BEETROOT FELAFEL RAINBOW SALAD
My mum always said to me, ‘eat your greens!’ which lucky for me (and mum) I always have. But I think I’ll start to tell my daughter to ‘eat the rainbow!’ Admittedly Harlow would take one look at this meal and throw it back in my face, as 22 month old toddlers have a tendency to do, because she’s not quite into raw veggies yet. The poor farmer who hands Harlow a little carrot every weekend at our local market would be devastated to know that we feed it to the miniature ponies after visiting his stall. But sneakily I can get a rainbow of veggies into her in other ways!
I do so love the concept of “eating the rainbow,” as annoying as those vegans on Instagram that claim to only ever eat the rainbow and smoothie bowls can be! But I do try to make meals as colourful (and pretty) as possible because colourful dishes mean that you are loading up on not only nutritional goodness but a whole heap of different flavours and textures. It makes healthy eating simple as it’s an easy way to remember mix up the types of fresh foods you and your family are eating and it also means that you don’t have to get hung up on breaking your food down to individual nutrients, because who has the time and energy for that?
This may seem strange to admit but I am not a huge fan of felafel, to me the deep fried version is dry and bland and life is too short for dry and bland food! But I love this way of making felafel as it’s flavour packed with herbs, almond and spices and it’s baked rather than fried. These felafel store well in the fridge so you can pull them out when in need for a quick lunch or easy dinner, and they freeze well too. I like to serve them with a creamy sauce, my weapon of choice for this dish is cashew mayo. I wish I could make this type of mayo more often but as you may know my daughter has a cashew allergy, so I have to make a batch just for myself and consume it quickly as I get paranoid storing it as she has recently learned to open the fridge (a nightmare unto itself!) But you could just as easily serve with a saucy pesto or salsa verde. I hope you enjoy (more than Harlow would!) Dani x
BEETROOT FELAFEL RAINBOW SALAD
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
400g can chickpeas, drained
2 cups almond meal
400g grated beetroot, with skin on
1 lemon, zest and juice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 cups parsley and mint (or fresh herbs of your choice)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Black or white sesame seeds, to sprinkle on top
2 zucchinis, spiralised
1 sweet potato, spiralised
2 red capsicums, thinly sliced
1 cup of sauerkraut
Fresh herbs, to garnish
Pomegranate seeds, to garnish
Cashew mayo, to serve
HOW TO MAKE IT
Pre-heat a fan-forced oven to 180 degrees. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
This recipe works well if you have a high-powered food processor or blender. Start by whizzing together fresh herbs, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic, until relatively smooth. Remove from food processor and set aside.
Add your beetroot to the processor and whiz on high, or you can grate it by hand. Add in the chickepeas and process until a smooth-ish paste forms. Add almond meal and herby-olive oil mix and pulse until the mixture comes together, add cumin and salt to season.
Mixture should be able to be rolled into a ball and flattened into a disc without falling apart. If it is too wet, add more almond meal or coconut flour, if it is too dry add more olive oil.
Take about 1/3 cup mix and shape into a disk, place on the baking tray and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Repeat process with remaining mixture. Bake in oven for about 25 – 30 minutes, until the felafel looks slightly dry and cooked. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Serve felafel on a bed of rainbow zoodle salad, you can experiment and use different vegetables according to what you have available to you. I like to add extra herbs and pomegranate seeds to make the salad look special and to serve with a generous dollop of cashew mayo.
The cashew mayo recipe I used is from The Whole Pantry, but you can use any basic recipe.