Meatless Monday Recipe: Falafel with Yogurt and Dill Sauce
It seems appropriate, as we enter this holiday season, to add one more thing to celebrate – Meatless Monday.
Let’s give a little history behind the movement. The idea started way back during World War I when the U.S. Food Administration (USDA) urged families to reduce their consumption of food staples. Using the slogan “Food Will Win the War” they asked families to have meatless Monday. In one week 10 million families, 7,000 hotels and nearly 425,000 food dealers pledged to observe the national meatless day. In November 1917, New York City hotels saved 116 tons of meat over the course of a single week.
That’s a lot of meat. To put it in perspective, that’s the same approximate weight as 116 Volkswagen Beetles. And that was in a single week, in one city.
The campaign was again used during World War II and was recently revived in 2003 by health advocate, Sid Lerner. The recent initiative was backed by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future and has been endorsed by 30 schools of public health.
So what’s the point? No longer urged for the sake of rationing, there has to be a reason that thousands of people world-wide are pledging to go meatless on Mondays.
Let’s start with the health benefits. If you go meatless once a week, you will help reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.
It turns out your body is a fan of taking a break from meat, so is the planet.
By cutting out meat just once a week, you can greatly reduce the size of your carbon footprint. The USDA estimates the meat industry generates nearly 1/5 of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change, polluting more than transportation. Cutting down on meat also minimizes water usage. It takes an estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water to get a single pound of beef.
Besides saving water, you’re also taking steps towards reducing fossil fuel dependence. On average, it takes about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy to go into every calorie of feed-lot beef in the U.S. Comparatively, it takes 2.2 calores of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie or plant-based protein.
Perhaps you’re feeling inspired and want to take the pledge. Good on you. Needing inspiration of what to make this Meatless Monday? How about falafel with a yogurt dill sauce. We offer up this recipe using falafel mix found at in.gredients, as we want to give quick and easy dinner options. Recipes that are easy to whip up on a moments notice.
This dish is filling and packed full of flavor, we promise you won’t miss the meat.
Happy (meatless) eating!
Falafel with Yogurt Dill Sauce
From A Couple Cooks
For yogurt sauce:
- 1 container (7 oz) of Mill King greek yogurt ($6.00 for a container)
- 1/4 cup fresh mint ($2.80 a bunch)
- 1/4 cup fresh dill ($2.25 a bunch)
- Splash of lemon juice or white wine vinegar (optional)
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1.25 cups water
- 1.75 cups falafel mix- vegan and organic ($7.00 a lb)
- 1/2 pound of baby spinach ($6 a 1/2 lbs)
Start by making the yogurt sauce. Chop up the fresh mint and dill. Combine the herbs with the yogurt and add in garlic salt and pepper. Add a splash of white wine vinegar or lemon juice to taste. Set aside.
For falafel, mix 1.25 cups of water with 1.75 cups of falafel mix. Let stand for 15 minutes. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls. On the stove, heat .5″ of vegetable oil to 375 degrees over medium-high heat. Pour in falafel balls and fry until brown and crisp, about 3 minutes.
If you are looking for a healthier option, you can place the balls onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush the top of the balls with olive oil and bake them under a broiler for about 3 minutes per side.
When you’re done cooking your falafel, place them on a bed of spinach and drizzle with the yogurt sauce. You can be creative with the recipe, adding any vegetables you want to the salad.