- Bettina Applewhite
School lunch is changing because the students are changing. Students want meals that are reflective of their cultures and beliefs. This falafel bowl is not only good for school lunch but it's also delicious at home!
Falafel is made of ground chickpeas and lots of herbs like dill and parsley and spices like cumin and coriander. It's flavorful. It's full on plant-based protein from chickpeas. I used a just add water mix that I found in the grocery store. I used plenty of fresh ingredients in the rest of the bowl to make sure my meal was extra tasty.
I built my bowls with dark, leafy salad greens and tabbouleh. I added in feta cheese and fresh, sliced cucumbers, and tzatziki. Tzatziki is a yogurt and cucumber sauce that is great on it's own as a dip but also can be found as an accompaniment for many Greek dishes. It's great for this falafel bowl.
It's national school lunch week. This falafel bowl is similar to bowls served all around the country to students in schools. The new generation of students are more considerate of the environment and their impact on the world and on their personal health. For this reason and many other reasons, students are following more plant-based or plant-forward diets. Many students may not be eliminating meat, fish, or meat products from their diets altogether. They are not finding it necessary to have meat or meat products at every meal. The trendy term is called "flexitarian". I call it eating what you like. Sometimes all you want is a good veggie.
There are so many options to get protein in your diet from plant based sources. One of the popular school lunch dishes we have in my district is the hummus box. It consists of hummus, tortilla chips, and fresh fruit and veggies. It's been so popular lately that it's hard to keep in stock. We're trying our best to keep up with the demands. If I'm being honest, it's one of my favorite lunch options too. Hummus is a creamy chickpea dip. It's a good source of protein like falafel.
How to Build Your Falafel Bowl
Mix of Romaine and Spring Mix or Baby Spinach
Low-fat Feta Cheese
Black olives - optional
Low-fat Greek Dressing
Serve with Pita Chips