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Good Cooking: Velvet's vegan recipe of the month

Passionate about food which is as full of goodness as flavour, Cambridge nutritionist and plant-based chef Melanie Hanspall shares a monthly recipe with Velvet. On the menu for July a gluten-free and vegan Falafel, Carrot Pickle & Quinoa Tabbouleh

Love Nutrition Cambridge - July 2021 Velvet Recipe, Falafels & Salads (47729231)
Love Nutrition Cambridge - July 2021 Velvet Recipe, Falafels & Salads (47729231)

My recipe this month is perfect for summer al fresco dining! Easy to prepare, it combines a powerhouse of nutrients.

Quinoa is a real superfood and was referred to as ‘the mother of all grains’ by the Inca Empire: containing complete plant protein (all nine essential amino acids); slow-release carbohydrate, which helps keep energy levels stable; fibre for aiding digestion; and high amounts of magnesium among other minerals.

Chickpeas also contain plant protein and B-vitamins – important for energy production. Beta Carotene is a carotenoid (antioxidant) responsible for the

orange pigment in carrots which converts to vitamin A in the body and contributes to a healthy immune system, eye and skin health. Fresh herbs coriander and parsley add flavour, are both high in vitamin C (antioxidant) and have many health benefits.

Falafel, Carrot Pickle & Quinoa Tabbouleh

Makes: 8-10 falafels/2 servings

Prep/cooking time: 45 minutes



1 400g tin chickpeas

Chickpea water – reserve from the tin

Chickpea flour for rolling

1 small onion chopped finely

1 large garlic clove chopped finely

1 ½ tsp coriander powder

1 ½ tsp cumin powder

Small handful finely chopped coriander and parsley

⅓ tsp sea salt

Olive oil for shallow frying

Carrot salad:

2 carrots – grated

2 tsp coconut sugar

4 tsp raw apple cider or lemon juice

Quinoa tabbouleh:

4 tsp extra virgin olive oil

150g cooked quinoa

6 tomatoes chopped finely

½ cucumber chopped finely

Handful chopped parsley

Sea salt and pepper to season

Hummus to serve (optional)


In a blender, combine the chickpeas plus two tablespoons of the chickpea water with the spices, coriander and chopped onion, garlic and salt - blend to a thick paste-like substance.

Flour your hands with the chickpea flour and divide the mixture into 10 balls. You may need to roll the balls a little in the chickpea flour if the mixture is too sticky.

Put around six tablespoons oil into a non-stick shallow pan and fry gently for 5-10 minutes until browned – you’ll need to turn frequently to ensure even cooking. Once cooked keep the falafels warm in the oven.

Grate the carrot and put into a bowl - mix with the sugar and vinegar until the sugar has dissolved.

Mix the quinoa, tomato, cucumber and parsley with the olive oil and two teaspoons raw apple cider vinegar or lemon, season with sea salt and


Arrange your salads on a plate with 4-5 falafels per person and a spoonful of hummus.

For more information about Melanie’s work as a nutritionist, plus more plant-based recipe inspiration, see lovenutritioncambridge.co.uk

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