Sweet Potato-Black Bean Falafel

This new take on falafel combines sweet potatoes and black beans instead of using more traditional chickpeas.

October 5, 2016
sweet potato black bean falafel
Mitch Mandel

Adapted from Runner's World Meals on the Run

This new take on falafel combines sweet potatoes and black beans instead of using more traditional chickpeas. The resulting patties are packed with flavor, as well as carbs, protein, beta-carotene, and fiber. If you have a little extra time, instead of microwaving the potatoes, you can peel and chop them and then steam or boil in water until tender (about 5 minutes).

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More: 10 Cooking Tips for Hungry Runners

Along with the falafel and tahini sauce, stuff the pitas with your favorite toppings, including cucumber slices, lettuce, tomato, and red onion.

Sweet Potato-Black Bean Falafel
(Makes 4 servings)
Per serving: 595 calories, 80 g carbs, 17 g fiber, 21 g protein, 24 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 822 mg sodium

Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
For the Falafel:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound total)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the Tahini Sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons tahini
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 large whole wheat pitas (6 to 8 inches)

Directions:
1. For the falafel: Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork, then set on a paper towel and microwave on high for 6 minutes, or until tender.

2. When cool enough to handle, halve the sweet potatoes and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Add the beans and mash together with a fork. Mix in the wheat germ, onion, walnuts, mustard, cumin, salt, and pepper until well combined.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Use a tablespoon to shape the sweet potato mixture into 16 patties (each about 2 inches long and 1 inch wide) and set the falafel patties on a plate. Add half of the falafel to the hot skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until they form a crispy, golden crust. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and falafel patties.

4. Make the tahini sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the tahini, water, and lemon juice.

5. With the tip of a knife, cut an opening in one side of each pita. Divide the falafel among the pitas and drizzle with the tahini sauce.