March is National Nutrition Month. This year’s theme is Celebrating Global Flavors. Our week two recipe is Za’atar Falafel, from Island Health Registered Dietitian Amber Phillips.

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern herb and spice blend usually containing a mix of oregano, thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds. A versatile seasoning, za’atar is often paired with chicken, fresh tomato salads, or baked onto flatbreads. The flavor is herbal, citrusy, and nutty. For this recipe, za’atar is added to another Middle East specialty, falafel.

Falafel is the quintessential portable plant-based meal traditionally ground chickpeas deep fried as balls or patties and served with a yogurt sauce in soft pita bread. Wanting to maximize flavor and phytochemical content, this recipe includes plenty of fresh cilantro, parsley, garlic, and onion in addition to the za’atar. The trick for a perfect falafel texture is to soak dry chickpeas overnight before blending in the food processor. Canned or pre-cooked chickpeas would turn into mush and not hold shape while cooking. These za’atar falafels are an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, folate, and iron. Try them in a pita wrap or part of a mezze- an appetizer spread paired with hummus, olives, salad, and kebabs. Enjoy!

To view the whole recipe, click the link below:

Za’atar Falafel


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Published on March 2, 2022