mains + sides/ recipes/ season/ summer

Lemony Summer Harvest Falafel w/ Smoky Sriracha Tahini

Lemony Summer Harvest Falafel w/ Smoky Sriracha Tahini | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

Today, I want to talk about making a difference.

As many of you know, I eat a primarily plant-based diet. To me, this is an embodiment of my values – living with the least amount of harm to others (ahimsa), with care and respect to all of God’s creation (Psalm 50:10-11), and contributing to a culture of life and compassion instead of suffering.

HOWEVER, I know that many people do not feel the same way I do. That is the nature of life – people disagree, and that is not something anyone can change. It would be foolhardy of me to attempt to convince every single person I know to become vegan, and I accept that. However, through respectful advocacy and informed discussion, I think there is a place for bringing important information to light. Information like:

1// 67% of all crops grown in the U.S. are used to feed livestock, whereas only 27% of all crops are eaten directly by humans (the remainder goes to biofuels and like uses).

2// For every 100 calories of grain fed to beef cattle, only 3 new calories are created via their meat.

3// The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations forecasts that meat consumption will grow to 455 million metric tons by 2050, especially in developing nations, creating an increasingly unsustainable demand on crops used to feed livestock + land used to house livestock.

4// In addition, 51% of all global greenhouse gas emissions are created by livestock.

5// Because of the inefficiency of growing crops to feed livestock to feed people, and because of the dire environmental impacts, the United Nations has made the following statement:

Although two-thirds of the world’s population depends on cereal or tuber-based diets, the other one-third consumes significant amounts of animal food products. The latter group places an undue demand on land, water, and other resources required for intensive food production, which makes the typical Western diet not only undesirable from the standpoint of health but also environmentally unsustainable.

However, what I think is the saddest statistic of all is that every day, 795 million in the world people go hungry. Hunger kills more people than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. Yet if all of the crops used to feed livestock were instead given directly to people, it would feel 4 BILLION PEOPLE

795 million people do not have enough food every day, yet we currently already grow enough food to feed an extra 4 billion people.

Unfortunately, all of that excess food goes to livestock.

Lemony Summer Harvest Falafel w/ Smoky Sriracha Tahini | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipeLemony Summer Harvest Falafel w/ Smoky Sriracha Tahini | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipeLemony Summer Harvest Falafel w/ Smoky Sriracha Tahini | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

But with all of that being said, I still concede that the whole world going vegan isn’t a realistic goal. However, what I do think is realistic is to encourage others to make smart decisions about their food, and to take part in movements like #MeatlessMondays or #MealForAMeal. Although vegans get a bad rap for proselytizing, I don’t see how promoting #MeatlessMondays is inherently worse than encouraging people to recycle, or to adopt a rescue animal, or to donate old clothes to the Salvation Army!!

But where I start to get discouraged is when people say they can’t make a difference. That, as one person, they will not make a lasting impact on the world, or for a cause. This upsets me because it could not be more untrue. For example, take #MeatlessMonday – this movement involves giving up meat for one day, once a week. That’s it. Just one day. But if every American did #MeatlessMonday every week, it would save 1.4 BILLION animals a year. Billion with a B. Currently, there are about 319 million people in the U.S. So this translates to every single person – just by giving up meat for one day a week – saving four animals. And if that person goes vegetarian, that translates to 28 animals a year. This isn’t even including the environmental and health impacts of eating less meat! But for me, personally, if you can even save one life, THAT is making a difference.

Lemony Summer Harvest Falafel w/ Smoky Sriracha Tahini | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipeLemony Summer Harvest Falafel w/ Smoky Sriracha Tahini | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipeLemony Summer Harvest Falafel w/ Smoky Sriracha Tahini | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

Another benefit of going meatless – it saves money. Take these falafels – they were made with a can of chickpeas that cost 89 cents at the store, and a bunch of kale that cost $2 at the Farmer’s Market (#GirlOnABudget). While a jar of tahini can go for six or seven dollars, with just a bit drizzled on veggies or falafels, I can make it last for a a few months!

