Recipes for crispy chickpeas and Texas caviar are ideal for summer's swimsuit season

April 24, 2013 

Photo by Dawn Minty

Skip those fattening potato chips and make these Crispy Chickpeas instead. High in fiber, protein and iron chickpeas are the perfect guilt-free snack for the upcoming swimsuit season.

Crispy Chickpeas

One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse garbanzo beans and dry thoroughly. Line a baking sheet with foil. Spread dry garbanzo beans out on foil. Add remaining ingredients and toss with your hands until each bean is coated in some seasoning. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until beans are crisp on the outside and golden brown in color. These are best when eaten immediately. They loose their crunchiness if stored overnight.

Texas treat

Please don't ban me from visiting Texas but I never really enjoyed Texas Caviar until my sister, Anne, made a version of the popular black-eyed pea dip for a recent family gathering. For me, the delicate black eyed pea flavor is too often drowned out by too much bottled Italian dressing. Not so with Anne's variation. After seeing several postings on Pinterest, Anne made up her own variation, keeping our family's tastes in mind. She replaced the commonly used yellow onion with a red one and omitted the cilantro.

A quick and easy-to-make vinaigrette that uses lemon juice and olive oil is much healthier than a bottled dressing. Add a little dried oregano and crush it in your fingers as you sprinkle it into the dressing and you'll add a little Italian twist.

Anne's Texas Caviar

Dip:

Two 15-ounce cans black eyed peas, rinsed and drained

1 red pepper, seeds and pith removed, diced

1 medium sized tomato, diced

Two 15-ounce cans corn, rinsed and drained

1/2 red onion, diced

2 small jalapenos, very finely diced

3 cloves garlic, very finely diced

Dressing:

1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

Combine all the ingredients listed under "dip" in a large bowl. Leave room to stir! In a separate bowl whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Pour over the veggies and mix gently until well incorporated. Store in the fridge for at least a couple of hours so the flavors blend together. Store in the fridge overnight for the tastiest results.

Serve with tortilla chips or crackers or crostini. Serves 10 or more.

Optional: Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar to your dressing for a tangier flavor.

Dawn Minty can be reached at dminty@ledger-enquirer.com. Get more recipes at Dawn's Dish blog at ledger-enquirer.com/dawn.

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