Seasonal Sundays (Week 43) Chickpeas

Hey, y'all! Let's compare notes, how many cans of chickpeas in your pantry? how many bags of dried garbanzo beans? If the answer is zero, acckkk! let me suggest you fix that asap because today I'm sharing seven recipes that call for one or the other. Oh? And who's seen fresh chickpeas? Come see.

Seasonal Sundays, a weekly newsletter ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

Hey, all. Thank you for following Kitchen Parade, for checking in on these Sunday recipe collections. It means the world to be welcomed into your InBox and RSS readers and most of all, your kitchens. So thank you, thank you. And if you like this week's recipes, perhaps you'll share this newsletter with a friend or social circle? If you forward this message, others may subscribe for free right here. Thank you!

We're fast entering a new season ... sugar season, these weeks with so many almost back-to-back sticky-sweet holidays.

Me? Today I'm pointing our attention a whole other direction with savory recipes that call for budget-friendly, nutrition-rich chickpeas ... oh wait, anybody here who calls these little guys garbanzo beans? Let me tempt you to start with excellent homemade hummus (maybe for the first time?), then delve deeper into salads and stews and even an oh-so-cute pasta. Read on ...

In Praise Of ...

  • GOOGLY EYES! ... the Littles were crazy for googly eyes this week, some plastic googley eyes (affiliate link) glued onto painted pumpkins, other edible googley eyes (affiliate link) stuck onto frosted Halloween cookies ... plus did you see what stylist / designer Emily Henderson did with googly eyes when she decorated for Halloween in their just-overhauled house?

  • JELLO JIGGLERS & KNOX BLOCKS ... and all things gelatin, my sister reminds me that our "fun" aunt first heard about jello shots and a few days later showed up with a batch for her curling club ...

  • GIANT SOFT PRETZELS ... we ordered one in the shape of a pumpkin this week and it not only looked cool but tasted great, for St. Louisans, check out the St. Louis Pretzel Boys on Manchester Road in Des Peres.

Let's Get Salty ... About Salt

So. What salt is everyone using for everyday seasoning? Table salt? Sea salt? Kosher salt (and whose kosher salt)? The more choices, the more confused it feels.

For dishes where "season to taste" is the practiced move, a cook's salt choice makes little difference because over time, we become accustomed to the relative saltiness and learn to season accordingly.

But for baking? And dishes where the salt gets cooked in? Specificity matters.

For 20+ years, table salt has been my personal choice for baking, I like how the small grains distribute more evenly, more widely. I also use table salt for salting cooking water and for cleaning cast iron. Simple reason: it's less expensive.

But for savory dishes, I've long stuck with Morton's Kosher Salt for two reasons. First, it is less harsh than table salt. Second, it was easy to find. Every single grocery store stocked the iconic boxes of Morton's Kosher Salt.

But in the foodie air swirling all around, I was well aware that some (even many, even most if not largely all) professional food writers and chefs preferred Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt: me too, actually, but I rarely used it (and never used it in my recipes destined for Kitchen Parade) because it was just so hard to find.

You see, I want my recipes to be accessible, so a reader may decide on the spot to get cooking vs to go shopping. I rarely call for uncommon spices or ingredients. I never once called for Diamond Crystal.

What's the big diff, you ask? Well, a teaspoon of Morton's adds "less saltiness" to a dish than a teaspoon of Diamond Crystal. That's because the Morton's grains are larger, the Diamond Crystals are smaller and flakier. When measuring by volume, spoon for spoon, Morton's adds less sodium to a dish because there's more space between the measured grains. Real fans also perceive an innate taste difference with Diamond Crystal, me, not so much.

BUT. (And this is why I'm going on and on about salt here ... )

The last couple of years, things seemed to reverse. For the life of me, I can't find Morton's Kosher Salt but Diamond Crystal keeps popping up in different stores. Diamond Crystal the company may date back to 1886 (yes, 1886) but for some years it was owned by General Foods and then in 2014, was acquired by agricultural giant Cargill. There's a new plant in Michigan (expanding supply) and new packaging (the red box) and ... let's guess, new distribution channels.

Fast Forward to this week when my eyes widened at the sight of a box of Diamond Crystal at ... get this ... Trader Joe's. The box has a new look but sure enough, it's Diamond Crystal.

Has Diamond Crystal gone mainstream? What are cooks like you and me to do?

INTERESTING READS Diamond Crystal's Story & What's the Difference? Not All Kosher Salt Is the Same (the comments are especially fascinating).

May I Suggest ... a Link?

Let me just presume that if you're reading this, well, you're both a cook and a recipe collector. Don't the two kinda go together? And that means you tuck aside interesting recipes all over the place and then, dang, where is that chicken recipe that looked so good anyway? Here's an idea. Start a folder on your phone, call it "Kitchen Parade" or "Alanna" or whatever makes best sense to you. Then save the recipes you're most interested in right there in one place. Easy Peasy.