But in the end, if you take anything away from this post, it’s that vegan food is not only delicious and healthy, but eating in such a way can make a tangible difference on the environment, on your health, and on animal rights. Even by going meatless just one day a week, YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

YOU are empowered to make a real change in the world!

Lemony Summer Harvest Falafel w/ Smoky Sriracha Tahini | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipeLemony Summer Harvest Falafel w/ Smoky Sriracha Tahini | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

Farmers' Market Greens + Lemon Falafel w/ Smoky Sriracha Tahini | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe
5 from 2 votes
Print

Lemony Summer Harvest Falafel w/ Smoky Sriracha Tahini

These falafel are packed with delicious end-of-summer flavors, topped with a smoky sriracha tahini that rounds out every bite.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 Falafel
Calories 366 kcal

Ingredients

Falafel

  • 1 1/2 Cups Cooked Chickpeas or 1 15oz can
  • 2 Cups Packed Summer Greens I used half kale, half collard greens
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Parsley + Cilantro together
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • Zest from same lemon
  • 1 Small Clove Garlic finely minced
  • 4 Tbs Chickpea Flour besan
  • 2 Tbs Hemp Oil or sub Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/8 Tsp Salt
  • 1/8 Tsp Smoked Paprika

Smoky Sriracha Tahini

  • 1/3 Cup Tahini
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Tbs Sriracha
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • Pinch of Salt + Pepper
  • 1/4 Tsp Smoked Paprika

Putting It All Together

  • Lacinato Kale as a wrap

Instructions

Falafel

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor, combine all falafel ingredients (chickpeas, greens, parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, chickpea flour, oil, and spices), and pulse until a textured meal is formed. Be careful of overprocessing - the mixture should still have small clumps of chickpeas in it!
  3. Using an ice cream scoop or by hand, separate falafel mixture into about 12 balls. Use palms to flatten into little disks.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and evenly space out falafel disks.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, flipping halfway.
  6. When falafel are done, they should be lightly browned on each side.

Smoky Sriracha Tahini

  1. Combine all ingredients into a high speed blender, and blend until smooth. Taste + adjust seasonings as necessary.

Putting It All Together

  1. I served my falafel in big leaves of lacinato kale, drizzled with plenty of sriracha tahini. But these would be delicious in pita or naan wraps, or just on their own!

Recipe Notes

Chickpea flour can be subbed with regular all-purpose flour in a pinch. However, the chickpea flour adds more protein!

Lemony Summer Harvest Falafel w/ Smoky Sriracha Tahini | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

Quote of the Day:

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”  – Mahatma Ghandi

Song of the Day:

Man in the Mirror – Michael Jackson

53 Comments

  • Reply
    Gin
    August 27, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    What an inspiring and thoughtful post! Really good vibes here. Also, these falafels look DELICIOUS!! And with the Sriracha tahini…get oytta town! Now I’ll be sure to restock on Sriracha next time I’m at the store!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 27, 2015 at 6:28 pm

      Thanks Gin! :D

  • Reply
    Erica
    August 27, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    I love your song of the day! I’ve been on a huge Michael Jackson kick.
    And your words are inspiring! I’m in the global health student interest group in our medical school and the words you spoke at the beginning are something we address at this annual fundraiser called the Hunger Banquet. We really do waste so much food as a nation, and that needs to change.
    These falafel sound so flavorful, and that sauce looks dreamy. Love reading your recipes!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 27, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      That’s so awesome, Erica! It’s really inspiring that health institutes are talking about global hunger in this light. Thanks for being part of the change :)

  • Reply
    Kimberly/TheLittlePlantation
    August 27, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    I think every plant-based food blog can make a difference. Even a tiny difference. So keep doing what you’re doing girl.
    As for the recipe. Looks SO good. I’ve never made my own falafels but it’s totally on my to-do list now.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 27, 2015 at 9:39 pm

      Thanks Kimberly, I really appreciate it :) But you should definitely make your own falafels, they’re so easy and delicious!! :D

