Looking for healthy, delicious and easy lunch recipes? Try these tasty chickpea creations…
I can’t think of what not to like about chickpeas? Their flavor is mild and slightly nutty with a buttery-like texture. Apparently I am not the only one who is crazy about chickpeas either because I recently learned they are actually the most widely consumed legume in the world – I’m thinking this might be due to the international popularity of hummus? By the way, if you love hummus be sure to check out my oil-free superfood kale & chickpea hummus recipe below!
I’m not a make-everything-from-scratch kind of person and so I admit I rarely go to the bother of cooking dried chickpeas. Instead, my pantry always has several cans of chickpeas on hand for soups, homemade hummus, stews, salads and other easy lunch recipes. I do however always look for BPA-free canned beans (Eden Organic brand is a good one) and then I rinse them with water and drain them in a colander before eating.
If you read our Clean Cuisine book, you know we are big fans of eating less animal foods and getting more protein from vegan sources, especially beans and legumes. Committing to eating a vegan lunch with the protein source centered around beans and legumes is a great way to clean up your diet, get more detoxifying fiber and more anti-inflammatory antioxidants and phytonutrients.
There’s even evidence that chickpeas can help control food cravings and appetite. Participants in a recent study reported more satisfaction with their diet when chickpeas were included, and they consumed fewer processed snack foods during test weeks in the study when chickpeas were consumed. They also consumed less food overall when the diet was supplemented with chickpeas.
Hungry yet? Let’s make lunch!
3 Easy Lunch Recipes with Chickpeas:
The only thing that takes anytime at all to make in this recipe is the rice. But if you have a rice cooker you can cook your rice with zero hassle; simply measure 2 parts water to one part rice, set the timer and come back to perfectly cooked rice (I especially love Zojirushi brand rice cookers). The other option is to go to a Chinese restaurant and ask to buy steamed brown rice by the pint. It is super cheap and they are always happy to sell it to you!
- 1 cup cooked short grain brown rice
- 1 can (15 oz) BPA-free chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- ½ cup finely chopped parsley
- ½ c slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Curry powder to taste
- Unrefined sea salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl combine rice, chickpeas, bell pepper, parsley and almonds. In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, honey, olive oil and garlic. Pour sauce over ingredients and toss. Sprinkle curry powder, salt and pepper over mixture. Toss again. Taste. Add more curry powder if desired. Serve at room temperature.
Superfood Kale & Chickpea Hummus
This is a great way to boost your intake of dark leafy greens. Kale Hummus is delicious as a dip but it also makes a great alternative to mayo when spread on toasted sprouted whole grain bread. One of my favorite easy lunch recipes is a sandwich made with shredded carrots, shredded beets, sprouts and lots of kale hummus. Note: kale hummus will keep for 3 days if stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.
- 4 cups kale, stems and tough ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup raw cashews
- 1 can (15 ounces) BPA-free chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4 crushed garlic cloves
- Cumin, to taste
- Unrefined sea salt, to taste
- Fill the bottom of a steamer with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Add kale to the steamer basket and cover. Steam for 5 minutes, or until very soft. Remove kale from steamer basket and set aside to cool (pat kale dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.)
- Place water and cashews in a high speed blender (such as a Vita-Mix) and process until smooth and creamy. Add the chickpeas, steamed kale, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and salt to taste. Process until smooth and creamy.
Vegetable Soup with Chickpeas
Not only is this vegetable soup super tasty and easy to make, it yields big leftover dividends too! Cook once and you can eat all week. If you want to beef it up a bit try stirring in cooked quinoa, millet or barley.
- 1 ½ pints cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons plus 3 teaspoons cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Unrefined sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 carrots, finely chopped
- 4 celery ribs, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1 package (16 ounces) frozen cauliflower florets
- 1 box (9 ounces) frozen cut green beans
- 2 cans (15 ounces) BPA-free chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups baby organic spinach leaves
- 5 cups organic vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomatoes with 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 15 minutes. Let cool, then mash with a potato masher.
- Heat the remaining oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat; add the garlic, onion, carrots and celery and sauté 10 minutes, until vegetables are very soft. Add the fresh thyme and season with salt to taste. Stir in the frozen cauliflower and green beans and sauté 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas and sauté 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, 1 minute. Add the mashed roasted tomatoes.
- Add the vegetable broth. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil; cook for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in the parsley and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning. Let soup sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm.
1. Murty CM, Pittaway JK and Ball MJ. Chickpea supplementation in an Australian diet affects food choice, satiety and bowel health. Appetite. 2010 Apr;54(2):282-8. Epub 2009 Nov 27. 2010.