chickpeas are cheap: an outpouring of thoughts about the garbanzo and dried beans.

Roasted Chickpeas with Nutritional Yeast, Oregano and Sea Salt

As usual, my history with using dried beans is linked to the Post Punk Kitchen.  I remember a blog post years ago, challenging people to soak their own beans and base meals around the outcome.  When I finally had the balls to soak my own, I was thrilled x 40 at the results, and most importantly, how far it stretched my initial, mere investment. It’s so resourceful, healthy and cost-effective!

There are definitely occasions I’m short on time or stockpiling a bit for an apocalypse, and I’ve yet to make the move for a pressure cooker, but a simple colander, large pot and time are all I need to bring beans to life in my kitchen. FYI, they’ve never spoke to me.

Quick & obvious notes on using dried beans:

  1. Buy dried beans in bulk. In Portland, you can go to co-ops, farmers markets, New Seasons, Fred Meyer, and I think even Safeway has a bulk area.  You can buy dried beans in bags  at most stores, of course, but it’s more fun and economical to buy them by the pound.
  2. Pick out any really noticeable crud. I just give my beans a quick look over, and toss a couple times.
  3. Soak them during the day, 4-8 hours, while you’re out working or counting leaves (clearly the only two things I think people do during the day).
  4. Rinse in a colander (one the beans won’t fall through).
  5. Cook according to bean specifications. There’s a guide halfway down this page, and one in Veganomicon, which I’m sure you own. I normally don’ t need more than 1.5 hours for chickpeas.  I usually just cook in water, but you can always play with broth with herbs and alliums.

I spent this past Friday night wildly cooking chickpeas and prepping for the next day’s event.  FYI, I store my cooked beans in pitchers, and change the water every couple days.

Over the course of the weekend, the chickpeas went into Yellow Curry & Sweet Potato hummus, 40 Cloves Chickpea & Broccoli, and Chickpea Cutlets.  I try and save money, bringing lunch to work, as boring as it can be.  I’m sure I’ll do much more  with these little pieces of protein over the next week or so, and extra will go bagged into my freezer!

Ten Chickpea-y Ideas:

  1. Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon. I always bake these, and I’ve been known to mold them into ball-form as well to serve with marinara. There are gluten-free versions floating around the internet.  I’ve had ones my friend Michelle has made, they’re really good!
  2. Roasted Chickpeas. This was the first way I ever cooked chickpeas, back in college, when I spent a lot of time playing around on  Dreena Burton’s Tamari Roasted Chickpeas is an easy way to start if you’ve never made them before.
  3. Chickpea Quinoa Pilaf – again, from Veganomicon! Really versatile. Quinoa + Chickpeas = nutrition!
  4. One word: Falafel
  5. Pasta: There are recipes for this on every cooking website that exists. Lightly saute in extra virgin olive oil with minced garlic, crushed red pepper, and spinach, and serve over pasta with sea salt, fresh pepper and nutritional yeast to your liking.
  6. Add to Bowls: ala Joanna’s Almighty Bowl style post or Blossoming Lotus
  7. Another one word: Hummus. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are entire cults based around this dip. I’m going to post the recipe for the Yellow Curry inspired hummus this week.
  8. Gravy: I’ve actually never made the famous Punkrock Chickpea in Vegan with a Vengeance, but I have made a Silky Chickpea Gravy in testing for Isa’s new low-fat book.
  9. Chana Masala: The Indian Classic. I love when this is in the lunch special at Bombay Chaat House!
  10. Add to Soups: add to any soup that calls for beans, or you’d think would work in. Who makes vegetable soup without beans?  huh? Years ago, I tried and liked this recipe for Chickpea Garlic Soup from The Angelica Home Kitchen.

Runner Up: Chickpea salads. These aren’t really my thing, but I have caught myself with no time and lack of ingredients, snacking on chickpeas + nooch + sea salt…

Fun fact: There are white, green and black chickpeas.

Wow, that was so of me.

Chickpea-usage, the photos!

40 Cloves Chickpea & Garlic a tester for Isa’s new book (second time I’ve made it!)

Chickpea Cutlets – I made these in my food processor, but they’re super easy to make without it.

Chickpea Cutlets

Chickpea Cutlet Balls

Tamari Roasted Chickpeas from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan

Chickpeas in a really colorful Tofu Scramble

Baked Tofu and Chickpea Quinoa Pilaf

Chickpea Pitcher

chickpea pitcher

I wish my photo did this more justice, clearly I was in a rush to dine.

