The 2011 film “Forks Over Knives” helped start a food revolution—one anchored in the conversion to a plant-based diet. The documentary launched the idea that those who switched from an animal-based diet to one rooted in plants could decrease their risk of diabetes and cancer. Nearly 10 years later, the “Forks Over Knives” crew has launched a plant-based cookbook, “Forks Over Knives Family,” by doctors Alona Pulde and Matthew Lederman, a book that, like the film, is geared toward the whole family.
Forks Over Knives Family: Every Parent's Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy Kids on a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet, $15.99 on Amazon
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Page through the book and you’ll find 300 vegan and oil-free recipes, cobbled together from a slew of dieticians, recipe developers, and chefs including Julieanna Hever, Judy Micklewright, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and Darshanna Thacker. You’ll find recipes for chocolate chip coconut pancakes, red cabbage coleslaw, and spaghetti marinara with lentil balls. Plus the book is packed with tools and tips for keeping your family healthy, from tackling allergies to how to maintain a plant-based diet while traveling.
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Below you’ll find a vegan recipe for falafel sandwiches, which swap the fried variety for an easy solution: baked in the oven. The falafel forms a foundation from dried chickpeas and onions, plus a ton of spices like coriander, cumin, and turmeric, then are rolled into golf ball-sized rounds, placed on a baking sheet, and baked in the oven for about 40 minutes. Then all you’ve got to do is assemble: Scoop the falafel balls into carved-out pita pockets, along with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and a drizzling of tahini.
From Forks Over Knives Family by Alona Pulde and Matthew Lederman. Reprinted with permission from Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, 2020.
Falafel Sandwiches Recipe
Here is a case where using dried chickpeas is really the only way to go; canned chickpeas just don’t yield the same crisp texture that soaked chickpeas do. Leave the bowl of soaking chickpeas in the fridge overnight so that there is no concern of the peas fermenting if left soaking for too long. These sandwiches are great as a packed lunch, with the sauce served on the side so it doesn’t make the sandwich soggy. You can also serve the falafel patties over small slices of pita bread and drizzled with tahini sauce as appetizers.
- For the filling: 1 cup dried chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup broccoli florets in 1-inch pieces (about 3 ounces)
- 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 10 small garlic cloves
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour
- 4 teaspoons ground coriander
- 4 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- For serving: 4 (6-inch) pita breads
- 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
- 1 cup tahini sauce, or as needed
- Make the filling: Place the rinsed chickpeas in a bowl and cover generously with cold water. Set in the refrigerator to soak overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Drain the chickpeas and transfer to a food processor. Add the onion, broccoli, parsley, garlic, ground flaxseed, flour, coriander, cumin, baking powder, turmeric, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse to a coarse mixture.
- Transfer to a large bowl. Add the scallions and mix well.
- Scoop out a rounded ¼ cup of the mixture and form into a patty 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick. Place on the prepared baking sheet and continue with the remaining mixture to make 16 patties total.
- Bake in the oven until the tops are crisp and brown, about 30 minutes.
- Flip the patties over and bake until the tops are browned, about 10 minutes more.
- Assemble the pitas: Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat and warm the pita breads on both sides. Cut each pita bread in half crosswise and open the pocket.
- Stuff each pita with 1 or 2 slices of tomato and some lettuce. Place 2 falafels in each pocket and drizzle with the tahini sauce. Serve.
- Storage: Wrap the sandwiches tightly in wax paper and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Header image by Chowhound.