Monday, May 19, 2014

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Salad season is back.
All winter long, I stand over pots of soup, stirring, wearing slippers, and dreaming of the barefoot days when meal prep only entails grabbing handfuls of veggies, shaking them with some dressing, and calling dinner done.  Finally, at long, long last, temps are in the 60s here, and it feels like summer is on the way! Along with days at the beach and the full daily sunscreen slather comes a kitchen shift from soup to salad.  On a Sunday prep day, I'm more likely to assemble a big prepared salad than to sauté onions for a batch of stew.  And for quickie weekday lunches, my favorite thing is to throw delicious toppings onto a big pile of greens.  

I'm still dabbling in a quasi-vegan-'til-dinner thing, so I've been looking for ways to add bulk and protein to lunches without eggs or meat.  Beans are the best: high in protein and fiber, low in fat, versatile, and one of the few remaining cheap foodstuffs around.  I often throw a random handful of chickpeas onto all kinds of dishes, but have been getting a bit bored with them plain.  After a few different experiments in creating a little chickpea flavor explosion, I landed on a recipe I love, and it happens to be perfect for spicing up a little lunchtime salad.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas come together in about 30 minutes and keep for about a week in a jar in the fridge.  They are phenomenal sprinkled over a salad, stirred through couscous for a quick little bean-and-grain lunch, or eaten by the handful as a pre-dinner snack (and they go quite well with wine, I might add).  Some people's children might like them, but little J politely declined them, while the baby took great glee in pegging them into the floor while shouting "NO!!!!"  So there's that.

This weekend, I made a chopped salad to share with my sister at lunch: shredded iceberg, thinly sliced orange peppers, diced tomatoes, cubed avocado, and these chickpeas, tossed with blush wine vinaigrette, pink salt, and freshly ground pepper.  She absolutely loved it, and asked for the chickpea recipe.

Dude, here you go:
Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon paprika (I used smoked, but sweet would work too)
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste (I used fresh ground pink Himalayan salt and fresh ground pepper and started with about 1/2 teaspoon of each)

I would definitely recommend playing with the spices here to suit your own preference or planned recipe.  A super cumin-y batch of these bad boys would be great in veggie tacos or taco salad.  Add oregano and basil and dial back the cumin for an Italian recipe (maybe tossed with angel hair pasta) or to top a Greek salad.  I've also added a sprinkle (about 1/2 teaspoon) of Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute to my recipe and loved the flavor that added.  This is one of those recipes that you can really use as a template and make your own.

1) Preheat oven to 425F (I do mine in the toaster oven and it works like a charm)
2) Add all of the ingredients except for the chickpeas to a bowl and mix together with a spoon.  The consistency will be thick.
3) Add the chickpeas and stir well to coat them all with the spice mixture.  Drizzle more olive oil over the top if needed.
4) Spread the chickpeas onto a baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes, tossing gently every 10 minutes.  Check them frequently to make sure they don't burn.  Chickpeas are done when they are golden brown.
5) Allow to cool before serving.  


  1. I love roasted chickpeas! I've done curry before and also enjoy using pumpkin pie spice on them in the fall. A fav for snacking that's for sure...never thought to use them with a grain for lunch...may be trying that soon! :-) Oh and glad you are back SMJ, missed you terribly! xoxo

    1. Thanks for the comment, mama! I love the curry and pumpkin pie ideas. I'm thinking of trying this with white beans too -- less for snacking, more for salad? More experiments to come. Been thinking of you and your little one... sending lots of love. Thanks for your support! xoxo