Tag Archives: chickpeas

Grapefruit Sesame Salad

Last night after dinner, my boyfriend came home and the first thing he says to me is “what’s so sticky all over the counter?” Oops. My grapefruit got away from me. I’ll admit to getting getting a little wild while segmenting my grapefruit all fancy like you’d see on Chopped. After that,  the the salad looked so good I just forgot about all the flying drops and dove right in. And why wouldn’t I? This thing is a sweet and savory masterpiece.

Salad season is upon us, as evidenced by the wonderful spring lettuces now available at most farmer’s markets. I picked up a giant head of butter lettuce last week and some of it found its way into this salad. For variety (and because it was there) I also added some baby spinach. You can use whatever kind of greens you like or have lying around. If you are short on time or energy for taking apart messy grapefruit, you can buy segments in a jar in the produce section of most grocery stores. Look for one that doesn’t have added sugar.

I don’t remember which magazine I was reading when I found this dressing. It sounds so simple but the combo of grapefruit juice and sesame oil is just wonderful. All it needs is a little salt and pepper to give it a little punch. The goat cheese adds some creaminess and tang and oh my, it’s all so good. I know it sounds weird, but next time you have a pile of greens staring at you, give this one a go. So simple. So yummy.

Grapefruit Sesame Salad

Grapefruit Sesame Salad

Grapefruit Sesame Salad

3-4 cups mixed salad greens (I used half spinach and half butter lettuce)
1 pink grapefruit (or grapefruit segments in a jar if you prefer)
2 oz. goat cheese
1 cup chickpeas, rinsed
1 tsp. sesame oil
Salt & pepper

Place greens and chickpeas in a bowl.

Over a small bowl, segment grapefruit, reserving liquid. I do this by cutting the peel off and then using a knife to get the segments out. Squeeze the leftover membranes over the bowl to get the rest of the juice out. You’ll probably have at least 2-3 tablespoons. Add the grapefruit segments to the greens. Add sesame oil and a pinch of salt and pepper to the small bowl of grapefruit juice. Whisk to combine.

Toss the greens and chickpeas with the dressing. Top plates of salad with crumbled goat cheese. This makes enough for 2 people, or one super hungry salad machine.

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Yellow Chicken Curry with Chickpeas

I love curry in just about every incarnation I’ve had the pleasure to experience it. Thai, Indian, spicy, mild, you name it, I will probably eat it. Curry doesn’t have to be spicy or taste any certain way. Curry is not even a spice unto itself. It can be any mixture of spices, sometimes just a few, or up to 20! This curry recipe came from Jamie Oliver, one of my favorite celebrity chefs. This is an Indian version that has perhaps been slightly Americanized. There are no unusual ingredients, and the preparation is not complicated. It’s packed full of flavor without being spicy. If you like more heat, use a bit more chile, or a spicier curry powder. For less heat, use less chile or leave it out. I found to be mild as prepared here.

If you don’t like dealing with whole pieces of chicken in sauce, you can substitute boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces. But using the whole pieces not only makes for a pretty presentation, but also makes this very quick to throw together and easy on the budget too! Since the meat is braised in the sauce, it’s quite tender and comes off the bone easily with a fork.

Pukka Yellow Curry

Yellow Chicken Curry with Chickpeas

Yellow Chicken Curry with Chickpeas
(slightly adapted from jamieoliver.com)

2 onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
1 yellow pepper
1 cup fresh green beans
1 tsp. chicken base or bouillon
1-2 fresh red chiles
½ a bunch of fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons curry powder (any kind)
8 chicken drumsticks or thighs
olive oil
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 cup basmati rice
1 lemon
Plain yogurt for garnish, if desired

Peel the onions, garlic and ginger and deseed the peppers. Put 1 onion, yellow pepper, the garlic and ginger into a food processor. Add the bouillon and add the chili (deseed it first, if you prefer a milder curry), the cilantro stalks, honey and spices, then blitz to a paste.

