06 November 2011

roasted chickpeas

Given that I am the overlord of the household pantry, I have rules. One of the biggies is that I keep snack food to a minimum. However, there are plenty of exceptions and corollaries to this rule. Basically, no pre(over)packaged snack food is allowed. You know, junk food pretending to be real food. There are so many reasons why I think this is justifiable. One, $$$. (Curse you, Clif, Lara, and Luna! Too tasty... and yet so similar to a Snickers bar sometimes.) Two, pretty sure I can make it all better myself. Three, they are all pretty much starchy foods that you can consume in a mindless manner. You know what I'm taking about... all those aisles in the middle of the grocery store? I like variety better... visiting the other categories in the food pyramid. So fruits and veggies are cool, dairy is fine, nuts are fine.

Problem: We're runners. We eat a lot. Often we don't get around to dinner (sometimes even starting it) until 8. There is only so much yogurt you can consume in a day. Bagels aren't really even exciting anymore. Trust me, if you were on a college cross country/track and field team, you've had enough cold bagels with peanut butter to last a lifetime. *shudders at the thought*

So I'm on a campaign to make more interesting snacks to keep around the house for post-workday snacking. I do plan to give kale chips a try since a buddy of mine sent me the recipe (and I keep reading about them all over the internet!). Said buddy also deserves a shout-out for exporting some apple butter to me from my hometown... I love that I've got oodles of it and I haven't had a chance to visit my favorite orchard myself in a good long time. :) But yeah! If anyone else has some fun ideas, please let me know!

This finally, eventually, brings me to what I've got for you today: roasted chickpeas! The only bad thing about making these is that I only made a half batch (I was limited by the volume of chickpeas at hand. Alas.), and I made them right after a gleeful eight mile run... so now I wouldn't really mark us down as 'stocked'. :) What I mean to say is, you should probably try these out. They're awesome, and they are another way to use chickpeas that isn't making hummus. They also remind me of when I did field work in central Turkey. The field team stayed in a little mom and pop hotel in downtown Eskisehir. My hotel room window was above a little convenience shop that had a roaster full of chickpeas going at all business hours. It smelled amazing.

You probably won't be surprised to hear this is yet another creation from Super Natural Every Day. I'm telling you, it's one of the most innovative, yet practical cookbooks out there for vegetarians.

Roasted Chickpeas (with my comments)
3 c. cooked chickpeas (if you're using canned, be sure to get them as dry as you possibly can. Seriously, dig out the salad spinner!)
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 t. sweet paprika (I didn't have this, so added ancho chili powder instead on a whim)
1 1/2 t. smoked paprika
1 1/2 t. hot paprika (didn't have this either, so I added a pinch of cayenne for funzies)
1/2 t. fine-grain sea salt (kosher salt worked fine)
zest of one lemon (if you're feeling ambitious...)
1 t. fresh rosemary (I used one big pinch dried and crushed)
1 t. fresh thyme (same as the rosemary)

Preheat the oven to 425 with a rack in the top third of the oven. Pour the well-drained chickpeas onto a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 10 minutes. Shake the pan and rose for another 8 to 10 minutes, until the chickpeas crisp up a bit. Keep a close eye on them to avoid burning, particularly if you think your oven runs hot. In the meantime, combine the other ingredients in a mixing bowl. Carefully transfer the chickpeas to the bowl and toss until well coated. Return them to the baking sheet and roast for another 3 to 5 minutes, until fragrant. Let them cool before serving.

Next time I'm totally going to make these chickpeas with za'atar, because I love using it whenever I can and I'll bet this would be a good opportunity to do so. I might even zest a lemon for it, and that means I'm seriously committed. 

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