Let’s talk about how Thanksgiving is over, but I am still convinced that it is September.
Which means that I am woefully behind on all my Christmas shopping, holiday baking, and overall festive cheeriness.
So as I try to cram as much wintertime joy into a short period of time, I am always searching for ways to make my meal times easier and faster.
Which means that I am in love with freezer dinners. Make a big batch of something and freeze it into individual portions. Then all you need to do is reach into your freezer, thaw a portion (or six), reheat, and dinner is served!
My newest freezer obsession? Falafels! I can make a huge batch of them at once (because seriously, if you are messing up your kitchen to prep ahead, might as well make a lot) and dinner is always ready in a flash! I had so many sweet potatoes laying around after Thanksgiving, so I decided to make a big batch of Sweet Potato and Black Bean Falafels.
And was a great decision that was!
They are hearty, filling, and a great vegan dinner with a side salad + warm pita bread + salsa.
It starts with the veggie base.
Some roasted sweet potato flesh (you can totally cheat and nuke your taters in the microwave) and some black beans.
Using a potato masher (or a spoon like I did), mash everything together. I love texture in my falafels so I left the beans slightly whole – but if you want a smooth falafel, just keep going (or break our your food processor to help!).
When the potato-bean mixture is to your desired texture, add in the seasonings!
Minced garlic + parsley + cumin + chili powder + oregano + cayenne + salt + lime zest + lime juice + flour + baking powder. Stir to combine.
Then portion out heaping tablespoons of falafel mixture and roll into balls. Pop the falafels onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake the sweet potato and black bean falafels in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway.
I served mine up on mixed greens with warm pita, but they would be awesome wrapped up in a tortilla too!
I popped the leftovers onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and flash-froze them until solid. Then I popped them into a zip top baggie for long term storage (they won’t stick!). Now I have an easy dinner at my fingertips during this crazy holiday season!
So, are you in season denial too?
- 1lb sweet potatoes, baked until soft and then flesh removed from skin
- 1 can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 clove garlic, minced finely
- ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon lime zest
- Juice from one lime
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Cooking Spray
- In a large bowl, combine baked sweet potato flesh and black beans. Using a potato masher or large spoon, mash potato and beans together until combined - I like my beans lightly mashed, but you can mash the mixture until smooth if desired.
- Add all the additional ingredients (except cooking spray) and stir to combine. Place the bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
- To bake the falafels, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
- Portion out heaping teaspoons of falafel dough into the palms of your hands, roll into a ball, and then place the patties onto the baking sheet.
- Bake the falafel for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway. Serve with pita bread and salsa!