The husband and I both have summer birthdays, one month apart, which means there have been lots of treats and indulgent meals lately. When we’re not in celebration mode, we’ve been opting for healthier fare to help balance things out, and these falafel and hummus bowls have quickly become a new favorite!
Inspired by a local restaurant, these bowls are comprised of a bed of lettuce and Israeli couscous, a scoop of tomato cucumber salad, sliced pickles, falafel, and a generous dollop of hummus. The variety of flavors and textures means there is never a dull bite, and we love how this dish is simultaneously filling yet refreshingly light! It also comes together surprisingly quickly, as we use a package of fully cooked falafel—Trader Joe’s frozen falafel can be ready after a minute or two in the microwave, although there are also baking instructions—and pre-made hummus. If we’re on top of things, we’ll make homemade hummus on the weekend to eat throughout the week, but sometimes store-bought just makes more sense. So with the falafel and hummus taken care of, all that’s left to do is chop up some veggies and cook the couscous! The instructions I’ve provided for the couscous may differ from what some packages say, but heating the couscous in oil for a few minutes before adding water helps bring out its natural nutty flavor, so it’s really worth the extra bit of time in my opinion.
These falafel and hummus bowls are vegan if you prepare them according to the instructions below, but if you’re craving meat, shawarma-style chicken, lamb, etc. would be an excellent addition! Have you tried falafel? If you have, was it love at first bite or more of an acquired taste? I’m curious to know, because it’s yet another food that I hated as a child but am more than happy to eat as an adult!
- 1 1/3 cups uncooked Israeli couscous
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 1 2/3 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 cup diced cucumbers
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- black pepper to taste
- 12 ounces romaine lettuce (about 2 medium hearts), chopped
- 3/4 cup sliced dill pickles
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup salad dressing (Italian, Greek feta, or similar)
- 12 prepared falafel
- 1 1/2 cups hummus
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional)
- Combine the couscous and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan and cook at medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes, or until the couscous is golden brown. Add the water and salt (carefully – the contents of the pan will sizzle!) and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 9-12 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed. If the couscous seems to be sticking together after cooking, add 1 teaspoon olive oil.
- While the couscous is cooking, combine the ingredients for the tomato and cucumber salad in a medium bowl and set aside to let the flavors mix.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the couscous, tomato and cucumber salad, lettuce, pickles, and salad dressing. Top individual portions with falafel and hummus. Sprinkle with chopped parsley (if desired).
- I use Trader Joe’s fully cooked falafel, which you can find in the freezer section. If you are making this ahead or storing leftovers, I recommend keeping the tomato and cucumber salad separate and draining excess liquid before adding it to the other ingredients.