Part 1 of 'The Healthy Meal deal trilogy'.
It's a brand New Year and this blog is bringing it in in style with a 3 part series all about how to make healthier versions of your favorite trashy food. :-)
You know - the kind of sandwich-plus-bag-of-crisps “meal deal” you might pick up at the station to munch on the train journey home ; or the nutrient free candy bar you bought at the garage while paying for gas ‘cos you saw all those bars and just as the clever marketing experts had planned you found yourself saying, "Oh yes and give me one of those chocolate bars while you're at it..."
Now, I know this is the time of year when the very ‘guilty-food-secret’ items we are talking about here, (in my case - bags of salt and vinegar crisps) start to shiver in their shoes as they ready themselves to appear on the New Year resolution lists of un-welcomes. (I have it on good authority that they are all pretty relaxed about it really as they know, as we do too, that it only needs a month or so into the new year for them to appear back from the murky realms of our 'food unconscious' ...alive and kicking and ready to go!).
But anyway… not to digress… instead of crossing these bad boys off the list completely, why not simply draw a new line - and in this case a much more tasty one at that!
After all, a ‘yes’ is so much easier to maintain long term than a ‘no’ and I can assure you, you are going to love these healthy takes on old and toxic companions.
Apart from the salt and vinegar chickpea crunchy snack we’re going to be making in this particular post, part 2 will show you how to make a super delicious healthy twix / mars bar which is soo good, you’ll never be able to go back to the old one. Finally, part 3 will dive into the world of sweet potato toast ( yes you heard that right) and how two slices can make the perfect alternative to your classic cheese sandwich.
But for now, let’s concentrate on our salt and vinegar chickpeas.
Not that you need to let yourself be restricted only to this (for some an acquired taste) flavor combination.
You can play around with different combinations - and to help you, I’ve included a second version for spicy paprika below.
They are super easy to make, the only thing ( and I’ve had quite a few disasters in this direction) - is cooking them too long so they burn.
This is another case of putting a little time aside to watch some oven TV. (especially the last 15 minutes of the hour or so they need to cook)
( In fact, just to let you behind the scenes of this blog a little, I happen to be writing these very words while sitting on a large cushion in-front of my oven door) with one beady eye on my chickpeas, and the other on the screen. (as it's winter here, it's quite a cosy spot and one I might visit again when I next feel chilly)
So, let’s jump in and get this brand New Year show on the road.
- 2 x 220 gram jars of cooked chickpeas ( well washed and drained of all that ‘beany liquid)
- 1 1/2 jars (use the one you just emptied) of vinegar ( I use a malt vinegar but a white wine one will work, too)
- enough water to bring the liquid level to just cover the tops of the chickpeas
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil
- 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt flakes ( I use Maldon and they are fab)
- wash and drain your 2 jars of chickpeas and add to a heavy bottomed pan
- pour over vinegar and top up with water until all chickpeas are covered with liquid
- stir in 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup
- bring to the boil, then immediately turn of heat and leave to cool ( about one hour)
- in the meantime - put oven on to heat 150 degrees C
- drain chickpeas of vinegar and put in a clean bowl.
- mix with melted coconut oil and salt flakes making sure all are nicely covered.
- spread out on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
- bake for around an hour and half, keeping a close watch on the last half an hour. They should be crispy but not burnt.
- remove and allow to cool before adding to an airtight jar.
Alternative ‘Spicy Paprika’ version.
- skip the soaking part.
- simply mix your washed and drained chickpeas with: a tablespoon of melted coconut oil, 1 teaspoon ground cumin powder, 1/2 teaspoon of sweet paprika pepper (the smoky version is also great) and salt.
- bake as above.
So that's it folks - part one of three!
Part two and a healthy (yes, healthy!!) take on a twix / mars bar coming up soon.
Oh yes, and if you feel like signing up in the newly added subscription box in the side bar on the main page, I'll let you know when it's up and ready!
Wishing you all a happy start to 2019!