time and cook until golden brown for about 4 minutes on each side.
7. Once the falafel are finished cooking, place them on a paper towel and pat off the excess oil.
8. Place 3 falafels inside each pita bread. Add the diced tomatoes, onions and cilantro.
What do you plan to give up for Lent? Do you have any favorite meatless recipes you like to eat Fridays?