When it comes to beans there’s one that you can always find stocked in my pantry, making a frequent appearance in my meals–chickpeas!
Chickpeas are arguably one of the most versatile foods you’ll find in the canned food aisle. Thanks to both their low price and convenience they are worth stocking up on.
Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are a mild tasting legume. One cup has 15 grams of protein and 50% of the recommended daily fiber intake! They are also an excellent source of iron, with one cup giving you 25% of the recommended daily intake.
There are lots of really simple things you can do with a can of chickpeas on a busy night, which is why it’s always worth making sure you have at least 1 can in the cupboard. With just a quick drain and rinse from the can, you can easily throw them on top of any type of salad or stir-fry, use them as the protein in a quick burrito or quesadilla or mix them into your favorite pasta dish. For those nights when you’re looking to spend a little more time in the kitchen try one of these simple recipes for a family of four:
1. Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers
- Cut 2 bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes.
- Arrange halves in a 9-inch pie plate with 1 inch water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender (alternatively, keep water in dish and bake at 350 degrees until soft); Drain excess water once done.
- While peppers cook, combine 1 cup cooked rice, 1 can chickpeas, 1 cup chopped baby spinach, ¼ cup each chopped parsley, kalamata olives, onion, ¼ cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide rice mixture among peppers and broil in oven until warm and browned, approximately 5 minutes (depending on oven, watch closely).
2. Chickpea Pasta
- Boost a simple box of pasta by sautéing 3 medium zucchini (any vegetable works here!), ½ white onion, 1 cup sliced mushrooms and 2 cloves chopped garlic in a pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Once vegetables are tender add 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas, optional ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook pasta according to directions on box, drain and toss into veggies.
3. Curried Potato and Chickpea
This is perfect when you’re looking for a cozy and fast winter meal.
- Sauté one large onion and 2 cloves chopped garlic with 2 tablespoons oil until soft and caramelized. (5 to 10 minutes).
- Add in 2 teaspoons curry powder, 2 potatoes (white or sweet) diced and sauté to coat, (1 to 2 minutes).
- Add 2 cans chickpeas, 1 cup vegetable stock, 1 can coconut milk, 2 tablespoons maple syrup and 1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional).
- Bring to a boil, reduce and let simmer until potatoes are soft. Add in 1 cup frozen peas at end. Serve curry over white rice or with naan bread.
- Top with cilantro and lime slices to boost the flavor..
4. Quick and Hearty Vegetable Soup
This is a very adaptable soup, allowing you to put into it whatever you might have in your fridge. It’s quick to prep and will be ready to eat in under 30 minutes.
- In a large stock pot sauté 1 medium onion, 2 stalks celery, 2 carrots, 2 cloves garlic until softened.
- Add in 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 15oz can diced tomatoes and 4 cups vegetable stock (you can use water too!). Bring to a boil.
- Stir in 1 bunch (4 cups loosely packed) greens (spinach, kale, Swiss chard, anything you have), 1 can rinsed and drained chickpeas, 1 cup gluten-free pasta (or pasta of your choice), salt to taste.
- Allow to cook for 10 minutes or until pasta is tender.
5. Pre-made Veggie Burgers
Have some extra time on your hand? Consider making a large batch of veggie burgers using chickpeas. You can store the burgers in your freezer, taking them out on one of those extra busy weeknights. To make the burgers:
- Half 2 large sweet potatoes and place in a microwave-safe dish. Add 1 inch of water, cover and microwave 5 to 8 minutes. Let cool.
- Once cooled, add potatoes, 1 diced white onion, 1 can drained chickpeas, 2 teaspoons garam masala (or curry powder), salt and pepper to a food processor or blender. Pulse until combined (not completely pureed).
- Add in 1 cup green peas and 1 cup chopped baby spinach. Pulse once more.
- Makes 4 to 8 patties (depending on size preference). Either cook now, by baking at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or wrap individually and freeze to bake later.
All of the above recipes can be tweaked and adapted to things you have on hand and none should take longer than 30 minutes to get on the table!