Falafel with Avocado Spread

This Middle Eastern style sandwich has a Latin spin on it. Garnish with leafy greens and sliced red onion.

Makes: 4 stuffed pita halves

1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (reduced-fat, optional)
¼ cup finely crushed baked tortilla chips (about ¾ ounce)
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
1 large egg white
1½ teaspoons canola oil

¼ cup mashed, peeled avocado
2 tablespoons finely chopped tomato
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream (may substitute 0% fat Greek yogurt)
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
⅛ teaspoon salt

Remaining ingredients:
2 (6-inch) pitas, each cut in half crosswise
4 thin red onion slices, separated into rings
leafy salad greens


  1. Place pinto beans in a medium bowl; partially mash with a fork. Add cheese and next ingredients (through egg white); stir until well combined. Shape bean mixture into 4 (1/2-inch thick) oval patties.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.Add patties to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until patties are browned and thoroughly heated.
  3. To prepare spread, combine avocado and next 5 ingredients (through salt), stirring well. Place 1 patty in each pita half. Spread about 2 tablespoons avocado spread over patty in each pita half; top with onions and greens.

Nutrition facts: (1 stuffed pita half): 281 calories, 9.5 g fat(3.4 gm sat fat, 3.9 g mono, 1.5 g poly), 12.2 g protein, 37.4 g carbohydrate, 5.9 g fiber, 13 mg cholesterol, 2.4 mg iron, 625 mg sodium, 188 mg calcium. Per portion: 2 Grain, 1 Vegetable, 1 Protein, 1 Fat

Source: Cooking Light, September 2007