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Mediterranean falafel on a bed of greens (recipe)

By The Health News Team | August 8, 2023
Salad with hummus and falafel

Photo courtesy of Jim Sullivan

There’s a reason why the Mediterranean diet is highly recommended by health experts — it’s been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease, dementia, cancers and other chronic conditions.

This recipe reaps all the benefits of Mediterranean eating, focusing on leafy greens and protein-packed chickpeas. James Sullivan, an outpatient pharmacist with the Sharp Resources Network, is a classically trained chef and professional food photographer, and loves how this recipe is both healthy and flavorful.

“It can be difficult to find high-protein meals for those focused on a more plant-based diet,” says Sullivan. “Falafel is so flavorful, and since it’s made from chickpeas, you can make it straight out of your pantry. Serve over your favorite greens and include other veggies you like, such as tomatoes, cucumbers and red onions. And to make it truly Mediterranean, serve it with a side of hummus.”

Mediterranean Falafel on a Bed of Greens

Prep time:
15 minutes
Total time:
30 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups canned chickpeas, drained

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, plus 1/2 teaspoon for dressing

  • 1/2 onion, minced

  • 1 teaspoon coriander

  • 1 tablespoon cumin

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley

  • 1/2 cup cilantro

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch for the dressing

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus a pinch for the dressing

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes (or more to taste)

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or more to taste)

  • Grapeseed oil for frying

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced dill

  • 2 teaspoons plain Greek yogurt

  • 5 cups of spinach, kale or other salad greens, plus other vegetables of choice



Step 1: Form and Cook the Falafel

Pulse the chickpeas, 2 minced garlic gloves, onion, coriander, cumin, parsley, cilantro, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, pepper flakes and lemon juice in a food processor on high until all ingredients are mixed yet chunky. Place in the refrigerator for an hour to chill. Using a large spoon, scoop the falafel mixture and form into balls. In a large saucepan on medium high, heat grapeseed oil until the temperature reaches 350º F. Place falafel balls in the hot oil until crispy brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oil and cool on a rack.


Step 2: Make the Salad Dressing

In a medium bowl, add Greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic, lemon juice, dill, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk until combined.


Step 3: Prep the Greens and Serve

Divide the salad greens into bowls, and top each with the falafel. Drizzle the salad dressing and serve immediately.

Nutrition facts per serving: Calories = 563; Fat = 35 grams; Protein = 16 grams

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