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Archive for the category “chickpeas”

Crunchy Cinnamon Chickpeas

crunchy chickpeas

Spring is coming and the increase of daylight highlights in our home the pack rat tendencies we had over the winter. This time of year, especially when it begins to get warmer, I want to throw open the windows and refresh my surroundings. The refresh includes finding new ways to feed Little B. She is often open to trying new things, except when she isn’t. I thought some crunchy chickpeas would be right up her alley, and since I found a can of them in the pantry during spring cleaning, I decided to try and copy some chickpeas I found in a convenience store a while back. They were bought during a road trip when I was desperately trying to avoid potato chips – a traditional road trip food that is also traditionally not very good for a body. The chickpeas were crunchy and spicy, I suspect from cayenne or chili powder, and very satisfying. There was probably also mono sodium glutamate and other chemicals, but I don’t recall. I make a simple, less spicy version here for Little B, but the crunchy is definitely the same.

Crunchy Cinnamon Chickpeas

1 can chickpeas
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
Tiny pinch of pure stevia

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse and drain chickpeas. In a medium bowl add chickpeas and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle in the salt, stevia and cinnamon. Toss until chickpeas are coated. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, then spread out the chickpeas in one layer. Bake in preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes until they begin to brown, then shake them around so they change positions, but are still spread out in one layer. Bake for 15 more minutes – if there is extra coating dropped on the foil it may make it smell like it is burning, but the chickpeas themselves should be fine. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. If there is any left after snacking on them, store at room temperature in an air tight container.

Greek Layer Dip

We are moving! Actually, we are in the process of moving, literally. I am sitting on a bed in a hotel room, somewhere between Texas and Maryland. We should arrive in Maryland tomorrow, but in the meantime I am without a kitchen. Until I am again armed with a kitchen I will share with you some recipes I collected over the past few months but did not post.

The first one is a dip. Sometimes when a big gaggle of people are coming over I like making available a variety of appetizers so they can nibble as they trickle in to the house. One of my favorites lately, to go along with the ever reliable ranch or peanut dip, is a layer dip. It is high in fiber and very colorful. It can also substitute for a green salad if you have enough Greek lovers. What I like most about it is that if you work hard enough you can get every layer into one bite, but if you don’t, you still get a mouthful of robust flavors that will make you want to seek out another scoop full. With everyone’s vegetable gardens starting to grow (except mine, of course, since I have no idea where we will be living), the dip is a great way to use up some of the bumper crops later this year.

Greek Layer Dip

2 cups hummus
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (optional)
2-3 cups raw spinach
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup cucumber, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp chopped oregano
2 tsp lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine in small bowl the oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Set aside. Spread hummus on a serving tray in an even layer, about ¼ to ½ inch deep. Chop spinach into small pieces (and if you are using yogurt now is the time to combine the yogurt with spinach until well blended)*. Spread/sprinkle the spinach on top of the hummus, leaving a visible edge of hummus. Sprinkle olives on top of spinach mixture, followed by cucumber and tomato. Drizzle dressing on top of dip and add some more feta for garnish if you like, then serve. It can be prepared in advance and chilled until serving.

*If you are making the dip in advance I would recommend the yogurt not be used. Depending on the brand of yogurt, it can be a runny layer and will spread if put on the day before. It should be fine if made within an hour or two of serving. I have made it both with the yogurt and without – just sprinkling a layer of spinach makes it look a lot different, but still beautiful and you will still have a moist, dippable dip.


If there ever was a food that doubled as good for me AND a comfort food, it would be hummus. My favorite dipping implement – beyond the most perfect of breads, freshly made naan – would be cucumber. Especially the English cucumbers, which seem to hang on to their smaller seeds so much better than their seedier American cousins. My sister in law makes flavorful batches of hummus, sprinkled with freckles of olives, red peppers and tons of garlic. I adore the versions she makes, but I lean towards making a more conservative, basic hummus….well, except for the cilantro. After a day or so the lemon juice really latches on to the chickpeas and yum! I use hummus to substitute for all kinds of spreads and abominations, such as mayonnaise, ketchup, and secret sauces. Just try it – a ham and cheese sandwich with a layer of hummus on the bread. You will never go back to mayo and mustard. Well, you might, but when you do you will remember the hummus.


2 16-ounce cans chickpeas

1/4 cup lime juice

3 cloves garlic, crushed

3 Tbsp tahini

1 tsp salt

¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves

1 Tbsp olive oil

Drain chickpeas but retain the liquid. Set aside about a dozen chickpeas for use later as garnish. Place chickpeas and all other ingredients except olive oil into a food processor. Start the processor and slowly add liquid from the chickpeas to the mixture – you should add just enough at the beginning to help move the ingredients around for blending. When the ingredients are smooth add more liquid until the desired texture is achieved; typically something like peanut butter, but some like it thinner. It usually does not take more than ½ the reserved liquid. Serve chilled or at room temperature – prior to serving sprinkle with the reserved whole chickpeas and drizzle the olive oil on top. Compliment the hummus with pita chips, olives, tomatoes and cucumber. Definitely scoop it up with fresh naan if you have a source for it.

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