Sunday, October 17, 2010

Snack Attack! Spicy Baked Chick Peas

Boy, it's Sunday night, and I actually felt like I had a weekend. A bona fide weekend with a couple of days off in a row and no obligations. And a great weekend it was! I got to celebrate my big 4-0 (again!) with a delightful dinner at Bouchon in Yountville, a treat by my bestest gal pal, Carolyn (she spoils me rotten....), revel as the Giants took Game 1 in the National League Conference Series, enjoy lazy mornings where I got to sleep late and read the paper in bed, and - joy of joys - actually spend time in the kitchen.

This morning arrived with a gray drizzle. Perfect. The first rain of the year coincided with my lazy attitude, so it completely confirmed my homebody status. Since the sun wasn't shining, I had no guilt that I wasn't out hiking, walking the dog, exploring or otherwise soaking in a spectacular Autumn day. Nope - we lit a fire in the fireplace and basically hunkered down, Ran in front of the various sporting match-ups that dominate the Sunday television lineup, and me puttering in the kitchen with ideas aplenty on how to stock my larder for the coming week (stock my larder? Who says that?).

At any rate, my oven was on all afternoon, and the stovetop hardly saw an idle moment. I'll probably blog later in the week about many of the things I made today (stay tuned!), but first and foremost on the list was taking care of snack food for the afternoon. I mean, what is watching sports all day without snacks? And since I've outlawed packaged snack food in my house, I needed to come up with something on my own. Chick peas to the rescue.

The humble chick pea. Garbanzo bean if you'd like. I love the little buggers. I eat them in some form nearly every day of the week (seriously - hummus is a staple of my diet). I've written about roasting raw chick peas in the husk on the BBQ grill (one of my all-time fave snacks) - but you just can't count on walking into a store and finding raw, in-the-husk garbanzo beans. It rarely happens. But you know what? You can find pre-cooked garbanzos in a can anywhere, anytime, and with the addition of just a couple spices and a preheated oven, healthy snack time is less than an hour away.

Imagine: crunchy, spicy garbanzo beans that you can Hoover up all you'd like because they're low-cal, no carb, and full of fiber and protein. These baked chick peas rate right up there with kale chips as being one of my favorite go-to healthy snack options.

Preparation couldn't be simpler:
  • Open a can of garbanzo beans, rinse and drain. (Although seriously, one can's worth will vanish in a heartbeat. Bust open a couple. Trust me.)
  • Pat dry with paper towels.
  • In a mixing bowl, toss the garbanzos with a glug of olive oil. Not too much - just enough to coat. I use one of my favoritist olive oils of all time from The Smoked Olive - their chili pepper smoked olive oil. Sheer Heaven. If you don't know about The Smoked Olive - learn now! (I wrote about it here more than a year ago. My love has not waned.)
  • Season. Just plain Kosher salt will do the trick, but if you want to make the spicy version I like, also add a heavy dusting of paprika (smoked paprika being my choice), some garlic powder, and a couple of shots of your favorite hot chili sauce or Tabasco. Stir to coat well. Taste them - if you like how they taste before going in the oven, you'll like the finished product times ten.
  • Pour the seasoned garbanzos onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and pop into a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes.
When you pull them from the oven and let them cool just a bit, they get crunchy. And addictive. Voila - perfect snack food for a couch potato marathon. Speaking of... Giants are on (and losing....). Later peeps!

1 comment:

  1. I had to try these last night, and they were delicious! Unfortunately my first batch was just plain since I couldn't find my smoked paprika, but I corrected that by the end of the night. I love your healthy snacks!