Yessiree Bob, another H&M.

I love my husband’s meatloaf but since I no longer eat meat one of my missions in life is to create that perfect loaf to take its place. It doesn’t have to have that meatloaf taste, it just has to replace that comfort you feel when you eat food like that.

I’ve never attempted making anything falafel-ish before and after experiencing  falafel chips while on vacation (yes, I had some of that processed stuff), my mind went right to the idea of making a loaf.

After the first round of chips (there were a few that week), I immediately googled falafel loaf recipes to see what would appear. Not surprisingly, there are many variations. I chose a recipe based on ingredients I had on hand and because it required baking not frying.

After cooking 30 minutes longer than required and tasting somewhat like a warm spicy hummus, I thought that this loaf was okay but could be better (the vegan husband loved it, by the by).  But, I felt as though I had to redeem myself.  So, a few days later made it again. And it turned out…. the same…

So, what were my mistakes?

Round 1… I thought perhaps it had a little to do with the baking powder with a use by date of July, 2011.  And, to quicken the process, I threw all the ingredients into the Vitamix, set it all the way up and watched as everything pulverized into a paste-like glob.

Ugh, could those missteps have been the reason this loaf did not look like that mouth-watering, fluffy picture I saw on-line, in a taste of beirut? (you can check out the recipe on this link as well)

On to round 2… With a brand new container of baking powder, quick fingers on the Vitamix and following the recipe to the tee (except, as in round one, I used egg replacer and added a diced jalapeño pepper), I couldn’t wait for this version to complete cooking.  My first clue that it wouldn’t turn out quite right was the extra cooking time it required.
Arrgh….it tasted and looked exactly the same as the first loaf.

So what happened?

Are you thinking what I thought?  Yeah, that photo on the blog has to be a fake, right?!
Was it the egg replacer? Would it have turned out the same as the Lebanese version if I had used real eggs? Could very well be as using egg replacer usually results in a more dense food.

Well, maybe the third time will be the charm; but for now, I have to move on. Creating this dish has inspired me to attempt dishes from around the world.  Stay tuned for more information on that.

UPDATE:  the recipe was taken off taste of beirut… but I found it on another site!

Here it is:

2 cans of cooked chickpea, rinsed and drained (or 16 oz dry, pre-soaked and cooked the following day)
1 bunch of cilantro, leaves chopped
1 bunch of Italian parsley, chopped
1 Large white onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, mashed with a dash of salt till pasty
1-2 jalapeño peppers, chopped (optional)
3 Large eggs (I used egg replacer)
1/4 cup olive oil (I do not use oil)
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 1/2  teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt

Put the chickpeas into the bowl of a food processor with the eggs, baking powder, chopped onions, salt, spices, and process till mixture starts to become a paste.

  1. Add the cilantro, garlic, hot peppers, and olive oil and process till mixture is smooth like a hummus and all the ingredients are well combined.
  2. Pour into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. Bake in a 375F oven for 1h 10min. Let cool before slicing (otherwise it might fall apart!). Serve at room temperature with tarator sauce.

Tarator Sauce

1/4 cup of  tahini
juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp to 1/4 cup of water
dash of salt

Pour the lemon juice into a small bowl containing tahini while stirring constantly. The sauce will start to curdle.
Slowly add enough water to smooth out the sauce and get a nice loose consistency.
Salt to taste.

What changes will I make the next time around?  Perhaps adding fava beans, another leavening agent and definitely ramping up the spices. Have you ever made falafel dishes before?  Share your recipe or story…