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Put time into dinner now, and you can make it last forever -- or at least the whole week. Welcome to Halfway to Dinner, where we show you how to stretch your staples -- or your seasonal produce -- every which way.
Chickpea flour, also know as garbanzo bean flour, besan, or gram flour, is one of those pantry staples that has a permanent spot in my kitchen. While I mostly use it for savory dishes, I’ve been utilizing it more and more in baked goods -- its versatility is seemingly endless. Chickpea flour is gluten-free, grain-free, and high in protein, iron, and fiber. Use it on its own or mix it with other flours to give your meals a nutritional and tasty boost. Here are 5 ways to get started:
Chickpea Flatbread with Caramelized Fennel, Pear, and Red Onion
This is by far one of the easiest flatbreads you can make. With 4 ingredients (plus water) and your toppings, you're good to go. It’s minimal on cooking time as well, which is a plus for a quick weeknight dinner.
Mini Garlic and Herb Chickpea Waffles with Avocado
The first time I saw savory waffles, I was amazed; the first time I ate a savory waffle, I was converted forever. They’re possibly the best non-bread vessel ever to grace the dining room table, since you can top them with just about anything and eat them for just about any meal. To make these miniature versions, just use less batter on your waffle iron for a 4-bite meal.
Chickpea Crackers with Dukkah Spice
I've made these crackers plain, with garlic and herbs, with za’atar, and here, with dukkah -- a nut and seed spice blend originating in Egypt. Whichever spice blend you use (or don’t use), the crackers will taste delicious even with only a sprinkle of some coarse salt. They’re a perfect weekend snack to munch on when you’re enjoying Sunday football.
Chewy Ginger-Molasses Cookies
This recipe is made with a mixture of chickpea and oat flour, which gives them an enjoyable balance of lightness and nuttiness. The cookies are flavored with molasses, ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. They’re light enough to serve after a heavy winter meal.
Chickpea Fettuccine with Harissa, Kale, and Olives
If you had told me a few years ago that I would ever be able to make homemade gluten-free pasta, I would have laughed in your face. But when I learned that it was not only doable, but also quite simple and easy, I gave it a shot. You can hand roll the pasta, like I did, or use a pasta machine, and you can hand-cut them with a sharp chef knife or use a pizza cutter to get the desired shape. Just keep in mind that cook-time is key here: Over-cooking means gloppy pasta, so taste as you go!
Serves 2 (makes roughly 11 ounces)
For the pasta dough:
2 cups chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 eggs, whisked
1 teaspoon water, as needed
For the topping:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
4 to 5 Lacinato kale leaves, stemmed and finely chopped
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons harissa (depending on how much heat you want)
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts, roughly chopped
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Photos by Lindsey S. Love