Please forgive the bad title pun. I am slightly sleep deprived. In all seriousness, if you’re a fan of easy, quick side dishes that come together in fewer than 15 minutes, this post is for you. It’s just a bonus that my 4-year-old adores chickpeas. In fact, when I told him chickpeas were for dinner, he ran around the house screaming, “Chickpeas! Yes! Chickpeas! Yes!” And he actually ate his whole serving. The addition of bacon helped a bit, I think. (No, I don’t put bacon on/in everything, despite its presence in almost all of my posts so far).
Chickpeas are having a moment right now, most popularly in vegan cuisine. The fancy word for the liquid in a can of chickpeas or cooking liquid is aquafaba, which is used as a substitute for egg whites in meringue (who knew!?). I’ve seen recipes for vegan and gluten-free “cookie dough dip” with pureed chickpeas as the base. This recipe is far from vegan, but it is still chock full of those little protein and fiber powerhouses.
I’m not exactly sure when S. became enamored with chickpeas, but it was apparent when asked what he wanted for his special dinner for his 4th birthday and he replied, “chickpeas, rice, and chicken legs.” I couldn’t argue with that. Last night, he was skeptical of the arugula when tasting it raw, but he declared he liked it “cook-ed.” The over-four set was pretty happy with this meal, too. I paired it with some seared Italian sausage, but it would be perfect with grilled chicken, steak, or even by itself as a main course.