Stephanie Gerson / Daily Nexus

After nearly 13 months at home, I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I’m itching for a vacation. The other day, I was looking through old pictures from my trip to Israel in 2018, reminiscing about the amazing falafel I ate there. This inspired me to make a falafel platter on my own that is still healthy and budget-friendly! This recipe uses ingredients from Trader Joe’s and can make up to four servings!

Stephanie Gerson / Daily Nexus

Ingredients:

  • Trader Joe’s Falafel Mix 
  • 1 large cucumber 
  • 4 Roma tomatoes 
  • ½ of a red onion 
  • Trader Joe’s Mini Pita Pockets
  • 1 container of hummus
  • 1 vegetable of your choice (I chose corn)
  • Cooking spray (coconut oil or olive oil work best)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Trader Joe’s Za’atar Seasoning Blend 
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Stephanie Gerson / Daily Nexus

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Prepare 1 cup of the falafel mix according to the package instructions, and let the batter sit for 30 minutes to thicken.
  3. Once the batter has thickened, form the mixture into 12-15 small balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Do not flatten the balls, as they will lose their round shape.
  4. Since I wanted corn on my platter, I sprayed two corn cobs with coconut oil spray before wrapping them in aluminum foil and placing them straight onto the oven rack. Bake for 25-30 minutes. 
  5. While the falafel and corn are baking, cut up the cucumber, tomatoes and red onion into two-inch pieces and place them into a large bowl.
  6. In the same bowl, mix in the lemon juice, olive oil, Za’atar, salt, pepper and paprika. Adding in Za’atar, a traditional Middle Eastern spice, really elevates the salad.
  7. Place all of your ingredients on a long platter and enjoy!

 

This recipe idea is the perfect way to change up your usual dinner menu. These falafels may not compare to the one I had in Israel, but they come pretty close! With summer approaching, whip up a falafel platter this weekend and enjoy dinner outside with your quarantine bubble! 

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Stephanie Gerson
Stephanie Gerson is a first-year student studying Art History at UCSB. She is from Palo Alto, California and she is passionate about sustainability, fashion, photography and vegan cooking. In her spare time, Stephanie loves going on bike rides on campus, catching up with friends, or spending hours on her latest embroidery piece!