Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are an excellent source of heart-healthy omega-3 and monounsaturated fats. They are a cholesterol-free alternative to animal protein foods and are perfect in appetizer dishes, main courses and sides. You can even feature several chickpea dishes in one meal. Read on for quick an easy preparation suggestions.
As a Party Appetizer: Israeli Hummus is a wonderful dip for anything from raw vegetables, to whole wheat pita, to skewered meats. Experiment with spice toppings such as paprika, cumin, or even garlic, to change the look and taste of this staple appetizer. For a fun party try making your own hummus sampler by featuring Tomato-Basil, Roasted Eggplant, and Kalamata Olive hummus paired with a selection of appetizer crackers and pita bread.
At Lunch: Sweet and Spicy Garbanzo Bean Stew is a filling any-season dish that pairs well with salads or casseroles-style entrees.
As a Side Dish: These fantastic Spicy Chickpeas balance the flavor of simple meat or fish main courses.
As a Salad: This zesty Chickpea and Tomato Salad pairs nicely with a low-fat tuna or chicken salad.
At Dinner: Start your meal with a flavorful Chickpea Salad. You won't need much salt to flavor this dish, as pimientos, red wine vinegar, and parsley are already flavorful.