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Roasted Chickpeas


These days, I am too often torn between eating tasty food and cheap/free food. It’s the dilemma every student faces. Do I save money or eat healthy? The last two weeks have been especially challenging for me as I am doing a rotation in a smaller hospital that has no cafeteria. Instead, they provide staff with hot lunch every day, but few options for vegetarians. I can pretty much always count on there being white rice and steamed vegetables. That combination is boring, bland, and does not have any protein, but it's so hard for me to justify not eating the food provided. Rather than bringing in my own lunches, or spending a fortune eating out for lunch every day, I’ve been getting creative while still minimizing costs.

I’ve been bringing in things to mix into my rice and veggie plate. This usually includes salted pistachios for seasoning and crunch and a sauce or dressing of some sort for flavor. Or I would go one step further, roasting some chickpeas to provide that crunchy texture I’ve been missing, along with some much needed protein.

I love roasted chickpeas. They’re ridiculously easy to make, can be done with any flavor combination, and are addictively delicious. I love how crunchy they get and how the flavors you mix in with them stick so nicely. This batch is full of garlic, basil, red pepper flakes for some zing, and nutritional yeast (though Parmesan cheese would also be great here). They make a great snack or a fantastic addition to salads. I’ve been adding these to my rice and veggie plate, then topping everything with some version of my balsamic vinaigrette. Suddenly my bland, boring lunch seems pretty gourmet.


How do you dress up your lunch?


Roasted Chickpeas
Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 
teaspoon salt
1/2 
teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 
teaspoon dried basil
teaspoon Nutritional Yeast (or Parmesan)
1/4 
teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions:
1. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then pat them dry.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the chickpeas, oil, and seasonings. Mix until everything is evenly coated. Pour the chickpeas onto a baking pan covered in aluminum foil and shake gently until the chickpeas are in one layer.

3. Roast at 450 for 10-15 minutes (I did 10 in my toaster oven, 15 would be for a regular oven, where the heat source is further away), toss, and roast for another 10-15 minutes until golden and beginning to brown. 

4. Turn off the oven, crack it open, and let the chickpeas cool in there for another 20 minutes (this will keep them even crispier!). Serve room temperature as a snack or toss into a salad.


Enjoy!

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