Back in the day. Before there was bread. Or cake. Or cream cheese frosting.

Before the 12 weeks of winter squash. And even before that weird month this summer where I was obsessed with eggplant.

There was one vegetable. And one vegetable only. (Yes I used to be a proponent of monogamy. But who has the time or the energy to commit themselves to one thing for the rest of their lives. Run rampant. Taste the rainbow. Just make sure you use protection. I don’t want anyone coming back and accusing me of giving them E. bola just because they decided to eat some unwashed fruit that was imported from some non-descript third world country. “But Joanne told me to do it!” No. There will be none of that. Also. Don’t drink water from a local stream either. Cholera is not fun. I know. I learned about it.)

That could make my eyes roll back in my head and have me waxing poetic about the virtues of the color orange.

The. Almighty. Sweet potato.

Now I could tell you a lot about the sweet potato. Starting with the fact that it’s not actually a potato. (It’s part of the morning glory rather than the tuber family.) Or that it is the most nutrient-dense vegetable out there.

But I highly doubt that you came here today because of some intense desire to learn more than you ever wanted to know about our good friend, Ipomoea batatas. Didn’t think so.

You want food. And who am I to stand in the way of that?
When I heard about the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission’s Sassy Sweets Blogger Recipe Challenge. I knew I had to enter.

Yes ladies and gentlemen. That is correct. The queen of sweet potatoes. Has. Returned. (You should be afraid. Very. Afraid.)

I’ve seen baked sweet potato falafel around the blogger world for a long time. So I did some research. Read the recipes. Had a little conversation with my bag of sweet potatoes (yes that’s what the extra dollar for organic gets you – talking root veggies). And came up with this recipe.

Honestly. If you’re a sweet potato lover. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Baked Sweet Potato Falafel with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce Over Asparagus and Barley
Serves 4, adapted from a lot of places

For the falafel:
1 1/2 lb sweet potato
1 1/2 tsp cumin
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 bunch cilantro
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup chickpea flour
salt and pepper to taste
sesame seeds for sprinkling

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Poke the sweet potatoes with a fork and bake until soft, 30-45 minutes. Remove them and let cool, then peel (eat the skins) and mash the sweet potato flesh in a bowl with the remaining ingredients (except for the sesame seeds). Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Let the mixture sit in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it with cooking spray. Form the sweet potato mixture into about 12 falafel balls (or more, depending on how large you want them). Place on a baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the outside is crisp.

For the tahini-yogurt sauce:
Mix 1/4 cup tahini paste with 1 cup of greek yogurt (I used non-fat), 2 cloves of minced garlic, and 1/2 of a lemon’s worth of juice.

Roast 2 pounds of asparagus in the oven (400 degrees, 10 minutes). Cook some barley in your rice cooker.

Plate out four portions of the barley, top each with asparagus, three sweet potato falafel, and 1/4 of the tahini-yogurt sauce. Enjoy.

I am also submitting this to this week’s BSI hosted by Natasha of 5 Star Foodie!

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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99 Responses to Baked Sweet Potato Falafel with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce over Asparagus and Barley

  1. Luigi says:

    No text? Whats goin on. Amazing photos.

  2. Debbie says:

    Love sweet potatoes. They are so versatile and your dish looks wonderful!!

  3. Luigi says:

    Now its there, I need to get more sleep. lol.

  4. Kim says:

    This is the first time I’ve seen sweet potato falafel. Definitely one health packed delicious meal, especially served over asparagus and barley. Good luck with the sweet potato contest! I hope you win so you can get your sweet potato crown;D

  5. A sweet potato Falafel? That is wonderful. That with the asparagus is a meal by itself!

  6. Thats a real tempting one!!!and looks very beautiful…

  7. doggybloggy says:

    what a great idea! but e-bola – e-coli – e anything is not!

  8. Faith says:

    This is my first sweet potato falafel experience…and I was instatntly smitten! I love sweet potatoes and Mike loves falafel so we’d both swoon over this dish. That tahini sauce really takes it to another level of fantastic!

  9. Lori says:

    Sweet potato in falafel? What a great idea! This looks so tasty. I love the whole combo of the dish.

  10. rena says:

    You had me at Falafel. Those looks delicious.

  11. Azita says:

    This looks so good! Can I please have this for breakfast? yummy!

