Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chickpeas, Garbanzo Beans and Channa

With so many names and so many uses this small member of the legume family is both inexpensive and a great source of protein and fiber (12 grams of protein and 12.5 grams of fiber per cup) for the plant based eater. When pureed the creamy texture makes it the perfect base for Hummus and when added to a stew the meatiness makes it super satisfying. Chickpeas can be made into flour for those staying away from wheat and is a great treat when made into Falafel. Chickpeas can be purchased both dried and canned and are available in most grocery stores. I like to buy and use canned, not only do they save time but chickpeas don't lose their nutrients when canned. You can always find 3 to 4 cans of no salt added chickpeas in my pantry and here are three of my favorite recipes for them.

Tuna salad was a staple in my diet for a quick lunch or dinner.  I missed it so much that I just replicated the recipe using a can of chickpeas and some vegan mayonnaise.

Chickpea "Tuna Salad
1 can of chickpeas rinsed and drained
1 1/2 tablespoon of vegan mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of sweet relish
1/4 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning
1/8 teaspoon of black pepper
Using a fork mash the whole chickpeas until a tuna like consistency.  Add all of the rest of the ingredients and mix well.  Serve on a whole wheat tortilla with lettuce and tomato. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

If you love spicy or Indian food then this next recipe is for you.  It has more ingredients than I usually use but is so worth it and I promised to post more recipes so you can use them all again.
Chana Masala
3 tablespoons of Earth Balance buttery spread
1 medium red onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, sliced
1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 14.5 oz. cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup of frozen spinach
1.5 cups of water
1 teaspoon of Cumin
1/8 teaspoon of powdered Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Cardamom
1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
1/8 teaspoon smoked Paprika
1/8 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste
heat a large sauce pan over high heat until hot.  Reduce heat to medium high and add the Earth Balance, red onion and garlic stirring constantly until the onion is opaque.  Add the diced tomatoes to the pot and bring to a simmer.  Pour the mixture into a high powered blender and blend until smooth.  Add the sauce back into the pot with the water, chickpeas, spinach and the spices except the salt and pepper. Mix well and reduce the heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste and serve over brown rice.

This last recipe I must give credit to my friend Kerry.  I failed twice at getting the crispy in my roasted chickpea snacks until she told me that you need to open the oven often to let the moister out.  So I opened the oven, not just to let out the moister but also to shake the chickpeas so they roast evenly and don't stick to the baking dish. So this one is for Kerry.

Pumpkin Spiced Roasted Chickpeas
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed drained and patted dry with a towel
cooking spray
1 tablespoon of Maple syrup
1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice
1/8 teaspoon of sea salt

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and spread the chickpeas in a single layer and bake for 45 minutes to an hour opening the oven and shaking the sheet every 15 minutes until they are crispy.

While the chickpeas are baking mix together the Maple syrup, Pumpkin pie spice and the Sea salt in a bowl.  While chickpeas are still hot toss them in the syrup mixture. place them back on the baking sheet and back in oven for 5-7 minutes to caramelize.  Store leftover chickpeas in an air tight container.

So there you have it, three yummy ways to enjoy your new best friend the chickpea.  I hope you enjoy the recipes and make them soon.  If you do, don't forget to share this post with a friend and send me your pictures to brownveggiemom@yahoo.com for a chance to get featured on my blog.