Meatless Monday – Open Faced Falafel Burger

Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of preventable chronic diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer due to reducing your intake of total fat and increasing intake of healthy alternatives. Just going meatless is not enough to reduce your risk, but it is a great step in the right direction. Preventing chronic diseases is nutrition as well as lifestyle related. (www.meatlessmonday.com)

falafel-ck-1215899-l
Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup tahini
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced

Patty Ingredients:
1 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs, divided
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided

Remaining ingredients:
6 mini pitas (about 5 inches wide)
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 cups chopped tomato
2 cups sliced peeled cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

Directions:
1. To prepare sauce, combine the first 5 ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth.
2. To prepare patties, combine 1 cup onion and next 7 ingredients (through 4 garlic cloves) in a food processor, and process until smooth, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Place bean mixture in a large bowl; stir in 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. Divide bean mixture into 6 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Place remaining 1/4 cup breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Dredge patties in breadcrumbs.
3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 patties to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 teaspoons oil and patties.
4. Warm mini pitas according to package directions. Place 1 pita on each of 6 plates. Top each serving with 1/2 cup lettuce, 1/3 cup tomato, 1/3 cup cucumber, and 4 teaspoons onion. Drizzle each serving with about 3 tablespoons sauce; top each serving with 1 patty.

Yield: 6 servings (437 calories, 11.6 g total fat, 1.7 g saturated fat, 14.8 g protein, 70.8 g carbohydrate, 9.1 g fiber, 0 mg cholesterol)

Cooking Light, August 2006

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