My family loves Middle Eastern cuisine, but I must confess that falafel has never been my favorite.  I have tried it many times, but it just tastes dry and bland to me.  I recently found a great recipe that is so delicious and moist, but best of all, it uses collard greens!  Who knew that collards could make the best falafel?  This recipe, super- nutritious and gluten-free, was developed by the Minimalist Baker.  Visit her blog at


  • 4 cups stemmed and torn collard greens (one bunch), or swiss chard
  • 1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 medium to large cloves garlic, chopped (I LOVE garlic and this was perfect for me.)
  • 1.5 Tbsp tahini ( I use 2 full Tbsps.)
  • 1.5 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (I also add the zest of half a lemon.)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 3-4 Tbsp oat flour (ground from gluten free oats) I used almond flour because it was what was on-hand.
  • ~ 4 Tbsp grapeseed or olive oil for cooking


  1. Add collard greens, chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, and a healthy pinch each salt and pepper to a food processor and mix to combine.  This will grind down to a fine mixture.
  2. Once well incorporated, transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in oat flour 1 Tbsp at a time until the mixture is thick enough to handle – about 3-4 Tbsp.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added more salt, pepper and lemon juice, and a touch more tahini.  Form into small flat patties.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add 2 Tbsp oil at a time. Swirl to coat pan.
  5. Add 4 falafel (or however many will fit very comfortably) to the pan at a time.
  6. Check at the 1-2 minute mark to ensure they’re not browning too quickly. If they are, slightly reduce heat. Flip once deep golden brown – about 3-4 minutes.
  7. Cook until the underside is golden brown as well.
  8. Serve immediately with hummus or tzatziki.  If you are eating gluten, tuck a couple into a pita with lettuce, onion, and tomato, along with tzatziki sauce.
  9. Will store in the fridge, layered with parchment paper in an airtight container, for several days. Freeze to keep longer.

Homemade Tzatziki:  Peel and seed one small cucumber.  Mince 1-2 cloves of garlic.  In food processor, finely grate cucumber.  Squeeze out as much liquid as possible and save for your morning smoothie.  In a bowl combine cucumber, garlic, and 1 cup plain Greek yogurt.  Add dried mint and salt to taste.