There are few things I love more than the complex Mediterranean flavors in food. I’m quite convinced that growing up in my grandmother’s kitchen with the aromas of garlic, parsley, and cumin used in many of her recipes, instilled very fond memories in my palate.
These grain-free paleo falafels are my version of the traditional recipe but without chickpeas. Originally developed for my third cookbook, The Best Grain-Free Family Meals on the Planet, it’s a recipe that continues to be a winner both at my house and MOMables members.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the original falafel recipe in my first cookbook, The Best Homemade Kids’ Lunches on the Planet; but after needing to go grain-free for about eighteen months, I began to crave grain-free versions of some of my most favorite recipes –as I know it’s the case for many that go grain-free.
What’s great about this recipe, however, is that it’s lower in carbs than the original, since zucchini is what I use instead of chickpeas. And in case you need a recipe to use up the abundance of zucchini you have in your fridge, this is it!
After going grain free several times, I’ve learned to make lots of swaps like this to keep all of mine and my family’s meals in rotation, even when we’re on a Whole30. I’ve spent years coming up with clean recipes for my family to enjoy made with fresh, whole ingredients. A while back, I put all of our favorite clean meals together into a comprehensive 30-day program called Family KickStart.
In the Family KickStart Program, you’ll find everything you need to eliminate processed foods and eat healthy, with your entire family. I share 30 days of picky-eater approved recipes, meal plans to make your life easier and even simple swaps you can make to help you serve your kid’s favorite meals, without any junk!
Can You Freeze Falafel?
The falafels freeze great prior to baking. All you need to do is make them into shapes and place them in a lined baking sheet inside the freezer. Once frozen, transfer them into a zip bag for storage until you decide to cook them.
While the recipe and video show you how to bake them, I often pan fry them instead. It’s hard to give up the crispy edges that only a good pan-fry can achieve. Whether you eat them inside a pita bread with a little hummus drizzled on top or Tzatziki sauce, these grain-free falafels are full of flavor and nutrition.
What’s your favorite Mediterranean inspired food?
Veggie Grain-Free Paleo Falafels
These grain-free paleo falafels are my version of the traditional recipe but without chickpeas.
- Yield: 4 - 6 1x
- 1 cup (160 g) onion, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup (8 g) fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup (30 g) fresh parsley
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 cups (200 g) cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 zucchini, roughly chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 cup (48 g) almond flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Coconut oil, melted
- Vegetable oil to pan fry
- Preheat your oven to 375F (190C).
- In a food processor, blend the onion, cilantro, parsley, and garlic until finely minced. Set them aside in a large bowl.
- Repeat the process with the cauliflower and the zucchini; add to the bowl with the onion mixture.
- Add the lemon zest, cumin, chili powder, turmeric, almond flour and beaten egg to the bowl. Combine everything well; season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the mixture rest for a few minutes.
- Spread some melted coconut oil over a baking sheet. Form medium-sized balls of the falafel mixture with your hands and place them on the baking sheet.
- Brush some more oil over the falafel and place in the oven.
- If you’re cooking them in the oven, bake for 40 minutes. Halfway through, turn the falafel and brush them with some more oil.
- If you’re cooking them on the stove, pre-heat a generous amount of coconut oil in a large sautépan placed over medium heat for about 4 minutes.
- Then add the falafel, browning them on the first side for 4 minutes, then flipping them once and browning the second side until the mixture is cooked throughout.
- Serving Size: 3 falafels
- Calories: 422
- Sugar: 4.7g
- Sodium: 639.6mg
- Fat: 35.1g
- Saturated Fat: 25.6g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 15.8g
- Fiber: 3.5g
- Protein: 6.6g
- Cholesterol: 46.5mg