Here is a healthy lunch-box idea with a difference – “Baked Falafel Wraps”. Never had falafel before? Well you are in for a treat with this week’s recipe!

Serves: 4


Falafel (makes 8)
• 2 cups parsley, roughly chopped
• 1 tin (400g) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
• Juice and rind of 1 lemon
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• ¼ cup wholemeal flour
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 2 tbsp tahini
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• Cracked black pepper, to taste

Serve with your choice of

• Breads eg wholemeal pita bread, Lebanese bread or wraps
• Spreads eg hummus, raita (natural yogurt and grated cucumber), avocado, reduced fat ricotta
• Veggies eg baby spinach, chopped cucumber and sliced tomato; grilled eggplant and zucchini; or tabbouli salad with finely chopped parsley, red onion and diced tomato.


• Preheat oven to 2200C (2000C fan-forced).
• Put all the falafel ingredients into a food processor and process until just combined.
• Take a heaped tablespoon of the mixture, roll into a ball with your hands and flatten slightly to form a patty. Place on a lined or greased oven tray. Continue until you have finished the mixture (you should be able to form about 8 patties).
• Pop into the oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes, turning them over halfway to ensure they brown evenly.
• To serve, serve with a salad of your choice or add to a wrap along with some vegetables and your spread of choice (suggestions above).

Did you know?

Falafels are traditionally deep-fried, so baking them is a healthier and low-fat way of cooking that still produces a lovely golden crust. You can usually use baking as an alternative to deep-frying (eg try making oven-baked chips by slicing your potatoes into wedges, lightly drizzling with olive oil and generously sprinkling with herbs and pepper).

These falafels are a great way of combining two nutrient-rich foods: chickpeas and parsley. Both are excellent plant sources of minerals such as iron and calcium which are sometimes hard to incorporate into a vegetarian diet. Parsley is also rich in vitamin C and combined with the lemon juice, enhances the absorption of iron from both the parsley and chickpeas.

Melanie McGrice in the kitchen

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