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Falafel Pita Pockets


It’s been several weeks since we had this meal but I swear, when I close my eyes, I can still smell and taste it.  I love it when I find a vegetarian recipe that doesn’t rely on gobs of cheese to taste wonderful and this one really delivers in the flavor department without being high in fat.  My mouth was watering while the falafel balls baked up and the smell of cumin laced with garlic and onion filled the air.  I could scarcely wait to pop them in the pockets, douse them with the dill dressing and gobble them up.  They are seriously delicious and the recipe is now saved in my permanent “Favorite Recipes” binder.  I only put the recipes I know I’ll use again in it.  Do you have one of those?

Falafel Pita Pockets with Dill-icious Yogurt Dip
recipe from Hungry Girl
Ingredients:

For Falafel Pockets
2 1/2 whole-wheat or high-fiber pitas
One 15-oz. can chickpeas, well-drained
1 onion, very finely chopped
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tbsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. paprika, or more to taste
black pepper, to taste
Two 2-second sprays olive oil nonstick spray

For Dip
6 oz. plain fat-free yogurt
1 Persian cucumber, peeled and chopped (or another small cucumber, peeled, deseeded, and chopped)
1 tsp. dried dill
3/4 tsp. crushed garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place all ingredients for falafel (except for the pitas and nonstick spray) in a large bowl, and give them a good stir. Using a potato masher, mash well. Mixture should remain slightly chunky, not smooth.

Spray a baking sheet thoroughly with a 2-second spray of olive oil nonstick spray.

One at a time, take spoonfuls of mixture in your hands and form 15 balls, each about the size of a ping-pong ball, and gently place them on the baking sheet. Spray the top of each ball with olive oil nonstick spray, for a total of about a 2-second spray.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for dip in a blender or food processor, and pulse until just blended. Season to taste with black pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Remove baking sheet from the oven, and carefully turn each ball over, gently reshaping if the bottoms have flattened. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes, until golden brown and slightly crispy. Allow to cool and set for at least 5 minutes.

Cut the whole pitas into halves, toast or warm all pita halves slightly, and then fill each with three falafel balls and 3 tbsp. dip. Enjoy!

MAKES 5 SERVINGS
PER SERVING (1 pita pocket with 3 falafel balls and 3 tbsp. dip): 198 calories, 2.25g fat, 863mg sodium, 37g carbs, 8.5g fiber, 5g sugars, 10g protein — POINTS® value 3*

HG Alternative! Enjoy your falafel ‘n dip pita-free (wrapped in lettuce, over a salad, or straight from a plate!). A pita-less serving has 139 calories, 2g fat, 718mg sodium, 24g carbs, 6g fiber, 5g sugars, and 7.5g protein (POINTS® value 2*). Woohoo!

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