AICR is proud to partner with Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) for our Healthy Recipe Contest that asks high school seniors across the country bring AICR’s Recommendations to life. The three winning recipes each year receive scholarships totaling $10,000 from AICR.
These winning small plates offer delicious, healthy and nutrient-rich dishes perfect for appetizers, parties, or a small meal. This year’s first place recipe was a lighter, more creative version of traditional Middle Eastern falafels with a delicious Mediterranean twist.
Faux-Lafel with Cucumber Dill Sauce
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
2 mini cucumbers, small diced
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill, few fronds for garnish
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped, whole leaves for garnish
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. chopped red bell pepper, small diced, divided
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 small yellow onion, small dice
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs
coconut or canola oil spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
In medium mixing bowl, combine yogurt, cucumbers, dill, lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator.
In large mixing bowl, combine quinoa, spinach, feta, 1/2 cup red pepper, parsley, onion, lemon juice and zest and panko breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Make a small well in middle of mixture and crack one egg. Wet you hand and mix first egg into quinoa mixture. Repeat with second egg. The mixture should be slightly tacky and able to be formed into a ball. Take a scant 2 tablespoons (~1-ounce scoop) of mixture and with your hands shape into a ball. (Note: Do not roll like meatballs – gently pack using your palm as a “cup”). Place on oiled sheet pan. When all balls have been formed spray the tops with oil – coconut or canola.
Bake for 18-20 minutes. Outside should be crispy with a little give when you touch it. Remove from oven and let stand for 2-3 minutes before serving.
Remove sauce from refrigerator and mix with a spoon.
Place 3 faux-lafel on one serving plate and top with small dollop of sauce. In between each faux-lafel place a spinach leaf and finish with a few small fronds of dill and a few pieces of red pepper for garnish.
Makes 8 servings. Yields 24 Faux-Lafel balls.
Per serving: 169 calories, 4 g total fat, (2 g saturated fat), 23 g carbohydrate, 10 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 165 mg sodium.