Chickpeas: One Can, Three Dishes

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If you’ve read the “about” section on this blog, you’ve probably heard about how I was inspired by a co-workers over-priced grief about chickpeas.  She bought one salad that was closer to compost than salad, and was charged through the nose for it.  Her Take-Out takeaway?  “I could have done the same job with a can of chickpeas and some salad dressing.”

It doesn’t have to be that tasteless, and definitely not as expensive.  Chickpeas were on sale the other week, a hearty 750ml can for 77 cents. Chop up an onion, find some hearty vegetables in the discount bin at your grocer, and BAM! You’ve got chickpea salad.

What if I told you the leftover chickpea salad can be recycled into dip? That’s right – dump whatever you’ve left behind into a blender, and you have a modified hummus.

Too much hummus? Add some chicken stock, or some instant soup, and you now have a hearty soup.

So here’s a couple of the best ways to turn 77 cents in a great lunchtime investment.

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Chickpea Salad

  • 1 cup (250ml) chickpeas
  • Juice of half a lemon or two tablespoons of red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
  • Lemon zest (if you don’t have it, don’t sweat it)
  • Four tablespoons of any of the following kinds of oil: olive oil, grapeseed oil or canola oil
  • Finely chopped onion
  • Finely chopped vegetables found in your discount bin (Recommended: celery, peppers, fennel. or finely grated carrot)
  • Fresh herbs – if you have ’em, use ’em: Parsley, oregano
  • Dried Sumac, smoked paprika, black pepper to taste

Mix them all up: There’s your salad.  You can put them in a mason jar with a tight fitting lid, and you’ll have salad for the week ahead, or portion it off into smaller containers.

Keep in mind, if you’re hunting for veggies to put in your salad, think about what would taste good as a dip or a soup.  This is the base of the two other options, so choices like radishes may not taste as good as soup – but could be interesting as a dip.

The great thing about this salad is its versatility.  Never heard of Sumac? Don’t worry about it, but you may want to try it.  Buy a small amount in a bulk store and try it in the salad. If you hate it, skip it. Use whatever herbs or spices you like.

When you’re starting to get tired of your chickpea salad, it’s time to dump it all into your blender or food processor and turn it into…

Option Two: Hummus

For extra creaminess you could try adding some sesame paste, better known as tahini, but I heard that some schools and institutions are banning nut and seed butters.  You can go without, just add a bit more oil to give it body.

Try it with crackers, raw vegetables, or just slathering it on a pita with some roasted veg.

When you’re sick and tired of hummus,  it’s time for…

Option Three

try adding some soup stock: A vegan friend of mine had some leftover tomato soup, and she blended it a few spoonfuls into her hummus.  The result: Pasta sauce.

If you’re not into pasta, just add some vegetable stock and you have a thick hearty soup.  It’s truly a versatile legume.

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