Food General Ops Skate Or Dice

“SACKED” FALAFEL WRAPS — Salad Grinds and Bean Plants #32

salad grinds - sack falafel


(Backed quinoa falafel wraps modified from Connoisseurus Veg)

WORDS: Johnny Lozano   

Remember MTV’s Scarred? It was basically torture porn by skaters for everyone.Back in middle school and high school, it was impossible to mention you skated without getting asked if you’d “seen that show, Scarred?”The answer was of course no, because I actually skated instead of taking the “everything but” approach to skateboarding culture.

While we’re reminiscing about the days of romanticizing skateboarding’s ability to dole out bodily harm, let’s all give a moment of silence for the dreaded sack. Perhaps nothing strikes more fear into the hearts and genitals of skaters worldwide.No matter what language you speak, the sound, image, and sensation of cold steel to the twins is truly abhorrent.Because we’re all gluttons for pain, I decided to use this opportunity to make a list of the top 5 best (worst) sacks in skateboarding history. While there are probably nausea-inducing contenders out in the ether of social media, I’m keeping these finalists to mediums other than Instagram—and sadly, while Johnny Layton’s infamous mishap may be the most visually disturbing clip in recent years, it didn’t make the list simply because (by his own account) it was more of a credit card by rail than a sack:

5 Ed Templeton (Welcome to Hell): Look, if you don’t want to see Ed’s scrotum, don’t click that link. But if you do want to see the black and blue proof of why this makes the list, then smash that button and find something to bite on. By the way, perhaps deserving of its own article is the fact that Zero and Toy Machine videos used to have an entire slam section. Why would you do such a thing?

4 Leo Romero (That’s Life): I never said the sack had to be debilitating. This makes the list because he got back up and put the trick down. Granted, the tape may have been edited to decrease the recovery time in between, but the fact that it didn’t end the session earns a spot on the list.

3 John Cardiel (Sight Unseen): Had he been just slightly more quick-footed he wouldn’t have made this list; but the fact that he gives us all a brief glimmer of hope before getting owned by the rail makes this one truly unforgettable. Johnny Cash forgot to mention testicular pain when he told Cards to walk the line.

2 Jimmy Carlin (First Try Fridays): Perhaps the most awesome thing about this is the fact that there’s two minutes of buildup to what we think is going to be an easy make for poor, poor Jimmy. The vomiting gives him bonus points, for sure, but it’s the surprise factor for skateboarding’s beloved comedian that puts this at the number two spot. And don’t worry, Mikey, we still love you.

salad grinds - sack falafel

1 Jereme Rogers (Yeah Right): No big-budget Spike Jonze editing here; Jereme’s jewels were in his chest and the look of agony says it all. Just like that Simpsons episode in which Bart pinpoints exactly where Ralph’s heart breaks, you can just about pinpoint the exact millisecond where Jereme first considers a rap career. It’s followed by a jaw-dropping part, but that beginning is brutal and hilarious at the same time.

In the vein of tasteless humor, I’d like to introduce a food that is consistent with the above imagery: falafel. If you’ve never tried it, think of falafel as a Middle Eastern meatball made of chickpeas (or fava beans) and spices. Why it’s most commonly in the shape of a ball, I don’t know (research was unilluminating), but it’s extremely versatile and often seen in wraps, atop salads or as a side with hummus.

salad grinds - sack falafel

Additionally, it need not be made exclusively with chickpeas or fava beans; one can easily find kidney bean falafel, red bean falafel, or—as in this recipe (modified from Connoisseurus Veg)—a mixture of chickpeas and quinoa. Though it is traditionally fried, making it delightfully crunchy, yet inconveniently heavy on the stomach, this recipe opts for baking. This keeps all the flavor and crunch of a delicious, fiber-filled meal, while keeping you feeling light and ready for your next session. Stuff these into a pita pocket with some greens and hummus and you’ve got the perfect Middle Eastern wrap to complement the cringe-worthy listicle above.

INGREDIENTS (makes 12 falafel balls for about 4 wraps):

  • 1/3 cup quinoa dry
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cooked/canned chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • ½ yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. cayenne
  • squeeze of ½ lemon
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 4 pita pockets
  • hummus of choice (for a black bean hummus recipe, check here)
  • lettuce, tomato, red onion, tahini and other garnishes of your choice


  • Add the quinoa to a small sauce pan, toss in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Once it’s at a bowl, bring it down to low heat, cover and let it sit for 10 minutes or until all the broth is absorbed and you’re left with fluffy quinoa.
  • Toss the quinoa into a food processor with the chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, olive oil and spices and pulse it 10-15 times or until all of the ingredients are mixed up. The consistency should be somewhere in between grainy and pureed, so don’t get too ambitious and turn it into a smoothie.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using your hands, form the mix into 1-2” balls and place them on the baking sheet. Bake them for 40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes to ensure an even bake. This will also keep them from baking lopsided.
  • Once baked, open those pita pockets, slather on the hummus, throw in the veggies and dressing of your choice and stuff with the falafel. Chow down and continue hoping that you never face the pain and anguish endured by the five unlucky subjects above.

Happy shredding,


For more recipes, check _or find us on Instagram at @salad_grinds_and_bean_plants.

 salad grinds - sack falafel

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