  12. Chef Fresco says:

    I am the biggest sweet potato fan either – and I agree – doesn’t look like it could get much better than these tasty little nuggets. I’ve never heard of sweet potato falafel – deprived! I can’t imagine there being a better type of falafel out there!

  13. Mamatkamal says:

    I’ve never heard of potato falafel before, it looks so good!

  14. Marisa says:

    I suspect you have a webcam checking out superflous ingredients in my pantry, because wouldn’t you know it, we just got a free bag of sweet potatoes yesterday and I had no idea what to do with it (before now).

  15. Pam says:

    Boy Girlie…you are a chef for sure…..looks so GOOD!


  16. aquadaze says:

    I love sweet potatoes. Great idea to make falafel out of them!

  17. Sweet potato sounds so so good and i could gobble a few ,steamed right now so imagine if u have a rocking recipe as this one…..this weeks Bsi sounds good too, sweet blogger challenge sounds fantastic too-now to look out for the link that i cant find:-))))))

    Me never heard or read about sweet potato Falafel and am so simply glad to hear so and absolutely deliciously so from a fantastic blogger :-)))0

  18. Amy says:

    I didn’t know sweet potatoes weren’t a potato. ReallY!? What is a Yam?? Ah, either way, I love them. Sadly, my entire family shuns them. However, if I made these, I wouldn’t have to share. I also didn’t know there was such a thing as chickpea flour. I have learned a lot here today.

  19. monicajane says:

    wow…sounds awesomely wonderful…I have chickpea flour in my house that I don’t have enough things to do with and I LOVE sweet potatoes…

    and falafel as well…
    wonderful and creative idea

  20. Kalyn says:

    Gorgeous post. I would love to eat this any time!

  21. Pam says:

    This sounds and looks delicious! Just wish I could convince hubby how great sweet potatoes are! Thanks!

  22. elra says:

    Love sweet potato, I must try to make falafel using this superfood. Look delish Jo!

  23. SE says:

    yummy…this looks so colorful and gorgeous…

  24. Any sort of falafel is worth a try in my book, and this version sounds fantastic! Gotta try this, asap.

  25. Sophie says:

    Hello Joanne!

    A georgous & fab meal this is!!

    MMMMMMMM,..very apart too! Lovely food!

  26. Karen says:

    We love sweets around here – good luck with the recipe challenge!

  27. Shannon says:

    this sounds absolutely fabulous! yum…

  28. I’ve been buying organic sweet potatoes for some time now and never thought to talk to them…darn what have I been missing!

  29. Wow, this looks absolutely heavenly… and its healthy! Fab!!!
    *kisses* HH

  30. Barbara says:

    Do you mind if I just pig out on the sweet potato falafel and yogurt dip and forget the barley and asparagus?
    Sweet potatoes are THE BEST. I love ’em.

  31. Wow! A sweet potato falafel sounds incredible! Yum!

  32. Oh happy happy joy joy. I love sweet potatoes. I love falafel. I love the idea of having them together!

  33. Pam says:

    What a creative and tasty dish – it looks so good!!

  34. the true sweet Potato queen… although the original SPQ books are a fun read… My wife gets them on tape when we have a long drive

  35. Danielle says:

    Im not a sweet potato fan (although I love them as fried wedges) but this recipe should could convert me!! It looks soo good

  36. Wonderful! I just had broccoli falafels.. and I think I would love yours even more!

  37. Debbi Smith says:

    I’ve had a recipe similar to this in my recipes just waiting to be made. It looks delicious!! I’ll have to make it soon, I LOVE sweet potatoes!

  38. Bob says:

    All right, I have to try this. I’ve never seen it before but everything about it is awesome. Good luck in the challenge!

  39. Andreas says:

    Looks and sounds like a very sassy dish.
    I’ve never had sweet potatoes before, maybe I should. πŸ˜‰

  40. Mimi says:

    I love, love, love sweet potatoes. I’ll have to make these for sure. Good luck with the contest!

  41. Oh you are a goddess, what an amazing combination! Okay, aside from that yucky cilantro – but I will forgive you for that and make mine without πŸ™‚

  42. Pam says:

    These sound incredible!!

  43. Chris says:

    Can’t drink out of local creeks? What’s wrong with taking a little risk? πŸ˜‰

    Colorful and tasty looking, you have a good shot at winning. Good luck.

