Earlier this week I shared one of my favorite comfort food swaps, (click here if you missed it), which got me thinking about other healthy swaps I’ve learned over the years. Taking a wee stroll down memory lane to the early 2000s, when carbs were vilified and actresses everywhere were told not to eat after 6 pm, I recall a dear friend of mine sharing her favorite quick-fix for pasta cravings. Her (duly brilliant) suggestion? Chickpeas.
Chickpeas (aka Garbanzo beans) are a great source of protein and calcium, as well as being high in iron. They are higher in fats than most other beans, with 12% of their calories coming from fat, which works to one’s advantage when looking for a healthy-meets-decadent taste. This recipe calls for canned chickpeas, making it a ten to fifteen minute meal.
Spicy Chickpea “Pasta”
- Boil roughly 3 cups water in a pot; add a sprinkle of sea salt to the water.
- Chop 1-3 garlic cloves
- Chop a chili pepper of your choosing- I’ve had great results with jalapeno, serrano, and for the very brave, ghost peppers.
o Important! Use gloves when working with hot peppers, or a paper towel to prevent contact with your skin. Wash your hands afterwards- the horror stories associated with accidentally rubbing one’s eyes or other body parts are very real (if often very funny).
- Slice some cherry or grape tomatoes.
- When the water is boiling, add your canned chickpeas.
- Let boil for 5-10 minutes, depending on how soft you prefer them to be.
- In a separate pan, heat your olive oil.
- Add your garlic, tomatoes and peppers to the olive oil, sauté on medium.
- Strain your chickpeas, then add them to the pan and sauté together with the garlic and chilis for a few minutes.
- Remove from heat, season with salt & pepper, and serve.
This particular recipe is for the spice-inclined, but it works well with a variety of sauces and flavor preferences. Feel free to experiment, and please let me know what you whip up!