Upgrade Your Falafel with Vegetarian Main Dish

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chickpea-fritters croppedOne of our latest recipes, Chickpea and Butternut Squash Fritters, is a  restaurant-quality vegetarian dish that uses a unique combination of healthy cancer-preventive ingredients.

A lot of people are familiar with chickpeas in the deep-fried chickpea balls called falafels. But they are usually high in fat and calories. Chickpeas themselves are naturally low in fat; nutty and buttery-tasting. Like all legumes, they provide protein, vitamins, fiber and minerals that make them a staple in dishes ranging from Indian channa masala to Middle Eastern hummus.

Butternut squash is also rich in fiber as well as the antioxidant phytochemical beta-carotene, another cancer-preventive compound. The other ingredients – green onions, garlic, sage, cumin and red pepper flakes – taste great with the nutty chickpeas and subtly sweet squash and offer their own phytochemicals. Add the egg and whole-wheat flour and you get perfect fritters.

Contrast the taste of these lightly sautéed and crunchy fritters with mixed greens, toasted hazelnuts and a lemon juice flavored yogurt dressing drizzled on top, all part of this Health-e-Recipe.

Note that some hazelnuts come with their skins still on. You should remove the skins prior to eating because they taste bitter. To remove the hazelnut skins easily, in a saucepan bring four cups of water to a boil. Add a quarter cup of baking soda and hazelnuts while the water is bubbling and fizzing. Cook the hazelnuts for about four minutes. Then drain them in a colander over the sink. Run cold water over the hazelnuts and rub them with your fingers. The skins will easily come off. Give the hazelnuts a final rinse before toasting.

Here’s the recipe.

You can find more delicious AICR Healthy Recipes to reduce cancer risk and subscribe to our weekly recipe on our main recipe page.


Author: Cathy Wolz

Catherine Wolz is a writer, editor, and publications consultant for AICR.

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