Quinoa Falafel with Tzatziki Sauce
This Candida Diet-friendly version of falafel, the popular Middle Eastern street food, replaces the traditional chickpeas with cooked quinoa.
Quinoa is a pseudo-grain that is an almost complete form of protein, and has a much better nutritional profile than grains like wheat or rice. It makes for a filling complement to many meals on the Candida diet.
These falafel are seasoned with the smoky flavors of cumin and coriander, then very quickly deep fried to crispy perfection in olive oil. Deep frying is not a cooking method that we would normally recommend while recovering from a Candida overgrowth, but if you do it lightly (and very occasionally) it should be OK.
They can be eaten as mezze, an appetizer before the main dish, alone as a snack wrapped in a lettuce leaf, or as part of a meal with a green salad.
Serve with a drizzle of tahini or tzatziki, a cool yogurt sauce with cucumber garlic and mint. A really simple tzatziki recipe is just underneath the falafel recipe. Enjoy!
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- ½ cup minced onion
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. ground coriander
- ¼ cup almond flour
- 3 Tbsp. coconut flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- Olive oil for frying
- Tzatziki (recipe below)
- 2 cups plain Greek style yogurt
- 1 small cucumber, peeled, grated
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Divide mixture into four equal portions, making six falafel balls with each portion.
- In a medium skillet, heat about 1/2 inch oil. Fry falafel in batches, turning often until browned on all sides. Transfer falafel to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed. Serve warm.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix well and serve. Store unused portion in a covered container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
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The recipe asks for 2 cups cooked quinoa. I have bought quinoa flakes but i don’t know how to cook them. Help!!
Quinoa flakes cook very quickly. Something like 2 minutes in boiling water should do it!
I can’t have any nuts, what would you recommend using instead of almond flour?
I am allergic to nuts so I use buckwheat flour instead and they turn out great!
Thanks for your blog. It has been a huge help! Do you think these could be baked? I don’t like to deep fry.
I baked them at 375 F at 10-15 minutes per side and it worked well, though they were a little dry. I put the patties on parchment sheets and that made clean up really easy. Someone here said they used extra egg white to hold them together better. That would probably help. They mostly stayed together but that aspect could have been improved a little.
Hi! I just want to tell Lisa THANK YOU for this absolutely wonderful recipe! I had a severe case of a yeast infection that required 9 dosis of Diflucan… Which I am not very happy about. I started the diet about a week ago but had not taken the time to cook properly and was starting to starve. I am already underweight and cannot afford to lose anymore weight, so that was a concern too. These falafel balls are by far the BEST meal I have had in a very long time! I finally feel full and happy to know I am giving my body the food it needs to finish overcoming this awful infection. The garlic, mint, and especially the yogurt sauce will sure help witht that too. I now took the time to buy many of the ingredients listed in the recipes and plan on cooking more, including baking, this weekend. Thanks again! =)
can the coconut flour be used instead of almond???
Coconut flour can be difficult to cook with when used alone, so you might want to try mixing your flours.
Can you use buckwheat flour instead of almond? Almond flour is $12 for 300grams in my area, so a bit overpriced to use in larger amounts.
I don’t see why not! You might need to experiment with the amounts though.
This is one of the tastiest recipes I have ever made! I’ve never been a big fan of quinoa until today. Thanks so much for this amazing recipe!
I have a coconut allergy. I know, it’s a tragedy! Is there anything I can substitute for the coconut flour? This recipe looks delicious! Thanks for including “or olive oil” in many of your recipes 🙂
Try hemp protein powder, I subbed it for the almond flour so I would imagine it could work for the coconut flour. Bob’s red mill is a good brand. It’s the only one at my local store, they make some quality products.
This recipe is amazing. I subbed the almond flour for Bob’s Red Mill Hemp Protein Powder. They came out perfect, I don’t think I’ll be going back to chick peas anytime soon!!
Love these! Have made them many times and are always a hit. Do you know if they freeze well?! (Freeze the falafel balls and fry after defrosting?)
Hi Dani, I’m sorry I don’t know. They usually get eaten right away!
They don’t seem to fry well after freezing, certainly not from frozen. Thawed out and blotted with a paper towel is ok. I’ve fried up a batch and then froze and microwave for quick meal and it works well.
Thanks so much for this recipe! My hubby and I tried it and we loved it!! Will defiantly make again, but next time more so we can freeze!!! The tzatziki is a must!!!! 🙂
I had a hard time with them falling apart. I added extra egg white and made the balls a little bigger. Voila! I do about 10 batches of the dried ingredients up at a time and pre prep my onions and parsley. In the fridge for a meal or snack at anytime. Super yum!! Thank you!
This dish is DYNAMITE at my house! I love this because it is absolutely delish and you feel as though you are having something really special and fun to eat. My daughter is a registered dietician and she loves them too! Thank you for this great recipe! I have made it at least six times in only a very short time!
Delicious! What a treat to eat! I will make these again and again. Everything about this dish is good
Love this recipe, it’s SO good! An amazing substitute for avoiding beans. However, FYI- don’t try to substitute flax seed for the eggs because they will mostly crumble!
These were amazing! I love these much better than traditional falafel. I find myself craving these which is great! Even my teenager who turns his nose up at my healthy cooking loved these. I agree with the other posts that the tzatziki is a must. Thanks for the delicious recipe!
This was fantastic! I added a third egg and dropped meatball sized scoops onto a sheet with parchment paper. 15 minutes At 375 and it was perfect. Immediately making a second batch:)
My favorite recipe off the candida diet! Thank you for sharing! I used an air fryer instead of pan frying it and it was so much easier. Also adding an egg helped the falafel balls stick together more easily.