The 2010s saw chickpeas rise to fame. The king of chickpea dishes, hummus, turned from a hippy health food to a fridge staple. This was great in terms of accessibility, but not so great for preserving the authenticity of the dish.
I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a thousand times: Hummus is not a catch-all term for dip. It means “chickpea” in Arabic, so if a product contains little-to-no chickpeas and too many other funky ingredients (edamame, pumpkin, and beetroot come to mind), it is not hummus.
As for dessert hummus, which strutted into American supermarkets in the latter part of the decade with flavors like chocolate, snickerdoodle, and vanilla bean, I don’t know how to feel. Let’s rename it chickpea pudding and agree that it’s actually kind of tasty.
Dessert hummus was not the only chickpea-based snack to enter our lives this decade. Riding the wave of the “healthy snack” came Rule Breaker brownies — a deliciously dense chocolatey treat, and Hippeas, puffed chip-like snacks that became a roaring success in the United States and abroad.
Canned chickpeas answered the prayers of vegans and egg-intolerant folk thanks to aquafaba — aka that viscous, slightly funky smelling chickpea brine that whips up just like egg whites. Genius.
(Both Hippeas and Rule Breaker are marketed as kosher.)
If you thought that every possibility to consume chickpeas in every way but their original form had been exhausted, think again! These versatile little beans show no sign of slowing down in 2020. Alongside other hummus abominations, healthy snacks, and aquafaba-based desserts, I predict we’ll see lots more (with kosher status to be determined):
1. Chickpea Ice Cream
Vegans and hipsters around the world, rejoice! Micah Camden, the brains behind this trend, has announced plans to significantly expand his Portland-based chickpea ice cream brand, Little Chickpea. It won’t be long until its eight flavors, which include cherry chai and mint matcha, find their way to Los Angeles, New York, and beyond. Each flavor is free of dairy, nuts, soy, and gluten.
2. Chickpea Milk
We live in the age of nut milks, so it was only a matter of time before chickpea milk became a thing. Chickpeas produce a thick, neutral tasting milk with numerous benefits over other nondairy offerings: They’re basically free of unsaturated fats, unlike coconut milk, and don’t have the environmental stigma or health concerns related to almond and soy milks. Plus, they’re a cheap base ingredient.
This stuff is ready to hit the market, thanks to Israeli startup InnovoPro, which has raised nearly $5 million in funding. It’s also pretty easy to make at home.
3. Chickpea Protein
ChickP, another Israeli startup, is currently working on a chickpea protein that can act as a base for chickpea milks, an egg substitute, or a dairy-free butter, among other things. They seem pretty confident in its marketability, predicting revenue of $300 million by 2025. Watch this space.
4. Chickpea Flour
Though chickpea flour typically doesn’t get a lot of love, don’t underestimate its powers as a substitute for all-purpose flour. It’s gluten-free and packed full of protein. Test its superior binding powers for yourself in our chickpea and onion fritters recipe.
Try these two chickpea recipes to experience the multipurpose wonder that is this little bean.
Chickpea Bolognese By Emanuelle Lee
This hearty pasta dish doesn’t compromise on flavor while using chickpeas instead of ground beef, turkey, or lamb. I suggest treating these versatile little beans as you would treat half a pound of ground meat by browning and seasoning well. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how delicious, hearty, and meaty this spaghetti really turns out.
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, washed and grated finely
1 celery stalk, very finely chopped
7 oz (240g) cooked or canned garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed if canned)
14 oz (400g) can of plum tomatoes
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. chili flakes
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup red wine
salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 lb. spaghetti
1. Heat half of the olive oil in a medium pot. Add the garlic and onions, along with the chilli flakes and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until softened slightly. Add the chickpeas and saute for 10 minutes. Allow the chickpeas to soften a little bit and start to mash them and break some of them apart with a spoon or fork, leaving some of them still intact.
2. Add another tablespoon of the olive oil and allow the chickpeas to brown lightly, stirring occasionally. Add the carrot and celery and mix well. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the canned tomatoes and break them apart with a spoon. Add the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and wine, allowing it all to evaporate and absorb into the vegetable mixture.
3. Add the bay leaves and thyme and leave to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato paste, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt and pepper and leave to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the bolognese is thick and has darkened.
4. Cook the pasta two minutes less than directed on the packet, reserving ¼ cup of the hot pasta water. Drain the pasta and mix with the bolognese sauce along with the pasta water. Mix on low heat until the sauce has once again thickened, about a minute.
5. Top with the remaining olive oil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
Sheet-Pan dinner: Za’atar Chicken With Cauliflower and Chickpeas By Shannon Sarna
I get pretty skeptical about (some) food trends. I balk at quinoa. I loathe smoothie bowls. Please don’t try to tell me how awesome chia seed pudding is, because I promise, it’s not as good as chocolate pudding. And don’t even get me started on the gluten-free craze.
So you can maybe understand my skepticism over the latest internet enthusiasm for “sheet-pan” dinners. Because, come on — is throwing dinner on one sheet-pan really that great?
Well, the answer is a resounding: yes, yes it is. Which I guess also means I have to admit I was wrong about something. Just don’t tell my husband.
This sheet-pan dinner was incredibly delicious and easy, and is equally awesome for a weeknight dinner or Shabbat. I will admit that I thought to myself: wow, dinner is totally done! Now, what should I do? (Pour myself a glass of wine of course). So go ahead – get excited about the convenience and awesomeness of a sheet pan dinner, and try adding your own favorite flavors and veggie combinations.
Za’atar is a wonderful Middle Eastern spice blend used widely in Israel.
1 whole chicken (you can also use a cut-up chicken)
1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 lemon, cut into slices
4 garlic cloves, left whole with skin on
2-1/2 Tbsp. za’atar
salt and pepper
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut whole chicken down the middle of breasts and flatten slightly. Place on top of foil lined sheet pan.
Cover chicken with 1-1/2 Tbsp. za’atar, making sure to cover skin, under skin and the underneath side. Place 2 to 3 slices of lemon underneath chicken skin. If you don’t feel comfortable placing lemon inside the chicken skin, just place on top. Place remaining lemon and 1 garlic clove underneath chicken.
Spread cauliflower all over the sheet pan and top with remaining 1 Tbsp. za’atar and garlic cloves. Drizzle the chicken and cauliflower with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss/rub to coat completely.
Roast in pre-heated oven for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and turn cauliflower, which will have shrunk in size slightly. Move cauliflower over to make room for chickpeas. Spread chickpeas on pan and drizzle with a touch more olive oil, and pinch of salt and red pepper flakes if desired.
Place back into oven for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until chicken is crispy and golden and the cauliflower is caramelized to your liking. Serve immediately.