A few days ago I posted a photo of my Raw Falafel Wraps with Apricot Tahini Sauce on my Instagram and you guys kind of went crazy for them. So I made them again and had raw falafel two days in a row. I’m usually not that kind of a person. I don’t like to eat the same thing twice in a week, let alone two days running. But the truth is, I didn’t even mind. Because raw falafel are something amazing. I’ve had them on my idea list for recipes for a few months now. So why make them now?
I’m doing a 5-days raw food challenge. I’m on day 4 now. I had a few ups and downs. No cravings but one major and some minor recipe fails. Raw food isn’t as easy and straight-forward as it sounds, especially not when you don’t want to eat salad and smoothies all the time. I’ve created some very delicious things but resources and ingredients are limited in my household and Turkey, so in the end I had too much soaked buckwheat creations and cauliflower rice. I think if I would have had Whole Foods around the corner or a dehydrator in my kitchen, things maybe, but only maybe, would have been slightly easier. And here is another truth (this post has a lot of honesty in it) I’m happy the raw food challenge comes to an end tomorrow. I like raw food, I even love it sometimes and I usually have a raw smoothie bowl every morning. I also didn’t have any severe cravings because if there are cashew nuts and dried figs around that’s all I’ll ever need.
But something was missing. It took me a few days but when I walked the streets of my neighborhoods in Istanbul this evening it dawned on me. The smell of freshly baked bread. The comfort of holding a warm cup of Matcha Latte. The joy of stirring a thick pea soup. The freedom to choose every dish on the menu. The sizzle of oven-roasted vegetables. I certainly had some emotional moments with raw food, too. Like when the smell of fresh parsley filled my kitchen or when I poured a creamy smoothie into my breakfast bowl. But these raw food moments just couldn’t keep up. For me, preparing and eating food is about variety. Take that cauliflower for example. You can roast it, steam it, eat it raw, mash it and every single time it tastes totally different. That’s the beauty of food and that is why I will continue to eat most of my veggies and fruits raw but I’ll also have them any other way I want.
But lets get back to the Raw Falafel Wraps With Apricot Tahini Sauce. This is a recipe I will do again and again. Falafel is the kind of food I love to eat a lot. Not two-days-in-a-row a lot but once a week would be fine. At least this is what I did when we were still living in Egypt. Istanbul however is not too much into falafels so since moving here 3 months ago (wow, it feels like 3 days ago, maybe 3 weeks but never ever 3 months) I didn’t have any falafel. Now you might think that raw falafel is not the same as baked falafel. Sure, it’s different but it’s equally tasty. The carrots along with the sesame seeds add a subtle flavour to the falafel, that when mixed with the cumin and Za’atar brings out a warming Middle Eastern taste. The kale and cauliflower rice add some crunch, the avocado extra creaminess. I topped everything with an apricot tahini dressing to give the wraps some nutty sweetness.
Wishing you all a wonderful “almost” weekend with lots of raw food
- Raw Falafel
- 1 1/2 cups carrot pulp (or grated carrots)
- 1/2 cup ground sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp zaatar (or any other North African/Middle Eastern spice mix)
- 1/2 cup parsley leafes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 4 big kale leaves
- 1/2 avocado
- 2 cups chopped cauliflower
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 2-3 dried apricot
- Add parsley, carrot pulp, lemon juice, spices, ground sesame and flaxseeds as well as olive oil to a blender or food processor and blend until well combined
- Remove falafel mixture from food processor and form 6-8 falafel balls using your hands
- Transfer the chopped cauliflower to a blender or food processor and pulse the cauliflower until completely broken down into rice-sized granules
- Slice the avocado and wash the kale leaves
- For the dressing, add tahini, dried apricots and salt to a blender and blend until smooth
- To prepare wraps, put a kale leaf in a large serving bowl
- Spoon a generous portion of cauliflower rice into the wrap. Add 2 raw falafel, 2 slices of avocado and drizzle apricot tahini dressing over the wrap
- Repeat this step for the other wraps