  44. Ken Albala says:

    Long and orange, lean and lovely, the girl with Ipomoea is eating, and when she bites down….

    Every time I see the genus I need to sing it.

    Lovely recipe. Ken

  45. Yasmeen says:

    I have 2 sweet spuds sitting in the basket for 2 weeks now,guess its time to get cooking with them πŸ˜€

  46. Mary says:

    Now this is what I call a gorgeous meal. The fact that it’s also healthy makes it a homerun. Your photos are wonderful.

  47. This dish looks so good. Please send leftovers to my hotel that I will be staying at this weekend (aka Monique’s house).

  48. How do you do it…medical school and keeping so creative in the kitchen?! I love sweet potatoes and this brings them to new heights. Good luck – I hope you win!

  49. Jessie says:

    How the bloody heck do you have time to cook all these gorgeous foods when you’re in medical school?? All the med students I know don’t even shower.

    The Almighty sweet potato is right πŸ™‚ Have a great evening!

  50. Velva says:

    That is a really creative dish. This is a wonderful way to enjoy sweet potatoes. Good luck on the recipe challenge. You have my vote.

    btw, you asked about my rainbow photo for Wordless Wednesday. I took the photo outside in my backyard after a thunderstorm.

  51. sophia says:

    That looks WONDERFUL. Boy, I love sweet potatoes, too, but I wish you would try the Korean ones….totally superior!
    Btw, I bought 5 lbs of barley today. Tee hee!

  52. katiez says:

    When I lived in Andorra we always drank water fron the streams – as long as you were above the tree-line (didn’t want snow melt from the ski-stations.) As to sweet potatoes – love them and in the last year I’ve even been able to buy them without selling the first-born!

  53. Foodycat says:

    Joanne, thanks for commenting on my blog! These look amazing. Sweet potatoes are so versatile! One of my favourite books as a child was The Plum Rain Scroll, which has a character called Lord Sweet Potato who travels around Japan planting sweet potatoes so that no one ever goes hungry.

  54. Debinhawaii says:

    Long live the Sweet Potato Queen–I have missed her! πŸ˜‰ This looks wonderful–I love all of the ingredients.

  55. Joanne,,dear recipe looks delicious and in healthy version,,,low calorie food with tempting sauce.You are a good dietician with good cooking,,, m surprise how you are managing studies and also cooking…woooow,,thats great.thanks for sharing dear,,,take care n keep smiling always like this

  56. Shirley says:

    I love this recipe, more so cos I have all the ingredients in my kitchen. I will prepare this and get back to you for sure.

  57. Nostalgia says:

    Gosh! that looks great.

  58. that looks amazing… sweet potatoes and love falafel-you are a genius girl πŸ™‚

  59. Without the asparagus, you have a wonderful dish. Sweet potatoes are delish.

  60. Sweet potato falafel??? Wow thats innovative Joanne:) A wonderful meal:)

  61. Nicole, RD says:

    Drrrrooooool! Those falafel look amazing, Joanne! Mmm mm! I love all things sweet potato AND falafel! And the morning glory family! Talk about trivia for the day! I think I’ll share that fun fact with my facebook friends on my status for the day! Haha! People should know such things!

  62. I love falafel! Your a genius for these sweet potato ones! I love them! And the way you served them – that’s a plate full of love.

  63. Pam says:

    Joanne, come by and see me please I have a surprise for you!


  64. he actually sent me a message yetserday asking to chat and gave me his number.

    LOL!!!! i know, if he keeps me entertained during runnning (HE”S REALLY FAST THO!) then he’s a true keeper!!!

    and sweet taters??!!? YUMM!!!

  65. Katerina says:

    This looks very yummy and nutricious.

  66. Paul Wynn says:

    Savory sweet potato, yummy…

  67. Gulmohar says:

    Potatoes are so versatile and this looks terrific !

  68. Dear Joanne, these are lovely lovely in every way!! The sauce, the sweet non-potatoes ;-), everything. Mmm. πŸ™‚ You’re a clever lady!

  69. teresa says:

    i’ve never had falafel, but the fact that you made these with sweet potatoes makes me want to try them even more! fabulous recipe!

