Healthy veggie-packed meal with falafel

Healthy veggie-packed meal with falafel
healthy veggie-packed meal with falafel

This healthy veggie-packed meal with falafel is an excellent choice for a mid-week easy meal. Having a vegetarian meal once a week can be a healthy option for the family.

Family Vegetarian meals

Vegetarian meals such as this healthy veggie-packed meal with falafel tend to be loaded with vegetables. Eating a variety of vegetables on a daily basis is the key to good health and thriving gut microbiomes. And yes, the science applies to all members of the family, young and old.

There are 5 steps to this dish

Step one

To roast the root vegetables. I chose baby potatoes and turnips. You may choose different root veg. Make it easier for yourself, you do not need to follow my recipes to the letter 🙂

Step two

To prepare the chard. I chose this amazing green leafy vegetable because it provides some softness and taste to the root veg. Chard contains a nutrient powerhouse, including most energy-giving B vitamins and folate. Most people do not how to cook it or feel it is too time-consuming to cook. Furthest from the truth, all you need is to chop (both stems and leaves) and parboil it for about 5 minutes. The next step is to brown it in olive oil and add a drop of soy sauce to enhance the flavour (a little secret, you can do this with ANY green leafy veg). Once you try this cooking approach, you will most likely become a fan of chard just like myself.

Step three

To prepare the homemade tomato sauce. Roasting whole tomatoes brings up their sweetness. I used sourdough bread to thicken the sauce. You may chose a gluten-free bread if you need to stay off gluten. The combination of spices gives a distinct flavour no other shop-bought sauce will. I intentionally avoided hot spices thinking of my little one. But you may want to spicy up the sauce with some chopped chili, chili powder or a drop of red sauce. The tomato sauce is essential for this dish as otherwise will be too dry so make sure you make plenty of it.

Step four

To pan-roast the halloumi cheese. Halloumi adds a tangy flavour, not too strong for the younger ones in the family. I personally like goat’s and sheep’s milk cheeses like halloumi not just for their milder flavour but because dairy from goat and sheep contains a specific protein type (A2 beta-casein) which is believed to be easier to digest than cow’s milk protein (which contains both A1 and A2 beta-casein). However, if you tolerate cow’s milk dairy well, you may want to switch to a variety of cheese that can be roasted/fried such as mozzarella or paneer. If you prefer to stay off dairy altogether, use vegan dairy cheese.

Step five

The assembly! Watch below for some inspiration.

healthy veggie-packed meal

If you like this healthy veggie-packed meal idea, there is a similar recipe on this website, Happy Summer veg with sweet pepper and tomato sauce.

Healthy veggie-packed meal with falafel

Course Main Course
Cuisine Gut-friendly, Healthy, Mediterranean


For the Vegetable dish

  • 1 bag baby potatoes (approx. 500g)
  • 2 bags chard (approx. 400g)
  • parsnips (approx. 500g)
  • 2 bunch spring onions
  • 1 pack halloumi
  • 2 packs falafel, shop bought (approx. 400g)
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten-free option)

For the Tomato sauce

  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 100 ml tomato passata
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 tsp thyme dried
  • 1 tsp oregano dried
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 50 g sourdough bread (approx. 2 slices)
  • 25 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 100 ml olive oil extra virgin


  • Parboil the baby potatoes in salted water for 7 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain well.
  • In the meantime, peel and cube the parsnips.
  • Place the boiled potatoes, cubed parsnips and whole tomatoes in an oven tray. Sprinkle some olive oil, nutmeg, turmeric and salt over the root veg. Sprinkle some olive oil and salt over the tomatoes. Roast for 15min at 180 degrees until tender.
  • While the root veggies are roasting, prepare the chard. Clean the chard leaves under running water. Slice the chard stems and leaves crosswise into pieces of your desired size. Boil in salted water for 5 minutes.
  • Drain well the cooked chard. Toss the chard in a pan with some olive oil and soy sauce and cook for 5 minutes until the flavours are well mixed.
  • Pan roast the halloumi. Reserve.
  • For the tomato sauce, peel the skin off the tomatoes. In a blender, blend the garlic cloves, spices, tomatoes, tomato passata, vinegar and bread until you get a smooth sauce. Season to taste.
  • To serve, in a large serving plate place first the root veg, then scatter the chard and halloumi. Toss in the tomato sauce (make sure is heated).


This is a nutritionally balanced vegetarian meal for children. It contains all food groups and natural plant fibres and feeds the family on a budget.
If you make double portions, it can keep in the fridge for a few days. You may use leftovers in other dishes too. Sometimes, I use root veg for morning omelettes or just blend them to a soup for when the kids come back from school. 
Keyword dairy-free, gluten-free, gut-friendly recipe, meat free recipe, plant-based family meal, vegan recipe

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