Do you plow through a supersize bag of chips while watching sports? Is there a stash of salty pretzels in a nearby drawer that you munch on as you addictively watch one Vine after another? Do you know the garlic-fry vendor at AT&T Park on a first-name basis?
If any of these descriptions ring familiar, then this recipe is especially for you. Middle Eastern-style roasted spicy chickpeas are perfect for those with a serious salty tooth. These spicy little legumes pack a high flavor impact. But there’s a bonus – the 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber in a half-cup serving mean that unlike potato chips, it’s impossible to nosh mindlessly without getting full.
Use canned or dried garbanzo beans that have been soaked overnight, making sure to rinse them and pat them dry before seasoning. I love to add these firecrackers of goodness to my salad in place of croutons for some extra flavor and a wallop protein, calcium and iron. The spices in these goodies are also beneficial. The cumin helps digest the fiber in the beans and the red pepper can help rev up your metabolism.
They are also super quick and easy to make – this recipe takes less time than driving to the grocery store to buy potato chips. You can use avocado oil, which has a higher smoke point, but I prefer the authentic flavor of olive oil. Using a really robust olive oil adds a nice, peppery finish to the snack. For the freshest olive oil, make sure that you look for a harvest date on the label. If there is no harvest date, then the oil could be a lot older than you think.
Blanche Shaheen is a food blogger and journalist who lives in Los Altos.For more recipes, visit feastinthemiddleeast.com.
Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
• 1 can chickpeas, or 1 1/2 cups of soaked chickpeas, patted dry
• 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin
• 1/4 teaspoon paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper (or more if you can handle the heat)
• 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
• Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine chickpeas with oil and spices. Spread on cookie sheet and bake 30 minutes. Approximately 15 minutes into baking, stir chickpeas for even cooking. Serve immediately.