Four ways with chickpeas

Chickpea meatballs with zucchini noodles.
Chickpea meatballs with zucchini noodles. Photo: Louise Lister

Like other legumes, chickpeas are high in fibre and protein, and contain several key vitamins and minerals. They are a great vegan protein and are cheap and versatile.

Fresh chickpeas are richer and fuller and add more flavour to the dish than the canned variety. They also have a creamier texture than canned ones and are BPA-free and more cost-effective. 

The Long Life Plan by Faye James.
The Long Life Plan by Faye James. Photo: New Holland

Start by soaking dried chickpeas overnight. Drain and rinse, then boil in water until plump and tender.

Chickpea meatballs

As delicious as a beef or pork meatball this recipe will even delight meatlovers. 

Ingredients

3 tbsp gluten-free breadcrumbs

⅓ cup parmesan, grated

½ cup goat's feta

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1 zucchini, grated

1 carrot, grated

400g chickpeas, cooked

1 large egg

1 tsp Italian herbs

salt and pepper

For the sauce

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

2 red capsicums, roasted and sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

300g passata

leafy greens and zoodles (zucchini noodles), to serve

Method

Step 1

Place breadcrumbs, cheeses, zucchini, carrot, chickpeas, egg, herbs and seasoning into food processor. Pulse until well blended. Roll mixture into meatballs and shallow fry until golden.

Step 2

Remove from pan and set aside.

Step 3

In a separate pan, fry the onion and garlic until softened. Add the roasted capsicum and passata and simmer for about five minutes.

Step 4

Add meatballs to sauce and cook for a further five minutes.

Step 5

Serve with zoodles and leafy greens on the side.

Serves 4

Chickpea tagine. From The Long Life Plan by Faye James (New Holland Publishers), RRP $35.

Photo: Louise Lister

Chickpea tagine

Full of Eastern promise, this hearty stew is one to tuck into when you're feeling hungry and in need of something satisfying.

Ingredients

1 onion, diced

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

1 tsp cinnamon

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 medium pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks

1 zucchini, diced

1 cup dried apricots, chopped

4 cups vegetable stock

400g chickpeas, cooked

salt and pepper to taste

toasted almonds

steamed broccolini, to serve

Method

Step 1

Fry the onion in olive oil until soft. Add the spices and stir until fragrant, then add the tomato paste. Add the pumpkin, zucchini and apricots and coat with spices.

Step 2

Add stock and seasoning and simmer until pumpkin is tender.

Step 3

Add the chickpeas and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Serve with steamed broccolini and top with toasted almonds.

Serves 4

Spiced chickpea cakes. From The Long Life Plan by Faye James (New Holland Publishers), RRP $35.

Photo: Louise Lister

Spiced chickpea cakes with tahini

Moreish, tasty and light, this is the perfect dinner to enjoy al fresco.

Ingredients

400g chickpeas, cooked

60g sourdough breadcrumbs

2 tbsp tahini paste

1 large egg

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp  ground cumin

1 carrot, grated

3 spring onions, chopped

Yoghurt sauce

150g coconut yoghurt

1 tbsp tahini paste

1 tsp garam masala

salt and pepper

red cabbage and carrot slaw, to serve

Method

Step 1

Blitz half the chickpeas in a food processor with tahini, breadcrumbs, egg and spices. Remove blade and stir through carrot, spring onions and remaining chickpeas.

Step 2

Shape into four patties and shallow fry in olive oil for about five minutes each side.

Step 3

Make yoghurt sauce by combining the yoghurt with tahini, garam masala and seasoning.

Step 4

Serve with red cabbage and carrot slaw and drizzle on yoghurt sauce.

Serves 4

Chickpea masala. From The Long Life Plan by Faye James (New Holland Publishers), RRP $35.

Photo: Louise Lister

Chickpea masala

A fragrant spicy dish that is flavoursome and satisfying.

Ingredients

1 large onion, finely sliced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

5 tsp finely grated ginger

1-1½ tsp salt

2 tsp ground coriander

1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced

4 tsp ground cumin

1½ tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp garam masala

5 cups chickpeas, cooked

½ cup coconut milk

150g green beans

400g tinned diced tomatoes

broccoli and leafy greens, to serve

Method

Step 1

Fry the onion until softened. Add garlic and spices and cook until fragrant. Add chickpeas and tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes.

Step 2

Add coconut milk and green beans and cook until beans are tender. Serve with leafy greens and broccoli.

Serves 4

Edited extract from The Long Life Plan by Faye James, New Holland, RRP $35.