28 May 2011

Falafel Lettuce Wraps

When I write in my blog these days I feel like the kid who hasn't done his homework but always has a "really good excuse!" Um, my dog ate it. Um, the assignment fell in the lake. Um, I DID do it but then my little sister tore it up. Um, I was abducted by aliens and I just got back.

But, I do have good excuses, plenty of them. I've been onstage all this month in two different shows and preparing the residency in the center of France for this summer. Also I'm trying to lose some weight, which often means making dishes that are yummy but not particularly inventive or blog-worthy.

That said, I still can't resist a good recipe and my sister (Future Master Baker), who this year has been one of the head cooks in her co-op and learning all sorts of new vegetarian and vegan recipes, keeps sending me emails to make my mouth water. Recently she sent me this recipe for tahini oat cookies, which sound delicious except that I can't find any of the ingredients required in France. So... I had to go for her falafel recipe instead. Because fried falafel are not exactly diet-friendly, I made them into lettuce wraps to make myself feel good about them - and hey, it works! You can even add a little feta cheese (low fat or not) in the wraps for moisture and taste.

You may have to juggle a bit with the ingredients to see what proportions keep the falafel from falling apart, but this is the basic idea.

1 can chickpeas (15.5 oz)
1 medium onion
1 cup parsley
salt & pepper
5 Tbsp. flour
cooking oil

Mash chickpeas (I use a potato masher, but you can probably do it with a fork, you'd just have to be more patient than I am). Chop the onion and parsley finely and add them to the chickpeas. Stir in spices and flour. Pour about half an inch of oil into a saucepan and put it on the stove to heat. Form chickpea mixture into patties. When the oil begins to dimple on the surface, drop the patties in. Turn them regularly until thoroughly brown.

Serve in lettuce wraps, or pita, with hummus, feta, tomatoes, whatever you like!