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Baked Falafel & Tomato Cucumber Salad

"We chose to make falafel because of our heritage. It is a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern staple,” noted Ariel. “This version is baked and not fried, making it lower in fat. I choose to top it with low-fat Greek yogurt, but you could choose any dairy-free yogurt that you want. I serve it with a Tomato Cucumber Salad on the side, which is very refreshing in the summer." - Ariel Derby, age 8, Texas

Makes 4 servings


For the Falafel:

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ⅓ cup chopped red onion
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • Dash of cayenne, if desired
  • Garnishes: Lettuce leaves, plain low-fat Greek yogurt

For the Tomato Cucumber Salad:

  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. To make the Falafel: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Blend all ingredients in a blender until the texture is like a very fine meal. Transfer to a large bowl. Form 2-inch balls, like meatballs, and place onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, turn them over, and bake 10 more minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve wrapped in a lettuce leaf with Greek yogurt and the salad.
  2. To make the Tomato Cucumber Salad: In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, and cilantro. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and toss.

325 calories: 325; 14g fat; 42g carbohydrates; 12g protein

More information about the Kids' State Dinner:

  • Check out the other winning 2014 Kids' State Dinner Recipes here.
  • Learn more about Kids' State Dinner here.