MealsOctober-November 2013

Falafel Burgers with Tzatziki


Traditional falafels are undeniably tasty but the authentic deep-fried versions are not exactly nutritional bell-ringers. This lively option contains all the cherished falafel flavors but cuts the fat. Yogurt-based tzatziki is a refreshing mate to these burgers but you can also top them with sunflower pesto, gremolata, tomato-garlic jam or guacamole.

Photo by Matthew Kadey

3 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 small yellow onion, chopped
cup flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
3 garlic cloves, minced, divided
-Juice of lemon
teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground coriander
teaspoon salt
teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
-Oil, for pan
4 gluten-free buns, optional Tzatziki
-Salt, to sprinkle on cucumbers
English cucumber, peeled
cup plain Greek yogurt or dairy- free alternative
1 tablespoon chopped mint or dill
2 teaspoons olive oil



1 avocado
1 garlic clove, minced
-Juice of lime
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
1 plum (Roma) tomato, seeded and chopped

1. Place chickpeas, onion, parsley, tahini, flaxseed, 2 garlic cloves, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, salt and cayenne in a food processor bowl and blend until slightly grainy. Do not over-blend. (Mixture should not be a smooth paste.) Form into 4 equal-size patties.

2. Lightly coat a skillet with oil and warm over medium heat. Place patties in the pan. Cover and cook 4 minutes per side or until patties are golden brown on top and heated through.

3. Meanwhile, grate the cucumber into a colander. Sprinkle with salt and let stand 5 minutes. Squeeze out excess liquid from cucumber. Combine with yogurt, mint, olive oil, remaining garlic and a couple pinches of salt in a small bowl.

4. Serve burgers on buns (if using), topped with tzatziki.

Each burger contains 387 calories, 12g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 1mg cholesterol, 867mg sodium, 56g carbohydrate, 12g fiber, 6g sugars, 18g protein, 23 Est GL.

Burger TIP Chilling uncooked meat-free patties for about an hour before cooking can help them keep their form.