Falafel Quinoa Salad with Tzatziki

A belated happy Easter!  I am feeling a little depressed this week and am suffering major post-holiday blues after returning from the most amazing holiday to Sri Lanka.   Sri Lanka had been on my bucket list for quite some time and it totally exceeded expectations.  Such a wonderful combination of stunning scenery, beautiful beaches, wildlife, welcoming friendly people, and THE FOOD!!  Anywhere that allows me to eat curry for breakfast makes me very happy!

Back in Hong Kong now and summer seems to be starting which I am really excited about, I love the hot weather and I'm excited to get back into my summer wardrobe.  From a cooking point of view I have a lot of ideas for the coming months - think salads, BBQ dishes, frozen desserts.  To kick off the salads here is a recipe that was recently featured in an article that I wrote for Sassy Hong Kong, you can read the article here.  I love falafel because they are tasty, satisfying, and can be prepared ahead and stored in the fridge.

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RECIPE

Serves 2

Ingredients

Falafel (makes 12 small falafel):

1 Can of chickpeas

1 Small red onion, chopped

2 Cloves of garlic, crushed

1 Tsp Ground cumin

1 Tsp Ground coriander

½ Tsp Chilli powder

1 Tbsp Olive oil

Handful of fresh coriander (optional)

S&P

Quinoa:

120g Quinoa

360ml Cold water

Juice of  1 lemon

60ml Olive oil

1 Clove of garlic, crushed

S&P

½ Cucumber, cubed

10 Cherry tomatoes, chopped

Tzatziki:

½ Cucumber

½ Tsp salt

1 Small clove of garlic, crushed

Juice of ½ lemon

3 Tbsp Natural yoghurt

1 Tbsp Olive oil

METHOD

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade. To make the falafel put all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz for 5 minutes until combined. Use your hands to shape into balls and bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden. If you don’t have an oven you can pan fry in a little oil, turning regularly until golden.
  2. To make the tzatziki grate the cucumber into a sieve over a bowl. Sprinkle the salt over the cucumber and leave to one side to drain, the salt helps to draw some of the liquid out of the cucumber.
  3. Meanwhile place the rinsed quinoa and cold water in a pan and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. As a general rule for 1 measure of quinoa you need 2 measures of water. Once the quinoa is cooked remove from the heat and use a fork to fluff it up.
  4. To finish the tzatziki use the back of the spoon to help push out some more of the  liquid. Place the cucumber in a bowl and mix in all the other ingredients. Ideally leave in the fridge for a few hours or overnight for the flavours to combine.
  5. To dress the quinoa whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and some seasoning. Stir through the cooked quinoa and then mix in the tomatoes and cucumber. 
  6. Serve the quinoa topped with some falafel and a drizzle of tzatziki.  Perfect to take for packed lunch.

 

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