The Mighty Chickpea

18 Apr

Chickpeas are a staple in my cupboard. Not only are they amazingly versatile because of their mild flavour and ease of use, but they are pretty wholesome for you because they pack fibre and protein. I usually have a few cans on hand because I can usually whip something up pretty quickly involving chickpeas if I find myself in a bind. I know that I should really consider buying them dried and in bulk because it would be better for us, but the cans are just so convenient. All I have to do is open the can and dump the chickpeas into a colander for a nice cold water rinse.

One thing that I love to make is hummus. The first time I tried making this, I was impressed with how easy it was to make it, and for the fraction of the cost for me to buy a container of it at the store. Plus, knowing exactly what is in the hummus that I’m eating is a huge benefit for me. I’m able to control the flavour and the fat content because I don’t use any oil when I make it. Last week, I wanted to try something a little different and attempted making the hummus spicy. Best ever.

I do everything pretty much to taste, but basically I combine 1 can of chickpeas, some tahini (ground sesame paste, 2-3 Tbsp), juice of 1 lemon, about a teaspoon each of ground cumin and ground coriander. Instead of raw garlic, I roast a head of garlic and use all the bulbs because I find it gives a nice and subtle garlic taste. And instead of the olive oil that a lot of recipes call for, I use some of the chickpea liquid that I’ve reserved before from the can. I add it to the food processor a little at a time until it’s a nice, smooth texture. To make it spicy, I added some red pepper flakes. Yummy with veggie sticks or toasted pita wedges.

And now that the weather is offering a little more promise of warmer spring days, I felt like making a salad yesterday that we had on-hand a lot last summer. So easy, and so fresh and delicious. Here I combined a can of rinsed chickpeas, chopped cucumber, 2 chopped tomatoes, 1/2 chopped red onion, a few sprigs of chopped cilantro (or parsley if you’re a hater), the juice of 1 lemon and a tiny splash of olive oil. Tossed it with some pepper, and added some crumbled feta. The feta is optional, but I find it adds a nice little kick.

Anyone else out there have favorite quick recipes using the mighty chickpea?

On another food note, I’ve been getting a lot of hits to my blog because of my mention of the Green Tea Poached Salmon recipe I tried a couple of weeks ago. It seems that people are looking for the recipe online, and I promise that when I have a few minutes, I’ll post the recipe here.

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3 Responses to “The Mighty Chickpea”

  1. Angie April 19, 2010 at 2:44 am #

    I have a can of Chick Peas in my cupboard to make something with, a little reserved on what I was going to use but thought it might be nice to add some not meat proteins into my families diet. So thanks for reminding me that it really isn’t that hard to make Hummus again!

  2. Elisse April 19, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    Hey Steph! Your post may be pulling me out of my hummus-making laziness. I have heard it is super easy to make, and haven’t bothered to try it. I will try your recommendation to roast the head of garlic instead of using it raw!

    Thanks!

  3. Leesh April 20, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    Thanks for posting your hummus recipe (and other chick pea recipes). I will have to try making hummus one day. I’m just scared I’ll eat the whole thing in one sitting. Maybe I will make it for the next potluck with friends.

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