Yup, winter’s still here.
We’re all getting mighty sick of it. Our yard still has two feet of snow in most places, but at least the sun is shining and the thermometer is bravely trying to hover up to 0°C. It almost makes it some days!
We’re longing to see a little bit of grass.
The greenhouse is still snowed-in, and there is icicle icing on the chicken coop roof.
But that brightly-shining sun makes up for a lot of late-winter-blues. One look at those sparkles on the snow and I can wait a little bit longer (I guess I have no choice).
So while I’m waiting, (on my days off) I’m cocooning inside and catching up on some recipe developing and household chores. But every now and then I take a little break and sit with my mug of tea and read the newspaper. Then I look through gardening magazines, and my thoughts turn to spring. I dream of new shoots poking through the earth and working the soil and getting some sun-warmed dirt under my fingernails.
Then I read in the paper how it’s unseasonably cold in many other parts of the world, too, and I realize how lucky we are to have the sunshine here in “Sunny Alberta”.
So I go back and do a little more puttering in my kitchen. And I make a batch of spicy, crunchy roasted chickpeas for Andreas to snack on when he comes home from school. I toss a handful onto my salad for lunch, and I munch a few handfuls as I stare out at the snowy yard, and soon there are only a few crispy chickpeas left in the bowl. So I have to make another batch.
They are a great little snack to nibble on while we wait.
And these high-fiber and nutritious little beans are also wonderful sprinkled on a salad or as a garnish on any kind of a creamy soup. Plus they help stave off hunger! Way better than potato chips or cheesies to satisfy those salty/crunchy cravings.
Kitchen Frau Notes: Chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same thing – just different names. You can use canned chickpeas or ones you’ve soaked and cooked yourself for this recipe. If you only have a 14oz/400ml can of peas, that works, too. You’ll just have a few less chickpeas. Regular canned chickpeas already contain salt, so you will only need the ¼ teaspoon called for. If you cook your own beans, or buy unsalted canned ones, you may need to sprinkle on a bit more salt after they come out of the oven. Taste them and salt to your liking.
Smoked paprika comes in mild or hot. Either is fine. If you only have mild in your house, and would like a bit of zip to your peas, add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
inspired by various sites on the internet, and using my ‘secret spice blend‘ which is not so secret, I see . . .
- 2 cups (500ml) cooked chickpeas (1-19oz/540ml can)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion or garlic powder
- a sprinkle of cayenne pepper (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Rinse and drain the chickpeas well.
Line a 9 x 13 inch (23x30cm) pan with baking parchment paper or tinfoil. Plop the well-drained chickpeas in the pan.
Drizzle them with the olive oil and sprinkle with the seasonings. Then toss them with a rubber spatula until they are evenly coated with the spices.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the chickpeas are crunchy on the outside. Test a few to see if they are crunchy enough (let them cool a minute first or you will burn your tongue!) If not, bake a few minutes longer.
If you think they need more salt, give them a sprinkle while they are still hot.
They are best served warm, but not too shabby when cold, either. I like the leftover roasted chickpeas stirred into grain salads, like quinoa or rice salads, too, (even stews or stirfries) plus they are great as a garnish for soups or green salads of any kinds.
They will keep for three or four days sitting in a bowl on the counter, uncovered or loosely covered. Don’t cover them tightly or they will lose their crunch.
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