Its no secret that I love Mediterranean inspired flavors. We’re regulars at the falafel truck at our local farmer’s market, and for date night I am always asking Irving to take me to Golden Beetle, my favorite Mediterranean restaurant. I adore making my own hummus, and kalamata olives are one of my favorites! So when I saw the brilliant idea on GoodVeg for a deconstructed falafel salad I decided to make my own! I’ve combined all of my favorite flavors of a falafel into one big bowl without any of the hard work of rolling out falafel balls. Not to mention that there’s no frying involved!
You could add any veggies to this salad—whatever mix you have in your fridge. I’m big on keeping a color palette in my salads—blame it on my past life as a high school art teacher—so I stuck to greens and yellows for this salad. I just think it looks prettier, and we eat first with our eyes!
^^^ So yummy even a 2 year old will be begging for this salad, or at least the olives and chick peas!
Deconstructed Falafel Salad
½ c quinoa cooked in 2/3 c water
juice of ½ a lemon (about 1 T)
½ t salt
3 T lemon juice
2 T olive oil
1 t Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic minced
1 t cumin
1 t coriander
1 t oregano
1 t onion powder
½ – 1 t salt
pepper to taste
2 c garbanzos
1 bunch lacinato kale
1 celery stalk, sliced thinly
1 bell pepper, yellow if you have it!, sliced thinly
2 scallions, cut on diagonal
½ c kalamata olives, sliced
1 medium cucumber, diced
Rinse ½ c quinoa and place in pot. Add 2/3 c water and ½ t salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Let simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and quinoa is slightly al dente. Toss with lemon juice and set aside (this will be al dente, using less water than the package calls for. I think it holds up in a salad better this way!).
Mix all dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
In the meantime, strip the kale off of the tough stems. If you pinch the kale at the bottom of the stem and pull back you can actually de-stem the kale without even using a knife! Check out this cool trick from Ann Essylstyn—”wife of the Engine 2 Diet—below. Cut the kale into smaller pieces and wash.
Place clean, dried kale into the bowl of dressing and massage with your hands for 2 minutes. You will soften the kale, making it easier to eat! Make sure dressing fully coats all of the kale.
Add the rest of the salad ingredients, including the quinoa and mix well. You can chop your veggies any way you like, but I used my hand held mandolin to slice the celery and bell pepper. Since a lot of the ingredients are a little crunchy I wanted to the pieces to be small and more “chewable.”