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Falafel with Lemon-Tahini Sauce

Active Time: 45 minutes • Total Time: 45 minutes plus chilling • Serves: 4

Lemon-Tahini Sauce
2 small lemons
3/4 cup Greek nonfat plain yogurt
1/2 cup well-stirred tahini (ground sesame seeds)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

4 medium garlic cloves
1 small lemon
2 cans (16 ounces each) reduced sodium garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained
1 small onion (about 4 ounces), coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons Schnucks all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2-1/2 cups Schnucks vegetable oil, divided

1. Prepare Lemon-Tahini Sauce: From lemons, squeeze 3 tablespoons juice into medium bowl. With whisk, stir in remaining sauce ingredients until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes about 1-1/4 cups.

2. Prepare Falafel: In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse garlic until finely chopped. Squeeze juice from lemon into food processor bowl with garlic. Add garbanzo beans and pulse until beans are coarsely chopped. Add onion, cilantro, parsley, flour, coriander, cumin, baking powder, salt and black pepper and process just until mixture is well combined and sticks together, occasionally scraping side of bowl with rubber spatula. Transfer to medium bowl; cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to overnight. Makes about 3 cups.

3. Lightly coat rimmed baking pan with some oil. Drop bean mixture by about 1/4 cupfuls into pan, then shape into 2- to 2-1/2-inch disks. Place disks back into pan; freeze 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 250°F. Place rimmed baking pan in oven while oven preheats. In 3-1/2- to 4-quart saucepan, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes or until deep-fat thermometer reaches 370°F. Adjust heat as needed to maintain oil temperature.

5. With slotted spoon, carefully lower 4 falafel disks into hot oil. Keep remaining falafel in freezer until ready to cook. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until falafel turn dark brown. With slotted spoon, transfer falafel to paper towel-lined plate to drain, then transfer to baking pan in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining falafel disks, reheating oil to 370°F between batches. Serve falafel hot with Lemon-Tahini Sauce.

Each serving: about 580 calories, 34 g total fat (4 g saturated),1 mg cholesterol, 1243 mg sodium, 55 g carbohydrate, 13 g fiber, 20 g protein

Cook’s Wisdom

Serve falafel and sauce in toasted pita with sliced tomatoes, lettuce and chopped onions, or over prepared basmati rice or couscous.