Hey, Lentil-goers! Happy 2018!!! (Obviously this post is nearly a year old)!
It’s been a minute, I know. Oh, the plans I had to blog some of my new favorite holiday dishes! But time, because life. In the words of the great American humorist Will Rogers, “Half our time is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.”
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I know I did… Filled with family and friends and food… This was my very first vegan Christmas, and it did not disappoint. I may have even won over a carnie or two (that’s carnivore, not carnival worker) with some of my newly veganized baked goods, especially my Yo-ho–ho Rum Cake. I call it that because it’s a Christmas cake (ho-ho-ho) with rum in it (yo-ho-ho). Just picture Santa with a patch over his eye and a cardinal on his shoulder. We’ll spare giving him a wooden leg, because fireplaces.
One of the highlights of our Christmas season was spending time with family we don’t get to see too often, like my niece Jessica and her husband Steven. They live in Hawaii, where she is a professional fitness model, bikini competitor and business owner. Jess has accomplished many things in her lifetime that most of us would never even dare to dream about. She is an inspiration to people all over the world, and I couldn’t be prouder of her! What makes her even more b.a. is that the girl is legally blind. At the age of 14 she was diagnosed with Stargardt Disease, a form of juvenile macular degeneration. She has never let that, or anything, get in the way of her success. Her favorite saying is “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision”. Amen to that!!!
Like looking in a mirror, I tell ya.
Here is a video of my incredible niece, describing what life is like living with her disease.
We had lots of fun with Jess and Steve during their stay. They came along with us on our house hunt (did I mention we’re house-hunting? Because there’s no better time than the holidays to do that :~). We made scented soaps with some family members for her blog, and I showed her how to prepare a simple, healthy snack from chickpeas. So with Jessica in mind, this post is dedicated to the humble chickpea. Or garbanzo bean. I still don’t get how it’s a pea and a bean, but sure.
Chickpeas are one of the earliest cultivated legumes. Most of us these days associate them with hummus (did you know “hummus” is actually the Arabic word for chickpea?), but there are so many more ways to enjoy them. They are filled with protein and fiber, and rich in necessary vitamins and minerals. I seriously eat them straight out of the can. Roasting them brings out a whole other side of these unassuming legumes (good band name), and in addition to being a yummy snack, they also can be used in place of croutons in salad, or as a soup topper. Yum!
Try one or all of these flavors, or make up your own! I have a serious weakness for salt and vinegar chips, and those flavors work perfectly for this recipe… Minus the guilt. This really is the perfect snack; healthy, crunchy, tasty… A real help in keeping those fitness resolutions for the new year!
1 can (15.5 oz.) chickpeas, drained and completely dried
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. sea salt
Preheat oven to 425.
Drain the chickpeas and blot them with paper towel until they are dry. Place on a baking sheet lined with Silpat or nonstick aluminum foil.
Toss with olive oil and salt.
Place in preheated oven and roast for 15minutes (they sometimes pop like popcorn, so you might want to place a sheet of aluminum foil loosely over the top). Remove from the oven and toss with a wooden spoon, then roast for another 10 minutes or so, until golden brown and crispy.
Remove from oven and toss with one of the following spice combinations:
Sweet and Spicy: 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. chili powder, ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, ¼ cup pure maple syrup
Ranch: 1 tsp. minced onion, 1 tsp dry dill, ½ tsp. garlic powder, ½ tsp. thyme, ½ tsp black pepper
Cinnamon-Sugar: ¼ cup sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon
Salt & Vinegar: 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (or rice wine, or any vinegar, really), ½ tsp. sea salt