Place a large casserole pan on a medium-high heat and fry the chicken (pull the skin off first, if you prefer) with a splash of oil for 10 minutes, or until golden, turning occasionally with tongs. Remove the chicken to a plate, leaving the pan on the heat. Roughly chop the remaining onion and add to the pan to cook for a few minutes, then tip in the paste and let it cook down for around 5 minutes. Pour in two cups of boiling water. Drain the chickpeas and add along with the tomato paste and a pinch of salt and pepper, then stir well. Return the chicken to the pan, add the green beans, pop the lid on, reduce the heat and simmer gently for around 45 minutes, or until the sauce darkens and thickens.

While the chicken cooks, boil a pot of water, as if you were making pasta. Add rice. Boil for 8 minutes. Drain. Put the lid back on and let sit until you are ready to serve. This helps give you that wonderful texture you see in Indian restaurants where the grains of rice are separate instead of sticking together.

Serve the curry with a few dollops of yogurt (if using) and a scattering of cilantro leaves, with lemon wedges for squeezing over and the fluffy rice on the side.

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Roasted Chickpeas

Finding healthy snacks is always a challenge.  I’m sorry, but chomping on baby carrots just doesn’t do it for me when I’m craving something salty and crunchy.  During our brief gluten-free period, the cracker, pretzel and friends were missed greatly.  But luckily, there was still the chickpea.

The first time I saw fried chickpeas in a restaurant I thought it sounded crazy.  Who wants to eat a fried bean?  But, much to my surprise, these crunchy little tidbits were delicious and addictive.  On that particular occasion they were fried, but at home, I find it easier – and healthier – to bake them.  They are great for snacking, or for a nice salty crunch to go with the soup, salad or sandwich of your choice.   Feel free to mix up the spices however you like, it’s fun to experiment with different combos, but they are also good with simple salt & pepper.

Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas

2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt & pepper
1 tsp. chili powder

Pat chickpeas dry after rinsing and draining.  Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and the seasonings you like.  Spread out on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 400˚ for 20-30 minutes, until they reach the crunchiness level you like.  Commence munching.

Roasting the Chickpeas...So easy!

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Lemony Couscous with Chickpeas

It’s very tempting when you’re on a (mostly) vegetarian diet to eat pasta every night when life gets busy.  It’s easy, you don’t need to think about recipes much, and everybody knows it’s delicious – not to mention cheap!  Unfortunately, my backside thinks this is a bad plan, and protests by not fitting into my favorite jeans if I indulge too often.

Couscous may be made out of grain but as far as carbs go it’s a healthier choice than pasta.  It is much lower on the glycemic index than pasta and higher in vitamins.  Still cheap.  Still quick to make.  And still tasty, although I don’t tend to smother it in butter or creamy sauce (which just makes it even more healthy in comparison to pasta).  It’s not as much of a comfort food for me, but that’s okay.  If you ate comfort food every night, it wouldn’t be as comforting.

As far as quickie meals go, couscous is about as fast and easy as it gets.  To prepare, you just put it in a bowl and pour boiling water (or other liquid) over it, cover and let it sit for about 5 minutes or so.  Fluff it up with a fork and use it in whatever you want.  This was a new recipe we tried this week, definitely filling enough to be a main dish, but would work well as a side dish too.  And since there is nothing in it that will go bad at room temperature, I wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up at a few potlucks this summer.  We ate this with a green salad and fruit for dinner, then used the leftovers in sandwich wraps for lunch the next day.

Lemony Couscous with Chickpeas

Lemony Couscous With Chickpeas
(from Moosewood Restaurant, Simple Suppers)

1 1/2 cups couscous
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups boiling water
2 lemons
1/4 cup olive oil
1 14 oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped black olives
2 tbsp. fresh dill, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/2 cup roasted cashews, chopped (the recipe called for toasted almonds, but cashews is what I had and they were delicious in this)

Put the couscous and salt in a bowl and pour the boiling water over it.  Cover and set aside for 5-10 minutes, until the water is absorbed.  Meanwhile, zest and juice both lemons and put it all in a large bowl, along with the olive oil.  Add couscous, chickpeas, olives and herbs and toss well.  Add more salt if needed.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.  Top with chopped nuts right before serving.

Lemony Couscous Wraps

Lemony Couscous Wraps

Lemony couscous
Roasted garlic hummus (or any flavor)
Cucumbers, sliced
Spinach wraps or tortillas

Spread hummus on the wrap, top with about a 1/2 cup of couscous and sliced cucumbers.  Wrap up and eat!



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