But First!

Fresh green chickpeas, one in a collection of Chickpea Recipes (aka Garbanzo Bean) ♥ Hummus plus seasonal salads, soups & more.

We're all familiar with chickpeas straight from the can. Most of us are even familiar with dried chickpeas, usually sold in one-pound bags.

But fresh chickpeas? Now those are hard to find. I did, once, years back. They were fiddly but fun, I turned them into this pasta dish, Pasta with Fresh Garbanzo Beans, Olives & Bacon.

SEASONAL INSPIRATION: Chicka Chicka Chickpeas

Crazy-Smooth Crazy-Good Hummus ♥, simple hummus, perfected with three special techniques. Vegan and lower-fat.

Roasted Eggplant Hummus ♥, eggplant, chickpeas & Greek yogurt in an addictive, ultra smooth and creamy dip and spread. Low Carb. Weight Watchers friendly.

Celery & Chickpea Salad, another healthy salad ♥ A Veggie Venture, a captivating salad, a simple lemony mix of crunchy celery (extra points for celery with leaves!) and creamy chickpeas, held together with a touch of feta.

Chickpeas with Tomatoes, Spinach & Feta ♥, a vegetarian version of an all-time favorite supper.

Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce, another Healthy Vegetarian Weeknight Dinner Idea ♥ A Veggie Venture. Low Fat. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Chicken Stew with Chickpeas & Kale ♥, a hearty, one-pot supper dish for the stovetop or slow cooker, with warm spices and fresh vegetables. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb. High Protein. Gluten Free. Great for Meal Prep.

A collection of Chickpea Recipes (aka Garbanzo Bean) ♥ Hummus plus seasonal salads, soups & more.

What's New?!

Wondering about a recipe from the last while? Check Recent Recipes from Kitchen Parade and Recent Vegetable Recipes from A Veggie Venture.

Picadillo (Cuban Ground Beef Skillet Supper) ♥, Cuban-style comfort food.

Looking Ahead ...

  • October 31st - Halloween
  • November 1st & 2nd - Days of the Dead (All Saints)
  • November 4th - 5th - "Fall Backward" Time Change (an extra hour! nice!)
  • November 11th - Veteran's Day (we plan to put up new flags with Littles!)
  • November 23rd (early! nice!) - American Thanksgiving
  • December 1st - Alanna's Unofficial First Day of Winter
  • December 21st - Winter Solstice (Official First Day of Winter)

Looking Back ...

Déjà Vu

Something useful ... or thoughtful ... or interesting ... or fun ... from Seasonal Sundays, this same week in past years.

From 2019:

I made a mistake this week. I wrote down all the "big" dates between now and the end of the year. I just know we're all going to blink and it'll be January again. I happen to love January but please-oh-please, isn't there some way to slow down time between now and then?

How does everyone else deal with stress? When does it hit?

In the meantime, let's l-i-v-e- October ...

A Quick Peek Into a Real-Life Kitchen

Just so you know, everything's not all pretty pictures around here, in the background is a pile of dirty dishes. And just like many (all?) of us, come five o'clock, I too draw a blank about what to make for supper, despite so many recipes I so dearly love. Here's a quick peek from the last week, not including the Pumpkin Smoothies, Hamburger Soup and Cauliflower Risotto on repeat this time of year.

How to Steam Eggs ♥ Simple technique for soft-cooked and hard-cooked eggs at the same time.
  • THIS WEEK One morning, I did the usual, cooking just 3 eggs with runny yolks for our breakfast, another 4 for firm yolks for the fridge, probably for Egg Salad.
  • THE SIMPLE TECHNIQUE How to Steam Eggs Simple technique for soft-cooked and hard-cooked both at once. (PIN This)

Pumpkin Hummus with Honey ♥, traditional chickpea hummus recipe turned pretty, slightly sweet with pumpkin and a drizzle of honey.
  • THIS WEEK So yeah, we invited a bunch of family Littles and Bigs over to paint pumpkins and the day couldn't have been more perfect! Food was hardly the point but this crowd was h-u-n-g-r-y. I did lots of "orange" food, including a big platter of hummus with naan bread picked up at Sam's Club at the last minute. Attack! Even the Baby went through a couple of naan ...
  • THE RECIPE Pumpkin Hummus with Honey Traditional chickpea hummus recipe turned pretty, slightly sweet with pumpkin and a drizzle of honey. (PIN This)

Baked Sweet Potatoes ♥, time and temperature to bake many and/or whole sweet potatoes in the oven.
  • THIS WEEK The next night, I was still in party-recovery mode so dinner needed to be simple. And nutritious! So I threw a few sweet potatoes into the oven to roast, then topped them with leftover chili from the day before. So good!
  • THE RECIPE Baked Sweet Potatoes Especially useful for roasting many & whole sweet potatoes.

