Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Snack Favorite

For the first time in a while, we had a nice, long weekend.  Ken usually works on Memorial Day (so begins the busy season at work), so it was good to have him home for a three day weekend this year.  We capped it off by meeting up with one of Ken's friends from New York.  We met his girlfriend and two other couples they were traveling with and had a fun and relaxing afternoon.  I allowed myself the day off from my 30 day vegan month, but still kept lunch moderate, ordering shrimp and scallops with rice and veggies.   Topped off with an Abita Amber.  (Oops)  Then we took home a wonderful gift of smoked pulled pork, and I had to try some.  Had to.  It was beyond delicious.  Unfortunately, I paid for it all (the beer, the pork, bread, um . . . a taste of fudge) with stomach cramps the next morning. It was short-lived and I'm completely fine now.  Totally worth it.  Back on track and feeling great.

So far, I'm not feeling deprived at all this month.   There are some really great recipes to try, and many that will make it into our regular meal rotation.  I haven't had any cravings, except for brownies last week.  I'll be experimenting more until I get the perfect gf vegan brownie.  All in the name of science.

My favorite salty snack will always be popcorn.  A little olive or coconut oil drizzled on top with some sea salt.  Love it.  But these beauties come in a close second . . .

Roasted Chickpeas

When I first heard about roasted chickpeas, I wasn't very thrilled, but it sounded like something my oldest would like.  We threw some in the oven, seasoned them, and gave it a shot.  Mind.  Blown.  Seriously, they are delicious.  Plus, they're a great protein snack to keep you full during a long afternoon.  You can use cooked chickpeas if you have some, otherwise just drain, rinse, and dry (with a towel or paper towels) a can of chickpeas.  I have some in the freezer and I always keep a can or two in the cabinet.  Just in case.  You can look up lots of recipes for these little gems, but all you need to do is toss them with a little olive oil, salt, and seasoning (our favorites are chili powder, cumin, and black pepper), then roast on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes, tossing/mixing them around every 10-15 minutes.  You want them brown and crunchy.

They don't last long.  My kids and I can go through a can in about ten minutes.  I've considered making a big batch and storing them or taking them with us on trips, but they get a little chewy at room temp.  I find they're only good when they first come out of the oven.  Yes, I'm a roasted chickpea snob.  Only hot and crunchy will do.

The flavor possibilites really are endless here.  If you have a favorite seasoning combo for roasted chickpeas, I'd love to hear it.

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