Goooood morning readers!
I hope you’re all feeling fresh and perky – I am – I’ve finally got my hands on nut milk bags and have been making green veggie juices at home, sans juicer. They make me bounce! And not in the fat way!
Anyway, what I’m actually writing about today is food for when you don’t feel quite so fantastic. These are the things you throw together when you just can’t be f’ed to cook. Maybe you have had some long days at work. Maybe you haven’t done your grocery shopping and feel like there’s nothing to make for dinner. Maybe you’re just feeding yourself, and I know that when I’m on my own I often can’t be bothered. Whatever the reason, all I ask is for you to keep some tinned chickpeas in your pantry. Or any legume really. And then what I’m going to do is show you five simple things to do with that tin of chickpeas.
Some of these are ‘recipes’ in that there are a handful of ingredients and a little cooking time. Some are more just ideas. Things that I often do when I’m in need of sustenance, and tight for time or unmotivated to cook.
1. Chickpeas and soy sauce.
This one really doesn’t require any more explanation. You drain the tinned chickpeas, stick them a bowl (1/2 cup is my usual snack size, 1 cup if it’s a meal), microwave for a minute, stir through 1-2 tsp soy sauce. Eat with spoon.
2. Hummus. If you’ve got a food processor, tinned chickpeas and tahini (lemon and garlic optional, salt and pepper obligatory), you have hummus, and it only takes a minute. In fact, it’s SO easy to make, you may never spend money on the bought stuff again. Plus it tastes far better, and doesn’t have any numbers in the ingredients. Eat with raw veggies, fruit, crackers, spread on sandwiches, pizzas or felafels, in salad dressings, or, wait for it, just eat with a spoon!
3. Salad. Specifically this one, which also happens to be delicious. This is one of those dishes which somehow becomes much more than the sum of its parts. With just four ingredients and no preparation, it tastes so good I’m planning to serve it to guests.
Ridiculously Easy Chickpea Salad (serves 1)
If you don’t have a lemon or lemon juice, just add a teaspoon of your favourite vinegar to the mix.
- 400g tin of chickpeas, not drained
- 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast flakes (savoury yeast flakes, nooch, whatever you call it)
- Salad leaves
- Spoon the chickpeas from the can into a bowl. You actually want to include a little bit of canning liquid as this is the basis of the dressing.
- Toss through the nooch and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Toss through the salad leaves and serve with a squeeze of lemon.
4. Roasted chickpeas. Crunchy, nutty and absolutely delicious, these require so little effort and are so moreish. They’re good as a snack, or you can toss them through a salad, stuff wraps with them, etc. I’ve linked the simplest recipe I could find for them, which lists the seasoning. I’ve seen so many variations, any herb or spice works, so don’t feel constrained by that particular recipe. In fact, simple salt and pepper is one of my favourites!
(Note: Most roasted chickpeas recipes use oil. You can actually make them without oil, just spray the baking tray with some so that they don’t stick, and season as you like. It’s what I do.)
5. Soup. Blending chickpeas into soup makes it incredibly thick and creamy, without actually adding any fat. I made this soup as simple as possible, and just blended half of it because we like chunks in our soup. Totally up to you whether you do that or go the whole way with the blending. Whatever you choose, you’ll love how easy this soup is to make!
Creamy Herb and Chickpea Soup (serves 4 – or 1 with leftovers to freeze!)
I used brown rice in this soup, partly because I ran low on chickpeas, and partly because if you combine legumes with whole grains you get a complete protein. Not that getting a ‘complete protein’ is the be-all-and-end-all of a healthy meal (that theory has been long disproved), but it is nice to get a super protein boost sometimes, and it makes the soup extra filling. Brown rice does take a while to cook, so if you want a quicker soup, either just use a second tin of chickpeas, or a cup and a half of cooked brown rice.
Recently we discovered that our strata management is lovely enough to maintain a herb garden for use by all apartment residents. Given my deadly dangerous gardening skills that have caused our terrace to look like a graveyard, this is a good thing. I am to plants as accounting is to creativity. If you don’t have access to fresh herbs, just use a teaspoon of the dried stuff for each. And I just picked parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme because that’s what it says in the song; I’m sure whatever herbs you have available will be just fine.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 head garlic, cloves chopped (I firmly believe in excess when it comes to garlic. If you disagree, one or two cloves will probably do)
- 400g tin chickpeas, drained
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1.5 litres vegetable stock
- A handful each of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, chopped
1. Saute the onion in a little water until just a bit softened and translucent.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil and then turn the heat right down and cover. If you’re cooking the rice, simmer for 30 minutes. If you’re using extra chickpeas or cooked rice instead, just simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Blend half or all of the soup, taste and season with plenty of pepper (and salt if it needs it). Serve!
P.s. Now you might think that I’m done with chickpeas for a while. You’d be wrong. Keep an eye out for the next post which is an absolutely divine chickpea tagine. A little too complex a recipe to fit within the CBETC theme, but a keeper nonetheless.