I have to confess: I can't get enough chickpeas lately. I've been incorporating them into everything. God bless the chickpea. That amazing little legume is packed with protein, iron, and fibre, and when roasted, it makes an amazingly addictive, crunchy, salty snack. Roasted chickpeas must be skyrocketing in popularity, since I keep seeing bags of them on sale at the grocery store for what seems to me to be exhoribitant prices.
This amuses me, a bit. It's so easy - and inexpensive! - to make your own roasted chickpeas, and once you do, you can eat them by the handful OR incorporate them into all your salads. For example, this roasted vegetable and quinoa bowl goes from "tasty" to "over the top" with the addition of roasted chickpeas. Not to mention that the protein from the chickpeas and quinoa make this a complete meal - and it can be made ahead of time.
One caveat: add the roasted chickpeas just before serving the salad, so that they maintain their crunchy texture. A second caveat: once you take the chickpeas out of the oven, don't eat them all in one sitting, no matter how tempting. Save them for the salad!
For the salad:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Prepare quinoa according to package directions; allow to cool after preparing.
Toss chickpeas in 2 teaspoons olive oil, and spread onto one of the prepared baking sheets. Toss the cauliflower, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes in the remaining oil (that's 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon), and spread evenly on the other baking sheet. Sprinkle both vegetables and chickpeas with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Place both pans in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, flipping the vegetables and chickpeas halfway through. Allow to cool. Don't immediately eat all the chickpeas - you'll need them for later!
Whisk together the olive oil, wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and garlic clove.
Toss the quinoa and vegetables with the dressing. Add the chickpeas at the very last minute so they maintain their crispness.
If desired, top with 1/2 cup crumbled feta.
Yield: 4 servings
Want more chickpeas? I don't blame you. Try my All Kale Caesar , my Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, or my Savoury Oven-Baked Polenta. Don't throw away the brine! Use it to make Chickpea Meringues (no, that's not a joke).
Have you heard about aquafaba? Aquafaba is the sludgy liquid that you drain out of a can of chickpeas before using them. Aquafaba is the slime you rinse down the sink before you make hummus. Aquafaba is also - get this - an amazing substitute for egg whites when whipped.
I know! I didn't believe it either. Our resident Evil Genius/ Kitchen Scientist Anne Radcliffe told me about it, and then I spent a morning asking her incessant questions about why and how it works. She's a patient woman.
Here's the thing: for some reason I was really hesitant to try it. I mean, really. It's the gross stuff from the can of chickpeas. Finally, I got up the nerve to save the liquid on a day I was making hummus, and thought, what the hell. The worst thing that can happen is that it doesn't work, and I've wasted something I would have rinsed down the sink anyway.
People, it was amazing. I urge you to try this recipe just for fun. If you have small children at home, it would be a fun experiment - with very tasty results! My kids absolutely loved these little meringue "ghosts."
The aquafaba whips up just like egg whites, but you need a stand mixer for this - it takes some time. I'm so excited about this that I'm going to attempt an angel food cake next. It might be a little ambitious, but I will keep you posted on my results, no matter what they are!
Preheat oven to 250 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a stand mixer, beat liquid from chickpeas (aquafaba) with cream of tartar on high for approximately 15 minutes. The mixture should form soft peaks, very similar to egg whites.
Add sugar and vanilla, and beat for another 5 minutes.
Scoop into little mounds on parchment paper, and bake for approximately 90 minutes, or until meringues are quite firm.
Be impressed with yourself - you just made meringues out of chickpea liquid!
Yield: 3 dozen meringues
Look. LOOK! It really does form soft peaks - just like egg whites!
There's something lovely about seasonal change, isn't there? I admit that I am more of a Summer Girl than anything else; I love sunshine and warmth and fresh, local vegetables, and am loathe to say goodbye to it. However, there is something cozy and comforting about fall; the crisp air, the crunchy leaves, the glory of orange and red trees against the blue skies. It feels festive and happy, somehow, even if it's the harbinger for winter. Winter, with its cold and darkness and ability to hold on well into what the rest of the world calls spring, is not my favourite.
But, as they say in Game of Thrones, winter is coming and whether we like it or not we need to adapt. And adapt we do, changing our meals from big salads and grilled vegetables to warm, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. One of the greatest things about the arrival of fall is the plethora of butternut squash in the produce aisle - my favourite!
This recipe is a simple, deliciously warming meal; most of the prep work comes from peeling the butternut squash, and if anyone has any suggestions for easy ways to peel butternut squash, I am all ears. Alternately, you could purchase it pre-cut, which would save a lot of time (for me, anyway). There is not much hands-on time with this recipe, so while it cooks you can help with homework, soothe a tantrum, or do whatever else you need to do to get through the witching hour!
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Toss butternut squash in olive oil. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Roast in oven for 25-30 minutes or until fork-tender, flipping halfway.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan bring coconut milk to almost a boil. Reduce heat and add curry paste, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and soy sauce, stirring until combined. Add peas and chickpeas and simmer on the stove, stirring occasionally, while the butternut squash roasts.
When the squash is finished, remove from oven and add to the coconut milk mixture.
Serve with naan or pita, or over basmati rice. Enjoy!
Want more butternut squash recipes? Try my Energy Triple Threat: Roasted Squash, Quinoa, and Kale Salad, Butternut Squash Soup, or my Maple Grilled Butternut Squash.