Mean, Green, Eating Machine

Author: Codi Hale 

Hello again! I just got back from the grocery story and am enjoying this fantastic salad. As I savor each bite I wonder what is that flavor coming from? The more I chew, the more I love it. Ah hah! There it is, there’s the flavor; it’s the Garbanzo beans, or chickpeas to some.

These delicious little guys are packed full of health benefits, one of the most important being their high fiber and protein content. These combined help with the digestion of blood sugars, and prevent spikes and drops in levels. Also, they make you feel more full and satisfied which is helpful for those trying to maintain a healthy weight or lose some.

The simplest way to enjoy these guys is all by themselves, which you can make happen with this recipe for Roasted Chickpeas.

[taken from]

  • 1 (12 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, and season to taste with salt, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper, if using. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy. Watch carefully the last few minutes to avoid burning.


Now try adding them to a simple mixture of things with this Cosucous with Chickpeas, Fennel and Citrus.

[taken from]

1 large fennel bulb with fronds

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 cups (or 1 15-ounce can) cooked and drained chickpeas
10 Kalamata olives, halved and pitted
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup instant couscous

Trim fennel and cut into 1/4-inch thick wedges. Reserve fronds for garnish.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Add coriander, chickpeas, olives, and lemon juice to pan and stir to combine. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, juice the orange into a liquid measuring cup and top off with water to make 1 1/2 cups of liquid. Add liquid to a small saucepan along with 1 tablespoon olive oil, orange zest, lemon zest, and salt. Bring to a boil and stir in couscous. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand for at least 5 minutes.

To serve, fluff couscous grains with a fork and spread on a dish. Spoon chickpeas and fennel over couscous and garnish with fennel fronds.


Chickpeas are also great when combined as a sort of stuffing, so when I stumbled across this Flatbread Stuffed with Curried Potatoes, Spinach and Chickpeas, I had to share it with you all.

[taken from]

For the Flatbread:

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt

For the Curry:

  • 1 onion, diced small
  • 1 pound red potatoes (4-5 egg sized potatoes), diced
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced or grated on a microplane
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 10 ounces baby spinach

Prepare the Flatbread Dough:
In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir in 4 1/2 cups of the flour along with the salt to form a shaggy dough. Turn this dough out onto a work surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until a smooth, tacky ball of dough is formed. If the dough is very sticky, add a little flour at a time to keep it from sticking.

Clean your bowl and film it with a little olive oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, cover, and let the dough rise for about 2 hours. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days. (The dough is actually easier to work with when cool. No need to warm before shaping the flatbreads.)

Prepare the Curry:
Warm a tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onions with a half teaspoon of salt until they begin to brown. If they pick up some charred edges, even better. Add the potatoes with another pinch of salt and continue cooking until the potatoes are almost cooked through but still hard in the very middle. Clear a little space in the middle of the pan and add the spices with 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, and then stir the spices into the onions and potatoes.

Add the tomatoes and their juices and bring the curry to a simmer. Stir occasionally. Cook until the potatoes are completely soft and the sauce has reduced and thickened. Stir in the chickpeas, then stir in the spinach in two batches. Taste and add more salt or other seasonings as desired. If the curry looks soupy, let it simmer until thickened.

Remove from heat. Curry can be made up to three days in advance.

Assemble and Bake Flatbreads

Sprinkle a little flour on your work surface and turn the dough out on top. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough into a circle roughly 7-8 inches in diameter and 1/4″ thick. Place a few spoonfuls of curry on the lower half of the dough, smoothing it into a single layer with a half-inch border around the edge. Fold the top of the flatbread over and pinch the edges closed.

Transfer the flatbread to a baking sheet and repeat until all the dough as been used. Leave the prepared flatbreads uncovered so the top dries out a little.

Prepare the grill while the flatbreads rest and let it preheat for at least 20 minutes. The grill is ready when you can hold your hand a few inches above the grill for two seconds. Lower the heat to medium and brush the surface of the grill with oil.

Use a fork or paring knife to poke holes in the top of the flatbreads and transfer them to the grill, spacing the breads a few inches a part. You may need to bake in two or more batches. Replace the lid and cook for 2-3 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown and show grill marks. Flip and bake for another 2-3 minutes on the other side. Allow to cool for a few minutes before eating.

Baked flatbreads will keep refrigerated for several days and are best eaten cold or reheated in a warm oven. (Microwaving is also fine, but tends to make the dough tough.)

Alternate Instructions for Oven-Baking:

Prepare the flatbreads as described and arrange them a few inches apart on a baking sheet. Pre-heat the oven to 425° Fahrenheit. Just before baking, poke holes in the tops of the breads and brush them with olive oil. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown (do not flip). Allow to cool slightly and serve.

As you can see, chickpeas go great with grain mixture. This Vegan Quinoa with Roasted Spice Chickpeas and Pine Nuts looks like a keeper!
[taken from]
  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1+1/2 cup water
  • 1 540-ml can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp salt, plus more for vinaigrette
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (or agave)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 bunch arugula, large leaves torn into bite-sized pieces, about 1 cup (optional)
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and quinoa to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover and cook for 15 minutes, until quinoa is fully cooked and fluffy.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine chickpeas, 1 tablespoon olive oil, brown sugar, cumin, salt, cinnamon and red pepper flakes in a bowl and toss well.
  3. Transfer mixture to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roast in oven, shaking pan occasionally, about 20 minutes, until chickpeas are golden brown and crispy.
  4. In large bowl, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, maple syrup and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Whisk until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Stir in mint, quinoa, roasted chickpeas, and arugula (if using).
  6. Top with pine nuts before serving.
And yes, I have saved the best for last…. HOMEMADE HUMMUS!
[taken from]
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a food processor, puree the chickpeas, garlic, tahini and lemon juice. Gradually add the olive oil until incorporated. Season the hummus with salt and pepper and scrape it into a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve or use.
Happy chickpea-ing!
Remember: “Happiness lies, first of all, in health.” -G.W. Curtis