  • Reply
    Hannah | The Swirling Spoon
    August 28, 2015 at 12:15 am

    Sarah, your photos are absolutely stunning!!! And I really appreciated your thoughts in this post. Sometimes choosing to do one or two small things to make a difference can be all the difference. I think it’s great that you support #meatlessmondays and other campaigns to reduce meat consumption rather than just completely not being able to see eye to eye with non-vegans. That’s compassion and understanding in a nutshell! People are all at different stages of the journey. Xx

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 28, 2015 at 8:10 am

      Thank you so much for your note Hannah. I genuinely appreciate it. As a vegan, I’m really passionate about my cause, but it’s just not reasonable for everyone else to feel the exact same way about something, you know? But that’s why it was so important for me to express that you don’t HAVE to be vegan to still make a real, tangible difference! :)

  • Reply
    Kathryn
    August 28, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Although I am nowhere near vegan (and can’t imagine ever becoming vegan), I really enjoyed + appreciated reading your perspective and I particularly love the emphasis you’ve put on the fact that we can all make a difference. I think that’s one of the great things about the #meatlessmonday movement because it really encourages you to appreciate just how big an impact swapping out one day’s worth of food can make. Plus I’m pretty sure I could eat falafel every day for the rest of my life and be happy ;)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 28, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      Haha who can be unhappy when tahini is involved? ;) But I really appreciate your comment Kathryn… being vegan is right for me, but I know that it may not be the best for everyone. But that doesn’t mean they can’t make a difference! Every single person is empowered to make a change and that’s what I was trying to get across :)

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Bakerita
    August 28, 2015 at 11:16 am

    This is a wonderful and thoughtful post – love it! And these look absolutely delicious. Definitely trying these for a Meatless Monday dinner soon!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 28, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      Thank you so much Rachel! Let me know how they turn out :D

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    August 28, 2015 at 11:19 am

    O my goodness. This recipe is beyond stunning! It is the perfect dish to celebrate the last of summer! And that smokey tahini sauce….that is what I’m about! You are such a rockstar dear!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 28, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      Aww thanks Rebecca!! :D

  • Reply
    Victoria
    August 28, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Hi Sarah! I loved this post. I’m vegan too, and I just loved reading all the facts here, reassuring myself that I’m making the right choices :) It would be awesome if everyone would know all these facts. Imagine if it would be taught in schools!! Victoria

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 28, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      I know!! How different of a world would we have if everyone knew about the state of global food / hunger? Or even if they knew that they were empowered to make a difference themselves!! But even if I can help ONE person realize that they can make a difference, then in my mind, I’ve succeeded :D

  • Reply
    Dani @ Dani California Cooks
    August 28, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    This looks amazing! Earlier this summer I posted a falafel/collard wrap combo, but I love your smoky sriracha tahini. I kind of want to put it on everything. Yum!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 28, 2015 at 9:36 pm

      The smoky sriracha tahini IS pretty addicting! ;)

  • Reply
    genevieve @ gratitude & greens
    August 28, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Yeah girl!!! What a read to start my day. It bothers me so much when people say that one meatless meal or one vegetarian/vegan can’t make a difference (ahem, my dad) because it simply isn’t true. Going plant-based is better for my wallet, health, the animals, and the planet. It’s all win-win! I was just listening to the Food52 podcast Burnt Toast, and they had Gena from Choosing Raw on their most recent episode. She talked about how even if people are “flexible vegans/vegetarians”, just a few meals each week made a huge difference., and I couldn’t agree more. Falafel is one of my favourite things to make for meat eaters, actually, because of how hearty they are. They’re so yummy when wrapped up in veggies and that smoky sriracha tahini sounds like my kinda sauce!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 28, 2015 at 9:36 pm

      YASSS to all of this!! Choosing Raw is one of my favorite blogs, can you send me a link to Gena’s podcast? I’m so thrilled that people are talking about making a difference with food!! People don’t realize how much power they have to change the world for the better! Even small changes – like #MeatlessMondays – can make a big difference. :D And falafels are really great to make for even the most diehard carnivores because they’re so filling!

