Earlier this spring, as COVID-19 started spreading in the US, I began (responsibly!) stocking up on foods with a longer shelf-life. Places were beginning to close and I was limiting trips to the store. Now that the country is slowly opening back up, I’ve used up many of those pantry staples — dry grains, pastas, and canned vegetables, to name a few.
One item I still have loads of, though, is canned chickpeas. And I’m OK with that, because chickpeas are great: A half-cup serving provides six grams of protein, the same amount you’d get from a large egg or an ounce of chicken, as well as five grams of fiber, almost 10% of the recommended daily value for iron, and more than 30% of the daily value for vitamin B6. Chickpeas are also a favorite of mine because of their versatility: They’re dense enough to hold up in a simmered entree such as curry, or in the fridge, in a chilled salad, for several days. But their texture also purées well to create a creamy base for dips such as hummus.
Recently I’ve been playing around with new ways to use these super legumes. Scroll down for three recipes that use canned chickpeas in completely different ways.
Lemon juice, chickpeas, cucumber, and feta cheese pumps up the flavor — and nutrients — here to give classic chicken salad a nutritious Mediterranean spin. Make this ahead of serving so you’ll have a quick, no-cook lunch or dinner waiting for you in the fridge.
Can’t decide between hummus or guacamole? This dip is your solution! And since you can make it in five minutes, it’s perfect for a quick snack or last-minute entertaining.
Tomato season is here, and I can’t think of a better way to use them than in this crisp, cool salad. Chickpeas add extra bite to this dish, and boost the protein and fiber content, too.
CAROLYN WILLIAMS, PHD, RD