the taste space

Quinoa Falafels with a Cheezy Broccoli Bowl

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Sides by Janet M on November 25, 2011


Let’s turn your bowl upside down.

Grain bowls are easy to make. Pick a grain, slather with some dressing and top with your favourite veggies, nuts and seeds.

Try to pick a theme: like this sushi bowl with brown rice, topped with asparagus, avocado and toasted nori sheets. Or my millet bowl, topped with cooked spinach, leek and toasted pumpkin seeds. Or my more recent Dragon quinoa bowl, topped with roasted veggies in a miso gravy.

This time, I wanted Middle Eastern flavours and picked a broccoli salad as the base and topped it with baked quinoa falafels, finished with a drizzle of a tahini-miso sauce!

Let’s dissect the anatomy of my bowl:

1) Broccoli Base. I prefer lightly steamed broccoli, so I steamed large florets for a short period of time. I cut them into small pieces after they had cooled.

2) Quinoa Falafel from Whole Foods to Thrive. These were definitely the star of the bowl. These baked falafels are made with cooked quinoa and flax and spiced with miso, tahini, nutritional yeast, onion, garlic and oregano. After broiling them, they are nice and crispy on the outside and chewy, yet soft and creamy on the inside, loaded with tons of flavours. I don’t like greasy, dense falafels, so these nuggets were perfect for me.

3) Tahini-Miso Sauce from the Cheesy Broccoli Bowl from Whole Foods to Thrive. The dressing for this salad is addictive, although I wouldn’t call it cheezy. It has a more pronounced tahini-miso flavour but still delicious. I opted to toss half the dressing with the broccoli and reserved half for the falafel.  I preferred the dressing when I could taste it in large amounts, so next time I may not even dress the broccoli and simply drizzle it overtop prior to serving.


This is being submitted to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Brii from Briiblog.

Quinoa Falafel

1 cup vegetable broth or salted water
1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed well (or 2 cups cooked quinoa)
3 tbsp ground flax
1/3 cup water
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp miso
1 tsp tahini
1 tsp onion granules
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp dry oregano
2 tbsp melted coconut oil, or less (or your favourite oil)

1. Bring broth or water to boil in a small pot, add the quinoa and bring to a boil again. Cover and reduce heat to low for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep the pot covered for an additional 5 minutes. Strain off any excess liquid and set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, mix together the ground flax with the 1/3 cup of water and set aside for at least 10 minutes, until it congeals.

3. In a  large bowl, mix together the nutritional yeast, miso, tahini, onion granules, garlic granules and oregano. Add in the quinoa and flax mixture and mix well so the dressing is well integrated.

4. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (my silpat apparently doesn’t like the broiler :P), make 1.5 tbsp-sized balls and place at least an inch apart.

5. With a pastry brush, coat the exposed side of the falafels with the melted oil.

6. Broil your falafels on high for 8 minutes. Remove from heat, flip over and brush the newly exposed area with more oil. Continue to broil for another 8 minutes until they are nice and golden. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. While they are broiling, make your broccoli and sauce (see below).

Makes 16 falafels.

Broccoli Bowl with Tahini-Miso Sauce

1 crown of broccoli (1 lb), cut into large floret (yielded 4 cups of finely chopped broccoli)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp garlic granules
1/4 cup tahini
1 tsp white miso
3 tsp lemon juice (from half a lemon)
1.5 tsp ume plum vinegar
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 tbsp water, if needed

1.Place the broccoli in a steamer basket and steam for 2-3 minutes, just to get the raw edge off. Remove from heat and set aside. When cool, cut into smaller florets.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix nutritional yeast, paprika, and garlic powder together. Stir in the tahini and miso paste.  Pour in the lemon juice, coconut oil, water, and ume plum vinegar, and whisk thoroughly. If a thinner sauce is desired, add extra water, a tablespoon at a time.

3. To serve, place broccoli in a bowl, top with 4 quinoa falafel and drizzle with your dressing. Alternatively, mix a portion of your dressing with the broccoli and reserve the remainder to drizzle overtop with the quinoa falafel (although I recommend the former!)

Serves 4.

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17 Responses

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  1. Caitlin said, on November 25, 2011 at 8:33 AM

    omigosh, lady, this looks ridiculously amazing. i am absolutely making this ;)

  2. zo said, on November 25, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    How fun, turning a grain bowl upside down! Your quinoa balls are incredibly beautiful, and broccoli is just great any time, and pretty much any way…

  3. Joanne said, on November 25, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    I love that instead of the veggies on top of the grain, you put the grain on top of the veggies. Cute move. Also…that tahini sauce needs to happen in my life!

  4. Genevieve said, on November 26, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    I love the sounds of each component of this dish – so creative and fun! I definitely want to try those quinoa falafels – I like that they are eggless and baked instead of fried

  5. Not quite Vegan said, on November 26, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    Yum! I’ve never thought of making falafel with quinoa. What a great idea!

  6. Ashley said, on November 28, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    Looooooooooooove this Janet!! I’m a huge broccoli fan so using it as a base sounds amazing to me. And I love falafel and I love miso and sauce and yum!! I wish you could cook for me haha.

  7. [...] quinoa Ma invece di fare la solita insalata o zuppa lei la quinoa ha fatto degli sfoziosi Falafel. Quinoa Falafel with Cheezy Broccoli Bowl – Falafel di Quinoa con ciotola di Broccoli [...]

  8. brii said, on November 29, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    This is such a tasty recipe,Janet!
    Thanks for sharing it with the WHB.
    The round up is online
    Baciussss

  9. [...] of daikon and baby bok choy. Actually it looked like this: kale, daikon, broccoli, kale, broccoli, broccoli, kale, broccoli, baby bok choy and broccoli, and broccoli with a side of Napa cabbage. I’ll [...]

  10. Mattheworbit said, on February 20, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Wow! That seems really interesting. I kinda like the fact it’s based on vegetables, not a grain, though. Thanks for blogging about this – was very well written and engaging!

  11. [...] Split Pea Soup with Roasted Garlic and Sage Quinoa Falafels with a Cheezy Broccoli Bowl Mexican Salad with Black Beans, Tomato, Avocado in a Creamy Tomato Sauce Smoky Tempeh and Chard [...]

  12. [...] this uber delicious tahini balsamic dressing that I spotted at Choosing Raw. I am loving all things tahini lately and balsamic remains one of my favourite vinegars, so I was eager to try out her [...]

  13. Alexia @ NamasteYoga said, on October 28, 2012 at 6:57 AM

    i would never think that the ingredients of the quinoa balls would actually make falafels. i mean ingredients wise yes, but not falafel wise. i usually use chickpeas, lots of flax and some coconut oil to make them not fall apart. what a grea recipe, gosh i love quinoa!

  14. [...] Quinoa Falafel with a Cheezy Broccoli from Janet @ the taste space [...]

  15. Cookbook Winner & Healthy Vegan Recipes said, on November 2, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    [...] Quinoa Falafel with a Cheezy Broccoli from Janet @ the taste [...]

  16. [...] Salad with Lime and Cilantro (Whole Foods Detox Salad) Lemon-Balsamic Glazed Chickpeas and Broccoli Quinoa Falafels with a Cheezy Broccoli Bowl Buddha Veggie Bowl with a Ginger-Miso-Lime Dressing Confetti Veggie Salad with Mustard Curry [...]

  17. […] Don’t have a dehydrator? These could also be baked, according to Gena. Want to try your hand at another lovely baked quinoa falafel? Try these! […]


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