  70. ruchikacooks says:

    Now thats one spread I cant miss. Falafel is yummy with tahini sauce but with sweet potatoes, never I would have thought of such a combo.

  71. Jagruti says:

    Sweet potato falafel? innovative Jo..looks perfect and tempting..fantastic recipe!!

  72. Joanne
    I had never heard of sweet potato falafel before your post and now I am so intrigued! As much as I hate to mess with hummos, I love to fiddle with falafel and I adore sweet potatoes and chick peas so I am sure this recipe will be a winner in my house! Thanks !

  73. I have never have falafel before πŸ˜€ this looks really interesting!!! I love sweet potato related everything. it’s a really nice creation !!

  74. Danielle says:

    Wow! That’s quite a combo and I have no doubt that it was positively delicious!

  75. C’est un plat plein de saveurs. J’adore.

  76. Diana says:

    I do declare, I think sweet potato falafel sounds even better than the chickpea kind! Best of luck in the contest!

    Definitely stop by SIB sometime. πŸ™‚

  77. Martha says:

    I’ve never heard of sweet potato falafel but it sure looks and sounds perfectly delicious! Definitely has to go on the must try list! I never knew sweet potatoes were from the morning glory family either. I’m getting smarter hanging around with you πŸ™‚

  78. Julie says:

    i’m bookmarking this biotch. so amaze.

    i am THAT girl with the weird obsession for eggplant right now haha. except i’m not as creative as you. i just put it in the microwave and hit the “fresh veggie” button hahaha

  79. I am drooling..these look perfect!

  80. Beautiful post! I love it! You are inspiring ~LeslieMichele

  81. Holy Moly. I am so going to make these. What a great combo – I think the kids will love these!

  82. wow, sweet potato falafel, thats something new to me..this looks so delicious and tasty..I would just gulp down some πŸ˜›

  83. monicajane says:

    just thought I’d stop by and tell you I’m in the process of making a variation of this right now…

    the potatoes are roasting…

    I’m using collard greens instead of asparagus…

    not sure if I’ll blog it or not…but I’ll let you know how it comes out!

  84. Kerstin says:

    Your had me at the amazing title – I love falafel and a sweet potato version sounds absolutely amazing!

  85. Cynthia says:

    OH my gosh this looks sooooo good! I am obsessed with sweet potatoes! I love them boiled, mashed, fried, steamed…there is no wrong way to eat sweet potato. I will definitely have to try this sometime. Very creative way to use sweet potatoes too!

  86. grace says:

    this is win-win–i’m a lover of both sweet potatoes and the spices involved in falafel. actually, tack one more ‘win’ onto that–that sauce is amazing! πŸ™‚

  87. Jen says:

    falafel with sweet potatoes? omg! wowsey! I wanna make this for sure, thanks! hope school is going well.

  88. Michelle says:

    Love the thought of falafel with sweet potatoes….OMG how yummy! And the sauce sounds so good!

  89. Rachel J says:

    This is my first visit to your blog and what a zinger of a recipe this sweet potato falafel is! I am really looking forward to reading more of your catalog esp now that I know buying organic means I will have talking veggies. Ciao!

  90. Yum, those falafels look fantastic! Great use of sweet potatoes. . . .

  91. Ooooh, such a great idea. I’ll steal it! πŸ˜‰

  92. msmeanie says:

    Oh yum! I have been thinking about making falafel recently and I love that these are baked and not fried. I am definitely a sweet potato lover, so I bet I would really enjoy these. Thanks!

  93. I actually hadn’t seen this recipe before I posted my roasted sweet potatoes. They really go great with sesame, don’t they? This looks absolutely lovely.

  94. jd says:

    That falafel looks absolutely scrumptious! I can’t wait to try the recipe… yum!

  95. Theguttu says:

    Congrats! I knew that was a real winner when I read it. I will have to cook that one for my people too.

  96. Wooohooo!! What a success! These were awesome. We added curry too. And plenty left over falafel for tomorrow!

  97. […] got the idea for this onΒ Joanne’s wonderful blog, Eats Well With Others. I made some changes but all credit for inspiration and virtually all of the ingredients goes to […]

  98. […] beans. I used the spice mix from last week for flavor – delicious!  This week I will be trying sweet potato falafel w/ barley and asparagus that sounded interesting. Love falafel, but my husband is not such a fan. […]

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