1 Food, 5 ways: Falafel

Sure, the Mediterranean staple is deep-fried, but this chickpea mixture is also healthy and rich in plant protein.

1. WITH EXTRA VEGGIES Mix and match vegetables, nuts, or seeds for a variety of flavours and to maximize health benefits. Start with 1 can rinsed chickpeas, 2–3 chopped garlic cloves, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, 4 tbsp whole-wheat flour, cumin, salt, and pepper, and toss into a food processor. Then add 2 tbsp of nuts or seeds and chopped vegetables. Start with kale, collard greens, or spinach, then add carrots, broccoli, onions, or beets. Blend everything, form into balls or patties, and sauté or bake.

2. AS AN APPETIZER Serve falafel in small bite-size balls and pair with a cucumber-yogurt dipping sauce. Make perfect mini falafel balls by using a melon baller; scoop mixture into a mini muffin tin and bake. Grease tin with oil, bake at 350° for 15–20 minutes.

3. AS AS TUFFING Use your falafel mix as a vegetarian protein stuffing. Spoon mixture inside bell peppers, mushrooms, or tomatoes and bake at 400° for 30–45 minutes, checking often near the end.

4.ON A SANDWICH Place falafel inside anything whole grain—pita, bread, a wrap—or even inside butterhead lettuce leaf cups or a large collard green leaf. Pair with a layer of hummus or tzatziki sauce and add raw vegetables for a balanced and flavourful lunch.

5. ON A SALAD Chickpeas provide a good source of protein and fiber. Adding nuts and seeds boosts healthy fat content. Layer salad greens with a mixture of carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, and purple cabbage. Top with lemon and yogurt dressing: Combine ¼ cup Greek yogurt with 2 tbsp lemon juice, a squeeze of honey, 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1 garlic clove, sea salt, and pepper.

CHEW ON THIS Men under 50 should consume 38g of fiber a day. Four balls (8g) offer almost a quarter of your daily fibre.