  • Reply
    Amanda Paa
    August 28, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    these…. a falafel dream! gorgeous pictures and what a wholesome lunch or dinner. i really appreciated all your info on livestock, veganism, and our world. a powerful read. xo

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 28, 2015 at 9:29 pm

      Thank you so much, Amanda!! I’m a huge fan of Heartbeet Kitchen so I’m thrilled you stopped by :)

  • Reply
    Christine // my natural kitchen
    August 28, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    This is such a thoughtful post! I really appreciate your points, and while we aren’t strictly vegan in our home, it’s a conversation my husband and I have been having lately about moving more towards “mostly” plant-based. I can also never get enough falafel recipes. I think it’s one of those perfect foods – yours look delicious! xo

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 29, 2015 at 9:28 am

      Thank you so much for your note, Christine! I hoped to convey in my post that you don’t have to be 100% vegan to still make a difference :D

  • Reply
    Sophie | The Green Life
    August 29, 2015 at 12:24 am

    Great post Sarah! I eat vegan meals 90% of the time and I like to think that every single one of those meals make a small but valuable difference in the world. If everyone could only replace one of their meat-based meals by a vegetarian or vegan one, it would make such a HUGE difference for our planet! I like to believe that we’re heading towards a more thoughtful way of living and that things are slowly shifting. Let’s just keep on spreading the word. :)
    These falafels and this sauce (!!!) sound amazing!!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 29, 2015 at 9:26 am

      Thank you Sophie!! You are making a difference not only by eating in such a thoughtful way, but also by creating delicious plant-based recipes! :D

  • Reply
    Meg @ Noming thru Life
    August 30, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Thanks for sharing some of the facts revolving around livestock and hunger in this country. The amount of blatant disregard for animals, humans and the environment alike is just disheartening and disturbing. Sometimes I get to wrapped up in it and feel like I’m living in a black hole of gloom because it’s really just too much.
    These falafel though are just spectacular and the tahini sauce is spot on. Beautiful and delicious as always!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 30, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      I know, it’s easy to get down reading about the state of food culture / animal rights :( I certainly get sad quite a bit. But all I can do, as one individual, is live in the best way I can, and continuing spreading the word! :D Glad you like the falafel <3

  • Reply
    Anna
    August 30, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Can you confirm the amounts of the parsley+cilantro mix and the tahini? For some reason, they’re showing up as empty white boxes on my screen. Looking forward to trying out this recipe!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 30, 2015 at 3:09 pm

      It’s 1/3 cup of cilantro + parsley mixed! Or just 1/6 cup of each ;)

  • Reply
    Pang {circahappy}
    August 30, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    A wonderful post to remind all of us of the awareness, Sarah. :)
    If only all of us can do our part, even just a little bit, the result would be much better for everyone & everything, really.

    Btw, falafel w/ smoky sriracha tahini looks FANTASTIC. <3 <3 <3

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 30, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Thank you Pang!! :D <3

  • Reply
    Yuen Shan @ YuenShan.com
    August 31, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Hi Sarah, I really like this post on eating ethically. I am not a vegan, but I am aware of these facts, and have eaten less meat than I used to because of it. For me, it’s difficult to be completely vegan or vegetarian – but i do whatever I can – and I hope the little change that I make in my daily decisions would help.

    By the way, I nominated you for the Liebster Award :) Please continue to write great posts.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 31, 2015 at 7:57 am

      I am blown away!! Thank you so much for the nomination!! :D

  • Reply
    Sina @ Vegan Heaven
    August 31, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Oh this looks so delicious, Sarah! :-) Love your pictures!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 31, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      Thanks Sina! :D

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    September 3, 2015 at 3:08 am

    These baked falafel are not only delicious, also very healthy! The sriracha tahini dressing would be fantastic for some pan seared or grilled tofu too.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 3, 2015 at 7:45 am

      Oooh that’s a great idea!

  • Reply
    Sach
    September 19, 2015 at 9:38 am

    the recipe sounds fantastic. Like the Sriracha tahini dressing idea – it would add to the favors. Would be making it today!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 19, 2015 at 11:43 am

      Thank you!! :D Let me know how it turns out!