How to Roast a Whole Butternut Squash in the Oven, no knives required, perfect results ♥
  • THIS WEEK And as long as the oven was on, I threw in a butternut squash too. I really wasn't sure how it would taste, it'd been in the vegetable bin since last spring. And while it wasn't as good as usual, it was fine, especially when I mashed it with an extra baked sweet potato for dinner the next night.
  • THE RECIPE How to Roast a Whole Butternut Squash No knives, perfect results. (PIN This)

Homemade Sazón ♥, the Dominican mixture of onions, peppers, cilantro and spices, packs a burst of flavor.
  • THIS WEEK It'd been waaaaay too long since our last Champion Chicken, the first step is to make the Sazón, not quite salsa, not quite ketchup, not quite pesto, not quite chimichurri, just ... sazón and totally worth the (small if slightly fiddly) effort.
  • THE RECIPE Homemade Sazón A gorgeous Dominican sauce, so fresh, so alive. (PIN This)

Microwave Green Chili Cheese Grits ♥, two secrets for quickest, easiest, tastiest way to cook grits.
  • THIS WEEK I served the chicken with these grits, except that I skipped the green chilis. I started to use Sazón instead but then thought better of it and instead used a bunch of fresh salsa, the same salsa that's the keystone ingredient in that Twenty-Minute Taco Bar. This worked really well, taste-wise, flavor-wise and color-wise.
  • THE RECIPE Microwave Green Chili Cheese Grits Two quick 'n' easy secrets for creamy grits. (PIN This)

Apple Cake with Warm Cinnamon-Butter Sauce ♥, a simple, rustic apple cake drizzled with a sweet cinnamon and butter sauce.

Simple Egg Salad ♥, classic with a twist, perfect for make-ahead sandwiches.
  • THIS WEEK Remember those Steamed Eggs? I turned four into a double batch of egg salad for an after-school snack for Littles. The older one was dubious ("I don't really like salad") but once she learned that Egg Salad is one of those silly food names, that it included both egg and grated cheese, she was all in and announced, "I like it!" The younger one ... not so much, even though she was all over a not-too-dissimilar coleslaw later.
  • THE RECIPE Simple Egg Salad with a Twist Classic egg salad for sandwiches and more, with an easy twist. (PIN This)

No-Chill Cutout Sugar Cookies ♥, just mix and roll, no need to wait. Mix and bake in under an hour.
  • THIS WEEK The girls and their Baby brother and grandparents were over for a little Halloween cookie decorating. This recipe is incredible, the cookies taste so good and because there's no need to chill the dough, you can mix and bake an entire batch in an hour. Note to Self: You need a few fun Halloween cookie cutters!
  • THE RECIPE No-Chill Cutout Sugar Cookies Just mix and roll, no need to wait. (PIN This)

Minnesota Sloppy Joes ♥, sloppy joes made from scratch in the crockpot.
  • THIS WEEK After all that sugar, I needed to have supper ready to go and so had made a batch of sloppy joe meat in the slow cooker earlier in the day, using some pre-cooked hamburger (wow, how convenient to just throw that in) and some leftover polish sausage, ground up to be the same texture. This might have been the best batch ever! Plus I got to introduce everybody to the way I grew up eating sloppy joes, with potato chips and dill pickles right inside the buns!
  • THE RECIPE Minnesota Sloppy Joes Sloppy joes made from scratch in the crockpot.

Something to Read

The Lost Wife is a shorter book, just five hours to listen to. And at least for me, it covers a familiar if tragic period in Minnesota history, the Sioux Uprising of 1862. The Lost Wife takes the perspective of a white woman captured/taken in by the Sioux but eventually was unable to return to her old world, something that happened within my own family in another part of the country. The insight into life among the Sioux was really interesting, homey details.

  • NO TIME TO READ? I DIDN'T EITHER. How I Read 4X More This Year Than Last What I gave up, how I read so much, what I read.
  • Don't Be a Stranger ...

    I'd love to hear from you. Comment, send me a quick e-mail (my current address is in the FAQs), dot-dash in Morse code, build a fire for smoke signals, launch a message in a bottle, send a Christmas letter, get the dog to yip, toss me a note wrapped in a rubberband, write a message in the sky, scratch a note in the sand, listen to a seashell, tuck a question into a plastic Easter egg, whatever.

    • Any ideas for Seasonal Sundays? Share away!
    • Chickpeas or garbanzo beans? Which one comes first to mind?
    • It's October. What foods are inspiring you right now?
    • Did you make something extra-good this week?
    • What're you reading? What's grabbed you on Netflix?
    • Anything else? Chime in, chat away.

    Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. When you make my recipes, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below or better still, on the specific recipe's page.

    © Copyright Kitchen Parade

    Alanna Kellogg
    Alanna Kellogg

    A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.