|I think these Garlicky Roasted Chickpeas with Feta, Mint, and Lemon are perfect for Meatless Monday!|
On Friday I talked about how I'm doing a weekly Meatless Monday recipe feature on BlogHer.com. Of course this is all part of a world-wide Meatless Monday campaign designed to get people to eat less meat, both for health and for the health of the planet. I got interested in eating less meat after my doctor recommended a book called The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health. (Apparently this is the book that convinced Bill Clinton to become a vegan.) I don't plan to become a vegetarian, but I do love plant foods like vegetables, beans, and grains, so I thought doing the weekly spotlight on BlogHer would be a great way to nudge myself towards a few more meatless meals.
Even though I'm interested in Meatless Monday, I want to be clear I'm not promising you'll find a meatless recipe here every single Monday. I've decided I'm a little commitment phobic about blog events. You see, for three years my blog hosted a weekly event called Weekend Herb Blogging. Then I gave away the event to my friend Haalo, who has kept WHB going into it's sixth year! Sometime in year four I personally hit the wall and decided I just could not commit to a weekly post any more, although I still enjoy checking in on what others are making. And even if I'm not doing a meatless main dish every single Monday, I will promise there'll be a few more meatless dishes on my blog because of this project. (And if anyone is interested, you can follow the BlogHer Meatless Monday recipes by using that tag, and find more meatless recipes on Kalyn's Kitchen in the Vegetarian Dishes section of the archives.)
I found this easy meatless dish with chickpeas, Feta, and mint in The Bon Appetit Cookbook: Fast Easy Fresh, a book where quite a few of the recipes appeal to me. I made this a couple of times to get the version in this recipe, only slightly adapted from the cookbook (although I did lighten it up a bit, used more mint and added the lemon.) In my first version I increased the amount of garlic, and after it cooked with the chickpeas I thought the garlic flavor was too strong, so even if you're a garlic fan, I don't recommend upping the garlic.
I'm a sucker for recipes that start with "drain a can of garbanzo beans." Only for this recipe, rinse and drain 2 cans of garbanzo beans.
I mixed together the olive oil, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to be sure spices were well-distributed.
Spread drained chickpeas into a large rectangular baking dish; then mix in olive oil mixture. Put in oven that's preheated to 375F/190C.
After 15-18 minutes, remove chickpeas from oven. If there is olive oil in the baking dish that hasn't been absorbed, use a slotted spoon to transfer chickpeas to a bowl.
Let chickpeas cool about 5 minutes. Mix in crumbled Feta and chopped mint, season with additional salt and fresh ground black pepper if desired, and serve warm. I like this with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to brighten the flavors.
(Makes 4-5 servings; recipe adapted from The Bon Appetit Cookbook: Fast Easy Fresh.)
2 cans (15 oz. can) chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
2 T olive oil (recipe called for 3 T which I thought was too much)
2 fresh garlic cloves, finely minced (I would not use garlic from a jar for this recipe)
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
3/4 - 1 cup crumbled Feta (recipe called for 1 cup; I thought 3/4 cup was plenty)
1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped fresh mint (recipe called for 1/2 cup but I used 3/4 cup)
lemon wedges to squeeze over finished dish (optional, but good)
Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Dump chickpeas into a colander placed in the sink and rinse with cold water until no more foam appears. Let chickpeas drain at least 5 minutes. (You can pat them dry with paper towels if they still seem wet after that.)
Mix together the olive oil, finely minced garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Spray a large rectangular baking dish with nonstick spray (11 X 7 or slightly larger). Put drained chickpeas into baking dish, add olive oil mixture and stir until the chickpeas are well coated with oil, then put in the oven and roast 15-18 minutes.
While chickpeas are roasting, wash mint, spin dry or dry with paper towels, and finely chop with large chef's knife. Crumble Feta. Start to check chickpeas after 15 minutes, and as soon as they are hot and barely beginning to crisp on top remove from oven.
Spoon chickpeas into a serving dish. (Use a slotted spoon if there is any unabsorbed oil in the bottom of the baking dish, so the extra oil will be left behind.) Let chickpeas cool 5 minutes, then stir in crumbled Feta and chopped mint. Season with more salt and fresh ground black pepper if desired. Serve warm, with lemon wedges to squeeze over the finished dish if desired.
South Beach Suggestions:
Dried beans and legumes are permitted for any phase of the South Beach Diet, but serving size is limited to 1/3 to 1/2 cup for phase one, so this should be used as a small-serving side dish if eaten for phase one. For any phase I'd love this with something like Vegan Tomato Salad with Cucumbers, Avocado, Cilantro, and Lime, Middle Eastern Tomato Salad, or Spicy Cabbage Salad with Tomatoes, Radishes, and Celery.
More Meatless Ideas with Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans):
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Curried Chickpea Salad - From Joan's on Third, Los Angeles from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spicy Red Lentil and Chickpea Stew / Paula's Moroccan Lentil Stew from Kalyn's Kitchen
Socca (Garbanzo or Chickpea Flatbread Pancake from France) from Kalyn's Kitchen
Baked Falafel Patties with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen
Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad with Yogurt, Lemon, Scallions, Mint, and Cilantro from Kalyn's Kitchen
Chickpeas and Kale Stir-Fry from Live.to.Eat
Channa Chat (Chickpea Chat) from A Life (Time) of Cooking
Chickpea Salad with Feta and Herbs from The Merry Gourmet
Crockpot Eggplant and Tomato Stew with Garbanzo Beans from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Moroccan Chickpea Barley Salad from Simply Recipes
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)