by Tenille Hoogland (former professional triathlete)
There are a few basic nutrition rules that will do wonders for your health: eat whole unprocessed foods, eat something green every day, and break the rules once and awhile. With the winter almost over, green life is sprouting from the ground. Garden peas (sometimes called sweet peas) are one of the first vegetables we can get and they provide generous amounts of antioxidants and a surprisingly high amount of protein. These little baked bites are great for snacking or putting in a wrap with arugula and tomato. If you have a panini press kicking around, they could not be easier to make. Either way they are perfect for time-pressed triathletes ramping up the training volume for the season.
Sweet Pea Falafel Bite (Servings: 18 balls) – Ingredients
2 cups sweet peas
1 cup cooked chickpeas
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 medium yellow onion finely chopped
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 large egg whisked
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup masa harina (corn flour)
1 tsp baking powder
Feta Tahini Dressing – Ingredients
3/4 cup feta crumbled
4 tbsp tahini
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup water
4-6 tbsp of herbs (mint, parsley, thyme, basil)
Sriracha to taste
For the dressing, add all the ingredients to a food processor or bowl and blend until smooth. If you like a little kick, add Sriracha to taste. You won’t regret it.
For the sweet pea falafel bites;
- If using an oven, warm to 400C. If using a panini press, turn on.
- you can use either fresh peas or frozen peas. To blanch fresh peas place them in wire strainer. Then immerse the strainer in a pan of boiling water for 90 seconds. Rinse immediately with cold water until peas are completely cold. If using frozen peas, simply rinse in cold water. Set aside.
- Add chickpeas, whisked egg, spices and salt together and mash with a potato masher until only small chunks are left.
- Add peas and parsley and mash only until peas skin is broken. Next add the onion, garlic, corn flour and baking powder. Stir together thoroughly. The mixture should stick together.
- Form into small balls with your hands.
- If you are baking the balls, place them on parchment paper or stick-free pan. Cook for 20 minutes, rotating once. If cooking on a panini press, cook for approximately 6 minutes.
Falafel Bite (per bite) Nutrition Facts
Calories 33 / Fat 1g / Cholesterol 8mg / Sodium 6mg / Fibre 2g / Protein 2g / Calcium 1% / Iron 3% / Potassium 64%
Feta Tahini Dressing (total) Nutrition Facts
Calories 758 / Fat 67g / Cholesterol 23mg / Sodium 1175mg / Fibre 7g / Protein 25g / Calcium 75% / Iron 34% / Potassium 376%