These quinoa bowls are a healthy, gluten-free, vegetarian dinner with homemade falafel, homemade hummus AND homemade tzatziki!
Look at me being all un-lazy for a change - homemade falafel! Homemade hummus! And, I was a little bored while the falafel were baking (I know, not sure what's wrong with me) so I even made homemade tzatziki! I mean, they each only take a few minutes to make... but still. Proud of myself. And I'm also proud of these homemade falafel quinoa bowls!
If you're a regular reader you may have noticed my love for dinner bowls by now. Somehow, serving things up in a bowl makes them taste even more delicious - and these quinoa bowls are no exception.
Falafel and hummus
Why is falafel so often served with hummus? About 90% of the ingredients are exactly the same - it's so weird to have chickpeas served alongside more chickpeas. But however odd it may seem, they're a great combination. Falafel can be a little dry on their own (which is why falafel curry works so well!), so pairing them with something tasty like hummus or tzatziki is a great way to freshen things up a bit. A spoonful or two of quinoa and a good handful of salad are enough to turn a few little balls of falafel into a satisfying full meal.
I've made homemade falafel a few times now, but I think this has to be my favourite version yet! If you're in a rush, my quick falafel are still a great option (though to be honest, if you're in that much of a rush I'm not sure exactly why you'd be making falafel from scratch in the first place...?), but if you've got a bit of time to spare, these oven-baked falafel are pretty awesome.
Of course, if you're less excited than I am by all the homemade stuff, you could use shop-bought hummus or tzatziki, or pre-made falafel, or both! These quinoa bowls really don't need to be a faff if you don't want them to. If it was any day other than today, when I seem to have found a strange burst of energy from somewhere, I'd be doing the same.
Is this how people who jog feel all the time?!
Homemade falafel quinoa bowls
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For the homemade falafel:
- 400 g tin chickpeas, thoroughly drained (240g, or ~ 1 ¼ cups, when drained)
- 1 medium onion or ½ larger onion, peeled
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- Small bunch fresh herbs - I used mint and coriander (cilantro)
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- Black pepper
- Spray oil
For the homemade hummus:
- 400 g tin chickpeas, drained (240g, or ~ 1 ¼ cups, when drained)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1 ½ tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Black pepper
- 75 ml water (~ ⅓ cup)
For the homemade tzatziki:
- 2 inch chunk of cucumber
- Small bunch fresh mint
- Black pepper
- 2 tablespoon Greek yogurt
To assemble the quinoa bowls:
- 120 g uncooked quinoa (~ ¼ cup)
- 3 large handfuls salad leaves
- 9 cherry tomatoes, halved
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F). Lightly grease a baking tray, and set aside.
- To make the falafel, you need to make sure the chickpeas are very dry. Drain them thoroughly, tip onto a plate, and pat them dry with kitchen paper.
- Add the chickpeas to a food processor, along with the remaining falafel ingredients (except for the oil). Blitz well until no lumps remain. The mixture should be fairly dry and thick.
- With clean hands, shape the falafel mixture into small balls - I managed to get around 12 balls from the mixture. Place them onto the greased baking tray, and spray them lightly with oil.
- Bake the falafel for around 1 hour, or until firm and golden brown.
- While the falafel are baking, prepare the hummus. Add the drained chickpeas to the food processor (I didn't bother washing mine first), along with the garlic. Blitz well. Add the tahini, lemon juice, plenty of seasoning, and about half of the water, and blitz again until the mixture is fairly smooth. Add more water if necessary, and blitz again. Repeat until the hummus reaches your desired consistency.
- To make the homemade tzatziki, add the chunk of cucumber to a mini food processor, as well as the fresh mint and plenty of salt and pepper. Blitz for just a few seconds, until no large lumps remain. Add the Greek yogurt, and blitz again briefly to combine.
- Boil the quinoa in plenty of water, until it is tender and the spiral-shaped germ has detached. Drain, and set aside.
- When the homemade falafel have finished baking, assemble the quinoa bowls. Put a good handful of salad leaves in the bottom of 3 bowls, and top with the cooked quinoa, falafel, cherry tomatoes, and a dollop of hummus and tzatziki. Scatter with more fresh herbs if desired.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.