  • Reply
    Sabrina
    September 25, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Yum! This looks delicious!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 25, 2015 at 11:14 pm

      Thanks Sabrina!! :D

  • Reply
    - Lemony Falafel with Smoky Sriracha Tahini
    October 13, 2015 at 10:21 am

    […] Bon Appetit! Find the Recipe for This Meal on Wellandfull.com […]

  • Reply
    The Vegan Buddha Bowl | Well and Full
    February 28, 2016 at 11:55 am

    […] assertion that one person going vegan doesn’t make a difference is completely untrue. In a previous post, I talked about some chilling […]

  • Reply
    10 vegan recipes to keep you cool this summer - Miller Green
    July 22, 2016 at 10:13 am

    […] Who needs burgers when you’ve got falafel? Just the thing for barbecues and picnics. Recipe here. […]

  • Reply
    Dakota
    July 31, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    i recently began vegan a month ago and for the same exact reasons you’ve listed. being a vegan is interesting since i have my own personal reasons for converting — especially being an environmentalist and animal lover — but i know this is my own personal path and others must find their own.

    you bring up so many valid points about world hunger and how the way the western world eats meat isnt sustainable. our ancestors never ate meat daily but it has been worked into nearly every american meal.

    thank you for your insightful post and delicious recipe. i agree that as vegans who are concerned with ethical issues such as world hunger or animal cruelty, the first thing we should suggest to non-vegans is a meatless monday. that would greatly affect the meat industries if the western world just cut down on their dependency of meat.

    thanks again for giving words to my feelings. excited to try more recipe from you!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 1, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      Congratulations on going vegan, Dakota!! I’m so glad this post resonated with you. Like you said, being vegan is a personal choice and it’s not the path for everyone. But even something as simple as suggesting a “meatless monday” can really make a difference for the environment, and for people’s health! :)

  • Reply
    Dakota
    July 31, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    sorry for the run on sentences and poor sentence structure! i wrote this on my phone, haha

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 1, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      No worries ;)

  • Reply
    Caterina B
    August 2, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    All of your reasons for becoming a vegan are excellent! There is one more very BIG reason I would like to point out.
    Heart disease and all of the other diet related diseases but primarily HEART DISEASE AND THE HIGH CHOLESTEROL AND
    HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE THAT CHARACTERIZE IT.
    My hubby narrowly missed having a massive, heart stopping attack at the end of 2015. He had been having symptoms, was rather
    unaware of what they meant, and, by an enormous stroke of luck, read an article in the local paper about how people ignore the
    warning signs. He read the article, put down the newspaper and called a doctor. The next day we went to the clinic, where the wonderful
    PA did some tests and then said, “If you were my father I would put you in a wheelchair right now and take you across the parking lot
    to the hospital! Holy smokes! That is exactly what we did and the next day, New Years Eve 2015, he had a life saving stent put in a major artery, the one called the “Widowmaker,” Yikes! I almost lost him. Five months ago we started our vegan diet and will never look back!
    I will be looking for recipes here on your website and THANK YOU!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 2, 2016 at 3:16 pm

      What a close call! I’m so glad your husband turned out to be okay. But you raised such a good point, and one that I may address in future posts – the health reasons behind veganism. I try not to talk too much about health since I’m not a doctor or health professional, but it’s all but certain now that plant-based diets greatly reduce the risk of heart disease and other related illnesses. Study after study confirms this, and I think the American population is starting to wake up to the benefits of vegetarianism/veganism. That’s definitely worth talking about!

      Again, I’m so glad your husband turned out to be okay, and I really appreciate you sharing your story with me. I hope you like the recipes you find here too! :) Hope you have a wonderful week, Caterina.

  • Reply
    Winter Kale Falafel | Well and Full
    December 29, 2016 at 9:38 am

    […] recipe is a variation on my Summer Harvest Falafel, instead made with hardy winter kale. Falafels are one of the best vegan foods to make – […]

  • Leave a Reply