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).