In my quest to assure you that I haven’t used or looked at a recipe in months—which can largely be attributed to impatience and a unique form of laziness—I would like to note that our kitchen doesn’t go unused. Actually, we completely remodeled it about a month ago and I keep meaning to give you a “tour” because I’ll click on anything that even remotely suggests I’ll get a peek into someone else’s kitchen. No tour today, but just a note that a new-kitchen feel can do lot for motivation to stay at home and cook. You don’t have to completely demolish your current setup to get that feel, just rearrange a few things and make it feel good, like yours
Total tangent aside, I’ve gone through a few cans of chickpeas lately. And we’re going to go with chickpeas because it’s easier to type than garbanzo beans. I prefer them because their flavor is mild, texture lends well to a variety of dishes, and they have a hearty satisfying quality. They are also the base of falafel, which essentially makes them the best bean. (RFP: homemade falafel tutorials and a deep-fryer.) For the vegetarians or vegans, beans are a good source of iron and calcium. So while I don’t love beans, I don’t mind ‘em and they get points for their nutrient profile.
I too had a phase with beans where I was wrapped up in the new thought that maybe the gas they caused wasn’t really worth it or was some sort of digestive red flag. Largely unfounded “paleo” or Whole30 opinions aside, I know that beans aren’t everyone’s favorite. They aren’t the shining delicious stars of any dish. Rarely do you hear someone saying they just snacked on some beans or couldn’t resist popping them one-by-one out of the can or pressure cooker. I get that. They’re just kind of a nice-to-have, and pull their own weight with nutrients.
First up: an easy salad.
All you need: greens, chickpeas, a mix of vegetables, avocado, and seeds. Every time I make a salad all I really think about is how many colors and textures I can get in there. Crunchy seeds (pumpkin and sunflower are my go-to), red/yellow/green/purple/black/blue vegetables (peppers, roasted sweet potatoes and eggplant are current faves), avocado (always), and mixed greens with chickpeas on top.
Next, a mix of noodles and zoodles. This took approximately 10 minutes, because I had to wait for the actual noodles to cook (ugh). Whole-wheat bowtie pastas (whose one and only ingredient was “whole wheat flour”), two zucchinis spiralized into zoodles, one mini jar of tomato sauce, and one can of rinsed chickpeas. We topped with freshly shaved parmesan, but you do you.
And last, the night that I came back from hot yoga and just needed something that would take no more than two minutes. So I dumped leftover chickpeas into a bowl, and added half an avocado (sliced), a handful of pumpkin seeds, and a big spoonful of the remaining red pepper and eggplant spread (to finish off the jar). Easy, quick, tasty, and colorful.
What’s your go-to less-than-five-minute meal? Bonus points if it uses chickpeas.