I went to the grocery store over the weekend, and I was surprised to find that, while most of the aisles had been picked bare, there were so many chickpeas. Pasta? Nope. Black beans? Barely. But there were chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, aplenty. So I decided to stock up on a few cans of this legume to incorporate into my “one new recipe a week” plan.
Lucky for me, the legumes also happen to be nutritional powerhouses. “Like other beans, you can buy chickpeas dry and cook them yourself, or you can also buy them canned. Either way, they are packed with nutrients, inexpensive, and a great way to add some fiber and healthy plant protein,” says Whitney English, RD. Chickpeas actually clock in at 11 grams of fiber and 39 grams of protein per cup. This fiber/protein combo helps your body absorb carbs slowly, making sure your blood sugar doesn’t spike and cause your energy level to plummet.
Chickpeas also happen to be super versatile, which means you can stave off your Cooking Boredom: Quarantine Edition without having to load up on tons of different ingredients. “Chickpeas are one of my favorite beans because they can be used in so many different ways – from sandwiches, to salads, and even in desserts,” English says.
1. Udon tsukemen with pickled chickpeas
In the most recent episode of Cook With Us, Jessie Van Amburg, Well+Good’s senior food and health editor, challenged Emily Yuen, executive chef of Bessou, to create a healthy meal starring chickpeas in under 30 minutes. The caveat: no hummus and no fritters. Instead, she presented a delicious dish featuring green tea soba noodles, a delectable dipping sauce, and a surprising way to prepare garbanzos that might just change your life.
Watch the video below to get the delicious recipe:
“An easy lunch recipe that I make all the time is my chickpea tuna-free sandwich. It’s basically just mashed chickpeas, diced veggies, and some mustard and vegan mayo,” English says. “You can have it sandwiched between bread or even on its own as a “tuna” salad.”
3. Roasted chickpeas
“Roasted chickpeas make a great snack or also a tasty topping for a salad or bowl. Simply toss chickpeas with oil and spices, and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until crunchy,” English says. I, for one, will definitely be making this, as I woke up the other morning covered in chipotle-seasons crunchy chickpea pieces after a night of one too many glasses of quarantine wine.
Quarantine life and anything goes, including eating beans for dessert. “It may sound weird at first, but combine chickpeas with nut butter, maple or date syrup, and some chocolate chips, and you’ve got yourself a delicious, easy, and healthy dessert,” English says.
“Chickpeas can be used in dressings too—my Vegan Potato Salad recipe calls for a chickpea dressing, which gives it a rich and creamy consistency,” English says. She blends a can of rinsed, drained chickpeas with nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, and mustard and let me tell you—it makes for an amazing dressing that works well on nearly everything.
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