18 September 2012

7 ways to use chickpeas

Got a can of chickpeas laying around that you don't know what to do with? Have no fear, garbanzo beans are actually the most versatile bean to cook with. Their plain taste takes well to any flavors you add, and their firm texture means they blend well and hold whatever shape you give them. Here are my favorite ways to use them!

1) Hummus
Chickpeas, tahini and lemon juice blended together. Simple right? Wrong. Flavors are endless when it comes to hummus. Roasted red pepper, spinach and artichoke, sweet potato, edamame, Cajun, you name it. Spread hummus on wraps, sandwiches, crackers, or use a dip for your veggies.
2) Falafel
In this Mediterranean dish, chickpeas are blended together with spices, rolled into balls and fried. It's traditionally served in a pita with peppers and tzatziki (yogurt sauce) which you can leave off, or veganize it yourself.
3) Roasted chickpeas, sweet or savory
This is a whole new way to experience chickpeas. Rinse them and toss with spices. Taco spices for chickpea tacos, savory spices for more of a 'nut' product, or brown sugar and maple syrup for a sweet treat. Lay out the spiced beans on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, and roast at 400 for 30-45 minutes depending on how crispy you want them. Check and shake pan frequently so they don't burn.
4) Chickpea patties, the new veggie burger
Blend chickpeas with your favorite herbs and spices, and some cooked quinoa or rice, then flatten them into individual patties. Bake or fry until crisp!
5) Sandwich spread
Blend chickpeas and relish, or an avocado, with lime or lemon juice to make yourself a new kind of 'salad sandwich' to take to school or work.
6) Chili
It's finally starting to cool down, and that means chili season is right around the corner. Make a non-traditional white bean chili with garbanzo beans and corn!
7) Chickpea Noodle Soup
A vegan twist on the childhood classic, make your mom's recipe and just swap in chickpeas and vegetable broth for a comforting bowl of soup.

And of course, you can always keep it simple top off  your salad with chickpeas. But I dare you to try something new, you won't be sorry.

Madeline Heising | Blog
Boston, MA Madeline is studying Communications and Public Advocacy at Northeastern University. Going vegan on a whim in 2011 changed her entire lifestyle for the better. Her course of study, health and career intentions now revolve around plant-based living. All it took was one question ‘Why would you care more about what goes on your body than what goes in it?’ When she’s not in classes she works at Teavana and keeps up her own recipe blog. The only thing that makes her happier than talking about food is traveling, but it’s a pretty close tie.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/doyland