Chickpeas added to Pasta e Faglio, from The Urban Vegan

Comforty, Lower-Fat New Farm Mac & Cheeze, Gluten Free, and thickened with Chickpea Flour

Chickpeas Romesco from Veganomicon

Baked Falafel from Vegan with a Vengeance

And a plate of fresh vegetables, with store bought pita and stellar hummus from Barbur World Foods. For the record, their fresh baked pita is one of the best things in the world. Lunch@work.


Thanks to anyone reading this who came to the presentation at the library this past weekend!  There was a huge turn out, which delighted both the library staff and myself! I had a blast talking about a topic I adore – Local & Vegan Eating in Portland, OR.  Totally makes me want to visit the People’s Farmers Market this week! I just love the Portland vegan community.


  1. Chickpeas (maybe we should call them “cheap-peas”?) are one of those foods I can’t imagine living without. I’m happy nibbling on them plain or celebrating them in curries, but as your excellent post shows they can be used almost anywhere!

  2. The chickpea cutlet picture looks like Micky Mouse!
    Oh, and great post! I cook up a big batch of beans every sunday and use them throughout the week. I normally make a mix of black, kidney, and pinto.
    Anyway, Chickpeas are one of my all time favorites. Seriously, I can’t get enough of them.
    Best post in a while here!

  3. I always think it’s funny when people are scared to cook dried beans because when I was a kid canned beans seemed SO exotic and fancy, since my parents knew how to stretch a dollar and were philosophically opposed to processed foods. Just like making bread, cooking beans takes some planning but very little effort.

  4. LOL! I’m scared to cook beans. I really should do it though, especially chickpeas, because I love ’em. I think I cooked black beans ONCE 🙂 Thank you for the encouragement…I’ll have to try cooking them. And of course all the recipes look delicious!

  5. Hi there!
    I’ve been following your blog for a while now (great job btw!) and I agree Portland has a great vegan community. I moved here a year ago and am delighted with all the options! Just one question, you mentioned storing cooked chickpeas in a pitcher with water – how long will this last in the fridge?

  6. You made me crave beans so much! I usually soak and cook my own beans because most supermarkets over here stock only canned kidney beans. I love chickpeas so much and I could coook up a batch every day. Thank you for all those really awesome ideas!

  7. What a great post!

    I love chickpeas! I usually soak, cook and freeze my beans, but I’ve never thought of storing them in pitchers in the fridge… Is it because it makes them more moist? I’m curious to know.

  8. Wow! This is great timing! On Saturday January 30 we are hosting the Great Chickpea Challenge, here in Durham, NC. It is a pot luck wherein all dishes need to contain chickpeas. We will have prizes for the best liked, best dessert, and maybe most creative. There will be a chickpea trivia game as well. We love chickpeas too.

  9. Cue a chickpea something for dinner… Sadly only tinned due to disorganised laziness, but I’m sure they’ll be yum nonetheless!

  10. LUV this post! Everyone you must buy a pressure cooker for cooking beans in a hurry! Fagor is a good middle range brand (I found it at Ross even).

    Soak beans 6-8 hours, drain water, put in pressure cooker with fresh water to cover, and 1 inch piece of kombu. Bring to pressure, most beans take 11-12 minutes!

    Saves so much time!

  11. GARRBANZOOO! This post reminds me that i havent had chickpeas other than hummus for a couple weeks. How could I let this happen. I have yet to make the famous chickpea cutlets, maybe ill try this weekend.

  12. I’ve been soaking, but more importantly sprouting, my beans pulses and dals for years. Not only do they cook faster and produce less gas , but they’re dramatically more nutritious. I find that the best place to find the freshest and least expensive dried beans is at the Indo-Pak store. They have a huge variety of sproutable goodies and they’re usually fresher than your mainstream chain grocery. Great chickpea recipes! Thanks.

  13. there is really no other way to go than to soak your beans and cook ’em. i just make a ton and freeze on a cookie sheet what i don’t use.. then you have them for later. mmmmmm. (i made nuggets with the v’con cutlet recipe last dec. and was sooo thrilled to have nuggets for the first time since high school… i think i got the idea from you.. so THANK YOU LADY!!)

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