Is there such a thing as too much chickpeas?
I vote no, but you can disagree. That’s cool.
The texture is great. They’re not quite as dense as kidney or black beans, but not as small as a lentil that they get lost in the mix. They have a mild flavor. Not too mild, but just right. Their taste allows them to be melded into whatever type of dish you’re craving. Like tofu, it can take on other flavors very well. Chickpeas are loaded with protein, fiber, carbs, iron, and a bit of fat which makes them an excellent post-workout meal [or anytime meal for that matter]. To boot, they’re cheap cheap cheap!
I’ve used them as a spread for crostini, in salads, in curry, for a little Moroccan flair, paired with bulgur -and that’s just in the past few months. Last week I made a delicious chickpea curry wrap from a recipe on fresh365…and continued to eat it for lunch the next three days. The recipe packed great flavor, and was very easy to make. The ingredients list is short consisting of mainly fresh vegetables so it was a bargain [try to get 4 meals from a restaurant with this amount of healthy kick for $10]. I substituted spinach for kale, and since I didn’t have any broth I splashed a bit of white wine in there for flavor. To take it up a notch in the protein and fiber department I used wild rice as opposed to white- it took a bit longer to cook, but it’s no hassle really- and that brought a great nutty flavor to the dish.
Then, because I just can’t stay away, I made falafel this week for my mom and I. Falafel is generally what comes to mind with chickpeas, and for good reason. Who can refuse that lightly fried piece of heaven tucked inside a warm pita and a drizzle [or two] of tahini sauce? Not me that’s for sure. It happens to be one of my favorite late-night snacks when I’m out in Adam’s Morgan. Jumbo Slice? Pshh, that’s for amateurs. Amsterdam Falafelshop on 18th gives you a buffet of scrumptious toppings, and they conveniently have a basket of brownies next to the register. Win-win situation.
I used this recipe from “Can You Stay For Dinner?” as a guide, but I couldn’t resist a little tweaking. I liked her idea of baking the falafel in the oven rather than frying them, but I packed it with a bit of chopped spinach to load up on veggies [I had to make up for my not-so nutritious lunch], and I used ground turmeric instead of chili powder.
We don’t exactly own a legitimate food processor so I tried mashing the chickpea mixture in our also not-so-great blender, unsuccessfully, and eventually ended up mashing them with a spoon. No problemo. Beans are squishy- my spoon dominated them. So don’t be discouraged if you’re lacking in the kitchen appliances section- it still tastes the same.
Honestly friends- you should make your own falafel. I never thought of doing it and always assumed these things were better left for street vendors or that charming shop a few streets back from le Louvre in Paris [just wander around, the smell will draw you in], but it’s totally homemade approved. You can eat it on the go wrapped in aluminum foil if that would make it feel more authentic…
You know what else I’m mad for? This song: