I love sweet potatoes so I thought I would have a go at making my own sweet potato falafel to widen my veggie recipe skills. I first made this recipe when I was home alone for the week and I made so much I ate this sweet potato falafel for dinner and then for lunch for three days straight afterwards. Each lunch was equally as tasty as the last and I also felt full, something which feels like an eternal struggle for me to achieve (I am a serious lunchtime munchies sufferer).
I have to say for a first attempt and completely made up recipe, I was quite impressed with myself! On reflection though, using an ice cream scoop to scoop the sweet potato mixture into the hot pan made them a little large (more burger-sized), so in my recipe below I have recommended you use a dessert spoon or teaspoon to scoop the mixture into the pan. The second time I made these, I used a teaspoon and they came out much smaller and easier to fit into wraps (see pics below for my first versus second attempt).
Specialist Utensils: Cast iron skillet or oven-friendly non-stick frying pan, food processor with grater attachment (or a normal cheese grater will work fine).
Top Tip: In my usual fashion, unless there is four of you eating and you are a super hungry bunch, this recipe is likely to generate a few leftovers. If there is only two of you to feed and you're looking for a recipe that you can make for dinner that also doubles up as lunch the next day, then this is a good recipe to choose! The falafel can be heated up again for lunch or eaten cold, both taste good.
If you don't wolf down all of the falafel at once, they freeze well and can be thawed out for a quick dinner another time or added to your lunchbox for a tasty and filling work lunch with little hassle. Once cool, place in a freezer bag or plastic container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge when required.Storage:
Sweet Potato Falafel
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes (approx 700g), peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red or white onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon mixed herbs
1 tablespoon ras el hanout
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
175g plain flour (if using gluten or wheat-free flour, you might need to add a bit extra, more like 190g)
75g cheddar cheese, grated
1 large egg, beaten briefly with a fork
Salt, pepper and olive oil
200g pickled or cooked beetroot (dependent on your preference), grated
1/2 cucumber, grated
200g radishes, topped and tailed and grated
Juice of 1 lime
200g ball of mozzarella, sliced
Pack of pre-prepared breadcrumbs (or 1-2 slices stale bread blitzed into breadcrumbs using a food processor)
1 bell pepper, sliced
150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 large avocado, sliced
1 pot soured cream
2 limes, sliced into wedges
1 pack of mini or normal tortilla wraps
Serves: 4 (plus a few leftovers unless you are a ravenous bunch)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°c. Peel and slice the sweet potato and boil in a pan of water over medium-heat until the slices are tender and a knife easily passes through the slices (about 8-10 minutes depending on how big your slices are).
2. As the sweet potato is boiling, make your beetroot slaw: using a food processor with a grater attachment or a normal cheese grater, grate the beetroot, radishes and cucumber. Transfer to a bowl, season with salt, pepper and the juice of a lime. Set aside to serve later.
3. Once cooked, drain and rinse the sweet potato in cold water, transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool (otherwise the heat might curdle the egg). Mince the garlic, finely dice the onion and fry in a tablespoon of olive oil over a medium-heat until softened.
4. Add the fried onion and garlic, mixed herbs, ras el hanout, plain flour, grated cheddar cheese and egg to the sweet potato and mash using a potato masher until well combined.
5. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in your skillet/frying pan over a medium-high heat. Once hot, use a teaspoon (I used an ice cream scoop but would recommend using a teaspoon to make smaller falafel pieces than I did) to add small piles of the sweet potato mixture to the hot oil. Once a crust has formed on the bottom of each sweet potato pile, flip them over and press down on the tops with the back of the spoon. If your pan isn't big enough for all of the sweet potato mixture, fry the falafel in batches until each side has formed a crust, transfer to a plate while you cook more, and then transfer all the falafel back to the pan before transferring to the oven.
6. Transfer the sweet potato pan to the oven and leave to the falafel to cook for about 15-20 minutes until each piece has a nice golden crust.
7. While the sweet potato falafel is cooking, slice the pepper, mushrooms, mozzarella, avocado and limes. Place your avocado slices and lime wedges in little bowls and set aside to serve later.
8. Place your mozzarella slices in a bowl and toss with the breadcrumbs until lightly coated(pre-prepared breadcrumbs will generally stick without having to dip the slices in egg first but if you're using homemade breadcrumbs or you want a thicker layer of breadcrumbs, then dip the the mozzarella slices in a beaten egg first).
9. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a second non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat (if you don't have enough pans you can wait until the falafel is cooked and transfer them to a bowl and re-use the same skillet / pan). Fry the mushrooms and pepper in this pan until softened slightly, about 5 minutes, and then transfer to a bowl.
10. Keep the pan on a medium-high heat and add a little more olive oil if needed before adding your breaded mozzarella pieces. Fry the cheese for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown and then transfer to the vegetable bowl to serve.
11. Serve! Dig your soured cream out of the fridge, get your tortilla wraps out of the cupboard, take your sweet potato falafel out of the oven and get everything laid out on the table so that people dig in! I'm currently working on my vegetarian recipe game which is not as strong as I'd like it to be. I like the idea of not feeling like I need to cook with meat all the time so recently I've started trying to cook at least one or two vegetarian recipes for dinner a week. Doing this makes our food shops a little cheaper and also makes the meat we do buy last a bit longer.