Caribbean Falafel

Falafel can be formed into a ball, doughnut or patty, and is made from ground chickpeas. While falafel has Middle East origins, it is also made throughout the world, often as a replacement for meat. It is typically deep-fried, but for this recipe we’ll bake it. Ingredients: ½ cup soaked dried brown lentils (see Notes) 1 cup soaked chickpeas 1 carrot, peeled and chopped 1 rib celery, chopped 1 bunch fresh cilantro 2 leaves culantro (recao) (optional; see headnote with “Stewed Pinto Beans” recipe) 1 crushed garlic clove 1 tablespoon capers (optional; soak in water for 20 minutes to remove excess sodium) 1 teaspoon oregano powder ½ of a red bell pepper, chopped ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper ¼ teaspoon ground cumin ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric 1 teaspoon paprika 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor (using the "S" blade). Process until the ingredients form a dough. While processing, stop the machine and scrape the sides so that all the ingredients are uniformly crushed. Transfer the dough to a deep bowl. 2. Place parchment paper on top of a baking sheet to prevent sticking. Use about 2 tablespoons of dough to make your desired shape (large golf ball shapes or flatter burger style patties), placing the falafels on the baking sheet and parchment. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool for a few minutes before serving. Accompany with a sauce of your preference. (Shown in photo served with portabella mushrooms, sprouts, spinach, and ketchup.) Notes: How to soak dried beans and lentils: Cover the beans with water (two inches higher than the beans). Let them soak for at least 8-10 hours. Drain and rinse before using.