Weeknight Shorts: Flavor Fakes

When I go to my favorite Middle Eastern restaurant, especially for lunch, I tend to get falafels. I'm particularly fond of them as a lunch choice because the restaurant serves them over lunch nestled into a pillowy pita wrap filled with a plethora of fresh vegetables and lots of hummus or tahini. But that can get expensive and it is possible to make them at home. But sometimes I'm a bit lazy and don't feel like mixing falafels and forming patties and frying patties and … all that work. So I cheat and put together a wrap that has all the flavor I love without all the fuss:

I mean, what are falafels if not fantastically seasoned chickpeas? I'll let you in on a couple of secrets. One, I totally eat these for dinner. The only reason I'd favored a falafel wrap sandwich for lunch at that restaurant is that's only when it's served. They should really offer it at dinner too! The other secret is I love using the fantastic Tahini-Miso-Maple Dressing I shared a while back as the dressing for this sandwich. You can also use hummus or tahini, but I have been putting this dressing on just about everything and this wrap is amazing with it:

I think these chickpeas would also be amazing in a salad, tossed with rice or your favorite cooked grain, or even just as a snack. Maybe they could be a healthy tailgating treat? I think I could just toss them in a container in my backpack and take them along on a hike. Of course, if I were doing that, I'd just whip up some of these wrap sandwiches, wrap them in foil, and have lunch on the trail. Hmm… I'll catch you all later!

Spiced Chickpea Wraps

  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 can chickpeas, well-drained
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground chipotle or cayenne pepper
  • 4 large flour tortillas
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber slices
  • Carrot ribbons
  • Tomato wedges
  • Tahini-Miso-Maple Dressing

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chickpeas and fry them until they are golden and start to pop slightly (about 3 to 5 minutes). In another small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, maple syrup, and soy sauce. When the chickpeas are popping, pour the lemon juice mixture over then and stir. After about 30 seconds, add the spices and stir for another 30 seconds. Remove the chickpeas from the heat.

To serve, spoon the chickpeas onto a flour tortilla layered with lettuce, cucumber slices, carrot ribbons (simply peel slivers of the carrot off with a vegetable peeler to make them), and tomato wedges. Drizzle the top with the Tahini-Miso-Maple Dressing, fold burrito-style, and enjoy.

  • Yields: 4 large wrap sandwiches
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes

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