Fuelled for Work: Sweet Potato Falafels

This post kicks off a series called Fuelled for Work. Every few weeks we will share a post with recipes and ideas for workplace meals that keep your brain fired up, your stomach satiated and your tastebuds stimulated.

The humble sandwich seems to have gone out of fashion. What ever happened to deli ham slapped between mayonnaise-lacquered white sandwich bread? It seems that wraps and salads have since usurped this paperbag staple that was once the norm in the lunch room.

In accordance with the changing times, here is a nutritious, affordable lunch that is quick to prepare at the start of the week and easy to transport to work. These falafels are ever simple to make in a blender or food processor. Roast the sweet potato in advance before whizzing with chickpeas and spices, scoop into balls and bake until golden.

Sweet Potato Falafels

2 medium sweet potatoes
½ cup oats
1 can chick peas/white beans
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
2 small cloves of garlic, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
2 big handfuls of fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper
½ cup sesame seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 425F and place a roasting dish in the oven while pre-heating.

2. Dice the sweet potatoes and toss into hot roasting dish with a splash of olive oil. Roast until just tender – 20 to 30 minutes depending on size. Turn the oven off until needed to bake falafels (or bake something else in it in the meantime).

3. In a food processor, whizz the oats until they become a flour. Add the chickpeas (or white beans) and whizz until well mashed, scraping down the sides. Add the garlic, coriander, fresh cilantro, lemon juice and finally the sweet potato. Season well, and pulse until well combined – there will be some chunks remaining. Alternatively, place all ingredients in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher until well blended. Leave in the fridge to firm up for an hour. When you take it out, your mix should be quite sticky. Add some more ground oats if mix seems too wet to handle.

4. Reheat oven to 400F. Using a couple of soup spoons (or an icecream scoop), scoop out balls of falafel and press each one gently in sesame seeds. Place on a tray lined with parchment paper and bake for around 15 minutes, until the seeds are golden brown. Serve on a spinach salad or wrapped in a pita, drizzled with tzatziki.

Christina is a member of the Salopek & Associates team and while she’s passionate about HR, she’s also an advocate for healthful eating and its positive effect on productivity. This has spurred her series of Fuelled for Work as she strives to enable all workers to eat well and maintain a healthy worklife balance. You can find more of her recipes and photos on her food and photography blog, De La Casa.

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