I have been dying to share these melts with you.

Greek Falafel Melts with Green Tahini Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I mean, I’m pretty much dying to share all my recipes with you, but today’s recipe, and today in general, are just kind of special. For one, these Greek falafel melts are everything a melt should be, plus they’re healthy! Two, we are celebrating something super fun!

I have met a lot of people through this little blog of mine, and two very special ones are Alanna from The Bojon Gourmet and Todd from Honestly Yum. Both Alanna and Todd are incredible people who make even more incredible food and drinks, and take beautiful pictures. Todd and Alanna have gotten together to throw the awesome Sarah from Snixy Kitchen a virtual Baby Shower!! I know, I know! So nice and SO fun!!

How does a virtual baby shower work you ask? Simple, all of Sarah’s internet friends make all of her favorite foods (cheese and sweets…see, Sarah is a smart girl) and then post them all on the same day to celebrate Sarah’s new little addition who is dues in early February. It’s so sweet, right? I would never have thought to do something like this, but I am so happy to be included.

I first met Sarah in person just this past summer. We met in Wisconsin and bonded as we ate our weight in cheese together. Clearly there was no possible way I could not love Sarah… she eats cheese and she loves sweets! What more could you need in a good friend?

Greek Falafel Melts with Green Tahini Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest Greek Falafel Melts with Green Tahini Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

The theme of the baby shower is “cheese and sweets”. Obviously, this was a pretty easy concept for me. I think I post a cheesy recipe at least three days out of the week, and a sweet recipe about two days out of the week.

So no problem was had in coming up with a recipe, that’s for sure.

Now, I know we are currently getting towards the end of my “healthy January” (which I cannot believe and am kind of sad about. I have been LOVING all my bright and colorful eats!), but do not think I am giving in just yet! Nope, these Greek falafel melts are totally all good for us. Or well mostly, I guess it just depends on whether you feel cheese is healthy…you know I totally do! AND these are not loaded to the max with cheese, not too little, not too much, just the perfect amount. 🙂

Aside from the cheese, these Greek falafel melts are packed with goodness, full of yummy Greek flavors and baked instead of fried. And yes, those are homemade pitas, I could not resist. All Greek food needs fresh pitas. Just saying.

Greek Falafel Melts with Green Tahini Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvestGreek Falafel Melts with Green Tahini Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

If you are unfamiliar with falafel, it is a middle eastern street food. Traditionally they are fried and then wrapped in pitas with pickled veggies and drizzled with tahini sauce. The base of the falafel balls is made up of chickpeas, nuts and or seeds and fresh herbs. You fry them, and they’re basically the most delicious things ever. Totally addicting (vegan) street food.

YUM.

Today I made my own (little healthier) version. I baked my falafel instead of frying, added some harvati cheese, a special green tahini sauce and then all my favorite Greek veggies. AKA roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, baby kale, and micro greens. Also, there is most definitely a generous amount of hummus incorporated into these melts as well.

Now do you see why I am beyond exited about them?!?

OH, OH, and I totally made sweet potato fries for snacking on as a side. They’re not technically a part of the recipe, but man, I HIGHLY recommend making them and then stuffing some onto your melt.

Yes, DO THAT. Sweet potato fries are the bestest.

Greek Falafel Melts with Green Tahini Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

For my falafel, I used a mixed of chickpeas, pine nuts, cilantro, mint and parsley. I also added some jalapeno for a little heat. Add everything into a food processor and then pulse until you have a finely chopped mixture. Roll the mixture into cute little patties and then bake to crisp perfection. Add some cheese and melt. Done and done.

Super simple, full of protein and all healthy things!!

For the special sauce?? Oh this sauce. I LOVE this sauce, it’s a mix of tahini, lemon juice, basil, parmesan (nutritional yeast if you are vegan) and a few other things. Without a doubt, this is one of my favorite sauces. It’s the combo of tahini to basil to lemon to parmesan… SO flipping good. You can use this on salads, soups, fries, sandwiches, anything really. So much YUM!

And then you just pack everything in a pita and begin to devour.

Why did I choose this for Sarah’s shower? Well, I wanted to choose something super healthy and full of good things, because hello… Sarah is about to have a baby!! Not only does the little baby growing inside of her need the goodness, but Sarah needs it for some serious delivery room butt kicking. Also, I have a very good feeling that Sarah will LOVE these melts because one, these melts include harvarti AND parmesan (you can omit the havarti and sub nutritional yeast for the parm if you are vegan), and two, she is a big fan of Greek/middle eastern flavors. If only I could send her a melt. Now that would be awesome!!

How about I just make another one for me for lunch today, you know, in honor of Sarah and her new growing family…

Greek Falafel Melts with Green Tahini Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Greek Falafel Melts with Green Tahini Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

 

Greek Falafel Melts with Green Tahini "Special Sauce".

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 45 minutes

Yields: MAKES 4 MELTS

Ingredients

  • Baked Falafel
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained + rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh herbs, I like using a combination of cilantro, mint, parsley and dill
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts or sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons flour (a gluten free blend may be used)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 of a jalapeno, seeded (leave the seeds in for more heat if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt, to taste
  • 4 ounces havarti cheese, sliced
  • 4 fresh, warm pitas or naan
  • 1 cup hummus
  • roasted red pepper, micro greens, baby kale, kalamata olives, sliced red onion and sliced pepperoncini, for serving
  • Green Tahini "Special Sauce"
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup parmesan (or nutritional yeast if vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded (leave some seeds in for more heat!)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional, depending on your taste)
  • salt + pepper, to taste

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the chickpeas, fresh herbs, garlic, pine nuts (or sesame seeds), lemon juice, flour, olive oil, jalapeno, cumin and a heavy pinch of salt to a food processor. Pulse until everything is minced but not pureed, stopping the machine and scraping down the sides as needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed.

Roll the mixture into 9-10 balls and place on the prepared greased baking sheet. Brush the tops of the balls with olive oil.

Bake until crisp and golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. During the last 3 minutes, add the harvarti cheese. Remove from the oven and let sit on the baking sheet a few minutes before assembling your melts.

To assemble, spread some hummus on a pita and then add 1-2 of the falafel balls. Drizzle the green tahini over (recipe below) and then stuff in some roasted red pepper, olives, micro greens, red onion and pepperoncini. EAT!

!Green Tahini "Special Sauce"

In a blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients + 3 tablespoons water. Blend until completely smooth, adding water if needed to thin the sauce. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Store sauce in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Greek Falafel Melts with Green Tahini Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Totally works for me. Is it lunch time yet?

Greek Falafel Melts with Green Tahini Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

P.S Wanna see what all of Sarah’s other friends made? Check out the recipes below!

Cheesy Things

Sweet Things

Cheesy & Sweet Things

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