My last post got me thinking about some vegetarian options. Here's one from Beverly Lynn Bennett’s "Vegan Bites."
Sun-Dried Tomato Falafel in Pitas
Start to finish: 30 minutes
1/4 cup sun-dried tomato pieces (not oil-packed)
1/3 cup water
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tsp. minced garlic
1-1/2 tsp. olive oil, plus additional for frying
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
2 tbsp. finely diced red onions
2 tbsp. finely diced celery
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Two large MSPI-friendly whole-grain pita breads
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, as needed
In a small bowl combine the sun-dried tomato pieces with the water. Cover and let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Drain off any excess water from the tomatoes, then transfer them to a food processor along with the chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, chili powder, curry powder, salt and cayenne. Process, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until completely smooth.
Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in the flour, red onions, celery and chopped parsley. Pour enough olive oil into a large skillet to coat the bottom and place over medium heat. Carefully portion 6 rounded tablespoonfuls of the falafel mixture into the hot oil and flatten each one slightly with the back of the spoon. Cook the patties over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden on the bottom. Flip the patties and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown on the other side.
Arrange two paper towels on a large plate. Transfer the patties to the plate to allow excess oil to drain. Repeat with remaining falafel mixture.
To assemble each sandwich, cut the pita bread in half across the center. Open the pocket of each half and fill each with 3 falafel patties and as much cucumber, carrot, lettuce and sprouts as desired.
Thin the tahini with a small amount of lemon juice to make a sauce, then drizzle it over each pita half to taste.