Power Pulse Workshop & Chili Roasted Chickpeas [Recipe]

Did you know that 2016 has been designated International Year of Pulses by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization? In case you are not yet familiar with pulses, they are part of the legume family and include chickpeas, beans, lentils and split peas. These dry, edible seeds are distinguished from other legumes (such a soy beans and peanuts) due to their low fat content. Humble pulses are often overlooked, forgotten and left to collect dust in the back of your cupboard (am I right?). However, due to their many benefits, pulses shouldn’t be an afterthought. Instead, they should play a vital role in your diet.

Pulses are highly nutritious, loaded with vitamins and minerals including iron, zinc, folate and other B vitamins. They are high in protein and fiber and they can help balance blood sugar and support weight management. Consuming pulses regularly will help reduce cholesterol (LDL in particular) and prevent cardiovascular disease. Pulses are good for Mother Nature too! They are a sustainable form of agriculture and promote biodiversity.  They are also delicious and incredibly inexpensive.  A fun fact for you: Canada is the world’s leading exporter of lentils.

To bring awareness to this unassuming family of super foods, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum invited me to come teach a class in their beautiful kitchen facilities at the Experimental Farms. Last week, along with my amazing sous chef/future husband Jeremy, I facilitated a fun, food-filled Power Pulse Workshop. I spoke about the health benefits, the many varieties,  the environmental impacts, how to incorporate them in to dishes, and the cooking methods.  {Click on the images below to enlarge them}

I brought along multiple jars of beans, lentils, and split peas, and one jar of sprouted lentils, to showcase their diversity and versatility.  Of course, the most important part of the workshop was the food! We prepared 5 recipes: a white bean and parsley dip, black bean mango salsa, split pea soup, chocolate peanut butter and red lentil brownies, and chili roasted chickpeas. The recipe for the roasted chickpeas is below.

It was a fantastic evening! I think it's safe to say that everybody learned a few things and really enjoyed the food. Thanks to the Museum for hosting and coordinating this event and to Tom Alfoldi for the photography.

CHILI ROASTED CHICKPEAS

Ingredients:

2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 3.5 cups cooked chickpeas)
2 Tablespoons, olive oil
2 Tablespoons, chili powder
1/2 teaspoon, sea salt

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, making sure the chickpeas are evenly coated. Spread the chickpeas out on a parchment lined baking sheet and then put them in the oven. Stir the chickpeas around every 8 to 10 minutes and keep roasting them until they are crispy. This will take about 25 minutes. Enjoy immediately as a snack or top them onto soups or salads.  Enjoy!