Falafel Burgers with Creamy Tahini Sauce and Quinoa Tabbouleh

by Carol Kicinski on April 9, 2015

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A Celiac, a Vegan, and a kid with a peanut allergy walk into a house …

No, this is not the beginning of a joke, it is dinner at my house when all the family is in town.

Recently, both my sisters along with their families, and their families’ families, my sons, their families, and some other assorted relatives and friends arrived in town for a big celebration. It was my father’s 91st (!!!) birthday. Of course, that alone is reason to celebrate but two weeks prior to Dad’s birthday this year he had to have emergency surgery to remove a blood clot and the doctors were skeptical about how much longer he would be with us.

I told my Dad when he was still in I.C.U. that we were still having his birthday party so he had better get well and fast! Fortunately, he listened to me.

With eighteen people including a very picky 7 year old, a couple of toddlers and two babies, a multitude of food sensitivities, allergies, and eating preferences, trying to figure out places to go out to dinner on the nights before the party was almost impossible. It seemed so much easier to eat at home. My home, to be exact.

For five days I wracked my brain as to what I could prepare for dinner that everyone could eat, that was easy enough to serve to a hoard of people, and that wouldn’t break the bank (or my back) to make.

One night we did falafel burgers with creamy tahini sauce and quick quinoa tabbouleh on the side. This is one of the “Simple Suppers” from my book Simply Gluten Free Quick Meals. It’s always a winner and so easy to stretch to feed more. I added a big tossed green salad, lemon roasted fingerling potatoes (also from that book) and a bottle (or six) of wine.

Instead of shaping the falafel burgers by hand as I usually do, I used an ice cream scoop to speed the process along and it had the added benefit of each recipe producing double the amount of burgers – 8 instead of 4. They were a little smaller but no one seemed to notice or care. By the way, you can make these burgers ahead and either keep them warm in a low (200 degree) oven on a sheet pan or refrigerate and reheat later.

I made 2 versions of creamy tahini sauce, one with dairy and one without. I am including both versions here.

We had a lovely week together. My house is still standing. And Dad is all better. And that is the best punch line ever.

Gluten-Free-Quick-Mediterranean-Dinner

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Falafel Burgers with Creamy Tahini Sauce and Quinoa Tabbouleh

Ingredients

Falafel Burgers

2 (15.5 ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 bunch scallions (green onions) trimmed and roughly chopped
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley (about 1 cup), roughly chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons gluten-free garbanzo bean flour (or all-purpose gluten-free flour) – divided use
¼ cup olive oil
Lettuce leaves
Creamy Tahini Sauce (recipe follows)
Chili garlic sauce, optional

Creamy Tahini Sauce

½ cup sesame tahini
½ cup plain Greek yogurt (to make dairy-free either substitute with dairy-free Greek yogurt or simply omit and add an additional ½ cup tahini)
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
½ – ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ – ¾ cup water

Quinoa Tabbouleh

2 cups water
1 cup pre-rinsed quinoa
Kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1 hothouse (seedless) cucumber, finely diced
1 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions

Falafel Burgers

Put the chickpeas, scallions, parsley, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons flour in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until the mixture turns to a coarse paste. Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and shape into patties. Put the rest of the flour on a plate, place the patties in the flour and coat well on both sides.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook 2-3 minutes per side or until crispy.

To serve, place the falafel burgers on lettuce leaves, top each burger with a dollop of Creamy Tahini Sauce, and a dab of chili garlic sauce if desired. Serve the rest of the Tahini sauce on the side.

Creamy Tahini Sauce

Place the tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ cup of water in a blender. Blend until smooth and thick; it should be the consistency of lightly whipped cream. Add a little more water if necessary. Taste and add more salt if needed. Transfer to a small serving bowl. Leftover tahini can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

In a large saucepan, combine the water, quinoa, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes.

While the quinoa is simmering, combine the rest of the ingredients and set aside until the quinoa is done. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, add the vegetable mixture, and stir gently to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Put into a serving bowl and serve at room temperature.

The tabbouleh can be made ahead and stored, covered, in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Servings:

A gluten free meal that serves 4.

Ready for dessert?

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Available at bookstores including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powells, Books-a-Million and Amazon. You can get it also HERE.

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Need a quick meal?

Gluten Free Recipes - Simply Gluten Free Quick MealsSimply…Gluten-Free Quick Meals is now available, with over 100 recipes not featured in my blog.

Available at bookstores including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powells, Books-a-Million and Amazon. You can get it also HERE.

“The “Simply” in ‘Simply … Gluten-Free Quick Meals’ doesn’t just make for a catchy title. The recipes in this cookbook truly are quick and easy to prepare. – A. C.

“I set the timer on two separate nights and made two complete meals from Carol’s latest cookbook in 30-40 minutes. They not only pleased my family, but gave me new recipes and techniques to get dinner on the table faster every night.” – W. K.

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Categories:    Main Dishes

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lauren April 10, 2015 at 10:30 am

Glad to hear your Dad is ok! I remember the exact moment I first had falafel, it was that delicious. I haven’t had it in years, time to remedy that, thanks!

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