Roasted Chickpeas

Crunchy, roasted chickpeas make for tasty, arguably healthy, and relatively quick bar bites. With cooler weather just around the corner, it’s time to crank up the oven. To heat up the palate, warm spices like cumin, black pepper, and cayenne give roasted chickpeas a punch of flavor and a heat that brings pink to our cheeks (the cocktails help, too). If you want something with a little more complexity, season the roasted beans with garam masala or a spicy curry powder blend. Whatever you do, make sure their completely dry and dark brown. They should shatter when you bite them.

With nothing more than an inexpensive can of chickpeas (garbanzos), some olive oil and a little salt (all pantry staples), you can have this hearty snack prepped and toasting in 10 minutes. The oven does the rest of the work while you prep other dishes. Be sure to drain and pat the chickpeas dry between paper towels before tossing with oil and seasoning. The goal is to dehydrate them as much as possible as quickly as possible without burning them. Extra water slows that down.

Roasted chickpeas are a perfect snack whatever the libation. They’re equally at home with a glass of bubbly and a pint of beer. Their spices get an amplification boost from stiffer drinks like our favorite gin martini or a great rye Manhattan. In the highly unlikely event you have leftovers, they make great croutons on salad. Whatever the occasion, roasted chickpeas are a guaranteed crowd pleaser!

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Roasted Chickpeas

1 can chickpeas
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon garam masala (or other dried herbs of choice)
kosher salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Drain the can of chickpeas (discarded or save water for another use)and pat down the peas with a kitchen towel or paper towels until the peas are as dry as possible. Place the peas on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil over them and toss until coated. Put the sheet pan in the oven.

After 8 minutes remove the peas from the oven and place them into a medium sized bowl. Add the garam masala, kosher salt, and pepper, toss until coated. Put the peas back on the sheet pan and return to the oven for another 5-8 minutes or until dark and crispy.

Let cool for about 10 minutes before eating.

Euro Seed Bread

We’ve been fans of “Euro bread” for years. What we call Euro bread is basically a whole grain, seed and nut bread that resembles a brick and is usually found in health food stores. Typically, the bread is thinly sliced and toasts up nicely. We love it with peanut butter (or any nut butter), Nutella, cheeses, smoked salmon, or basically anything we can find in the fridge that we would normally eat on a cracker. One of our favorites is toasted Euro bread, with a smear of keffir cheese, slices of cucumber, pickled red onions, and a few grinds of pepper – crunchy, tart, cool, and tangy.  Just thinking about it makes me hungry.

How to make the bread has always been a mystery to us. We assumed it would be super complicated and would require a laundry list of ingredients and special equipment. To our surprise we found the opposite to be true. Yahoo! had a story in their food section from My New Roots about “seed bread.” A google search produced several helpful recipes. The following recipe is easy. The most challenging ingredient to find is the psyllium husks (the stuff in Metamucil). No kneading the dough. No waiting for the dough to rise. All it takes to make the bread mixing the ingredients, waiting for everything to absorb the water, and baking. Once cool, simply slice, toast and enjoy.

To those who care, yes this is gluten-free, and yes this is paleo, and yes this is also vegan. But really, who cares! The only thing we care about is how delicious it tastes. Forget about all the labels and just whip up a batch. Nuts and seeds can vary, just remember to use the psyllium husks or the whole thing will wind up crumbling.

Euro Seed Bread

1 cup multigrain cereal
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/3 cup millet
1/3 cup pistachios
1/3 cup chia seeds
1/3 cup flax seeds
3 tablespoons psyllium husks
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups warm water

Add the multigrain cereal, almonds, millet, pistachios, chia seeds, flax seeds, psyllium husks, and salt to a food processor, pulse 4-5 times, pour into a bowl.

Combine coconut oil, honey, and warm water together. Add to nut and seed mixture then stir to combine. Line a small loaf pan with parchment; add the mixture to the pan and allow to sit for 2 hours or overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool, slice, and enjoy.

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