Widely considered one of the crown jewels of nutrition, broccoli is packed with the good stuff. It benefits digestion, the cardiovascular and immune systems, and has anti-inflammatory and cancer preventing properties. The research being done through Johns Hopkins University on the antioxidants and phytochemicals in broccoli as natural disease deterrents is incredible, and should convince anyone on the fence to include this nutritional heavy hitter in their diets.
All of which is awesome, but let’s face it- for all the health benefits a food may contain, unless people enjoy eating it, it’s powerless. Lucky us: broccoli is also tasty and can be far more than an obligatory steamed green side...
...Not that I have anything against fresh, crisply steamed broccoli- sometimes simple really is the best- it’s just that there are so many creative ways to incorporate those green florets in tantalizing dishes.
I invariably have a pot with some sort of beans ready to be added to our meals. Today there are chickpeas, for grain bowls, hummus, salads- and falafel. Yep, mix roasted broccoli with chickpeas and a few spices, roll them into balls or patties to bake, and you have spin-off roasted broccoli falafel. Top with lemony tahini sauce and bed them down on fresh greens and whatever carrot/radish/avocado/et cetera you have, all piled in a bowl or wrap for a perfect spring spread.
1 large head of Broccoli
2 teaspoon Olive Oil
2 cup drained Chickpeas
1 cup chopped Spinach
1 egg or flax egg
1 small Red Onion
1 clove Garlic
3 teaspoon Cumin Powder
1 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 teaspoon Salt
Zest of 1 Lemon
The How To:
Chop broccoli into florets, toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt on a baking tray. Roast in a 200• oven until broccoli is browned and tender, about 15 minutes.
In the bowl of a food processor place red onion and garlic; process first, then add broccoli, chickpeas, spinach, egg, remaining olive oil and spices. Pulse until the pieces are broken down but stop before you make broccoli hummus; you want to be able to form cohesive patties with your mixture. (You can do this by hand! Chop everything into fine pieces, mash it all together with your hands- no extra machinery needed.)
Roll them up and place back on a lined or oiled baking sheet; I made plum sized and shaped falafels, but you could press into patties if preferred. Bake at 200• for around 20 minutes, until lightly browned.
While the broccoli falafel is baking, whip up your lemon tahini sauce and assemble your salad veg.
Pile high in a bowl, stuff in pita bread, or roll in a wrap- and then dive in!
-Lemony Tahini Sauce is pretty much great on anything, and is really forgiving. Around about 1/2 cup tahini + juice of 1 lemon + 1 teaspoon ACV + 1 teaspoon miso + 2 cloves garlic + 3-6 tablespoons of water to thin + salt to taste.
-Yes, you can use tinned chickpeas, but if you have any desire to learn how to soak, cook and use amazing and affordable dry beans ask me! Really. I teach this stuff.
-These aren’t your normal falafels using uncooked chickpea, nor are they fried as they usually are, but these are tummy friendly and healthy flavoursome.
Created by Elena Keir of Naked Cakes & Wholefoods