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A Blue Zone–Inspired Crispy Chickpea Bowl Recipe, From An RD

March 11, 2021

There's nothing quite like a satisfying bowl of chickpeas for a perfectly nutritious plant-based treat. With an impressive amount of gut-friendly fiber, protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals per cup—it's no wonder Blue Zones founder Dan Buettner pinpointed these "simple peasant foods" as a key ingredient for longevity.

It's also the reason registered dietitian and mindbodygreen collective member Jess Cording, M.S., R.D., CDN, INHC, shares, "One of my favorite plant-based meals is a crispy chickpea bowl."

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Her go-to recipe features plenty of spices, a variety of nutrient-packed veggies, and, of course, chickpeas. "It provides a good balance of protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates, and it's packed with flavor," she says. "It also comes together very quickly. You can make it lacto-vegetarian or vegan, depending on the garnishes you use. Plus, it happens to be gluten-free." 

With an exquisite mix of texture, taste, and zest, this chickpea-powered recipe is not only aesthetically alluring but is filled with ample good-for-you ingredients.

Crispy Chickpea Bowl

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 15-oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed and dried
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon each paprika, cumin, turmeric, and garlic 
  • Sea salt to taste
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • 2 cups baby kale, baby spinach, or other greens
  • 1 cup sliced tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked riced cauliflower
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Garnishes: babaganoush, hummus, tzatziki, feta cheese
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Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Rinse and dry chickpeas and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and spices.
  3. Spread the chickpeas on a baking sheet and roast at 400°F for 20 to 30 minutes until crispy. Shake a few times to prevent sticking and burning. Set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil. Add greens and tomatoes. Cook until the greens are slightly wilted. Fold in the cauliflower rice and parsley and heat until warmed through. Take off heat and squeeze in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  5. Divide the cauliflower rice mixture between two bowls. Top each bowl with crispy chickpeas and garnish with babaganoush, hummus, tzatziki, and/or feta.
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Ximena Araya-Fischel, M.A
Ximena Araya-Fischel, M.A
Food & Nutrition Writer

Ximena Araya-Fischel, M.A, is a journalist, IIN graduate integrative health coach, E-RYT 500 lead yoga teacher, and 500-Hour certified Pilates instructor from San José, Costa Rica. She received her master's degree in communication and journalism from The University of New Mexico, emphasizing well-being, sustainable fashion, health communication research, and graduating Summa Cum Laude. A former professional dancer, she's earned multiple academic and accredited certifications in performance design, positive psychology, doula training, entrepreneurship, digital marketing, mindfulness, innovation leadership, and integrative health. Her work has appeared at top consulting brands and organizations across Latin American and the US, including Byrdie and Albuquerque The Magazine. She currently lives between Costa Rica and New Mexico.