Not an improvement on falafel, but definitely a different take. Vegetarian and adapted by me to be nondairy, this dish has just the right amount of herb and spice, more subtle than your typical southwest agenda. Very refreshing and easy to make. Another healthy dish from Cooking Light.
Southwest falafel with avocado spread
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup shredded soy Monterey Jack cheese (or cheddar will do fine)
1/4 cup finely crushed baked tortilla chips (I didn’t realize the bag I bought this week had been totally eaten, so I used panko bread crumbs instead)
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1 large egg white
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1/4 cup mashed peeled avocado
2 tablespoons finely chopped plum tomato
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons soy sour cream
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 whole wheat pitas, top quarter cut off
To prepare patties, place pinto beans in a medium bowl; partially mash with a fork. Add the cheese and the next 5 ingredients; stir until well combined. Form into 4 (1/2″ thick) oval patties.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties, cook 5 minutes on each side or until patties are browned and thoroughly heated.
To prepare avocado spread, while patties cook combine avocado, tomato, onion, sour cream, juice, and salt. Place 1 patty in each pita. Spread about 2 tablespoons avocado spread over each patty inside the pita. Recipe says makes 4 servings, but the two of us polished these off with no problem!