I remember, when I was a kid, my Mom letting me and my brother do our own grocery shopping for a week. This probably only happened a few times, and I’m guessing it was during the summer when we weren’t going to school for lunch. She’d set the budget, take us to the grocery store, and let us buy whatever we wanted. This was a HUGE DEAL for me! We didn’t usually/ever have “junk” food in the house, there was never sugary cereal, chips, etc. So while it was tempting to go crazy on circus animals and pringles (which I most certainly did), we also knew: we had to feed ourselves for the entire week.
I don’t know how that exercise actually turned out — my memory ends right about the time pringle ducklips started happening — but I do know that my brother was much better at it than I. I mean, he has five years on me, so that makes sense… but I’m guessing his rations lasted him much longer, and were way more fulfilling than mine. I probably had to get bailed out before the end of the week! The only thing I specifically remember about him, and cooking/eating, is falafel! He’d get the mix from the bulk bins and make falafel at home — something I still found mysterious and intriguing (and delicious, obviously). I think I had this idea that things that came from a mix couldn’t be good for you, or must be some naughty junk food, so I never actually made it myself as a kid. I wish I had! Thank goodness for moms and brothers who make it for you!
These days, I’m still all about falafel. But I’m also all about Vietnamese food. I CAN’T STOP! Nor do I want to! I was planning on making some sort of veggie banh mi, but then I saw this post and knew I needed to make falafel ASAP. Why not put them together? I’d never made falafel quite like this — it seems way more authentic than the other time I made it, and doesn’t require you to have fully cooked chickpeas. You only have to soak them for an hour or two! I will say this: I soaked them for an hour the first time I made this, and found the end product to be a bit dry. Go for at least 90 minutes or two hours!
As for the rest of this sandwich — it’s pretty straightforward: sliced veggies (I used carrot, daikon, cucumber, and jalapeños), sriracha tahini (literally just sriracha mixed with tahini), lots o’ herbs (mint, cilantro, basil if you have it), and one delicious baguette! Super easy. IF you have time/patience, pickle your veggies first. Here’s how you do that. Get a little messy here! The more veggies you cram into that sandwich THE BETTER! (is it too soon to say “all the veg in the land” again? USE ALL THE VEG IN THE LAND!). If you have radishes on hand, stick those in! Ooh that sounds good. DO IT!
Have a wonderful wonderful week, my loves! I’m trying to combat a case of the Mondays by breaking my “no buying cheese” rule and drowning myself in coffee. HOPEFULLY IT WORKS! xoxoPrint
- 1 ½ cups dried chickpeas
- 4 cloves garlic
- ½ large or 1 small white onion
- ½ cup fresh parsley
- ½ cup fresh cilantro
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp ground coriander
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 4″ section of daikon radish
- 2 carrots
- 1 large jalapeño
- 3 Tbsp tahini
- 1-2 Tbsp sriracha
- 1 large baguette, cut into sandwich-lengths and halved lengthwise
- 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
- Soak the chickpeas in clean water for 90 minutes or 2 hours. Rinse before proceeding.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Mince the garlic in a food processor, then add the onion and pulse until it is finely chopped. Add the parsley, cilantro, cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt, pepper, olive oil, and the chickpeas. Process until smooth and doughy.
- Scoop the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and shape into flattened balls. Bake for 24 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- While the falafel is baking, prepare your other ingredients. Chop the daikon, carrots, and jalapeños, into matchsticks. Slick the cucumber thinly.
- Mix the tahini and sriracha together, using more or less sriracha depending on your spice tolerance.
- To assemble, spread a generous layer of the sriracha tahini on each side of your halved baguette, add some of each veggie, as many falafel patties as you can, and plenty of fresh mint and cilantro.