I think I've mentioned that the always ace VT gave me a slow cooker for my birthday, so I've been experimenting with it over the last few months and for the last few weeks have been cooking up a batch of something on sunday afternoons that mostly gets me through the week dinner-wise. It's easy, it doesn't heat up the kitchen like the oven does (good for the upcoming summer) and you don't have to do anything once it's cooking. What's not to like?
Today I'm trying this. I like chili and tend to make it once a month or so. Usually fairly standard chili con carne but this seemed like a nice variation. It's quite healthy if you use lean mince and don't use much oil to brown the meat (I did brown the minced beef and cooked the onions and garlic a little first). Serve with some brown rice and salad and voila.
I've also recently discovered roast chickpeas as a snack...Weight Watchers sells them in little individual serves but of course, the accountant brain instantly went into "I could make that cheaper" mode. I found this recipe online a few weeks ago and made it for the first time last week in a small amount as an experiment. The results were great and really a good health snack to grab a small handful when I get home starving or want to nibble while writing. The protein content makes them more filling than rice crackers or carrot sticks : ) and, like I said before, total cost is about $2.50 for the chickpeas and a few cents for the spices.
Today I went to make another batch and decided to play around with the spice mix as I wanted mine more garlicky like the ww ones and wanted to see if I could do it without having to fry the spices first (quicker and less clean up). It worked pretty well, so herewith is my roast chickpea recipe:
This amount makes a small container full. If I was doing it for a party, I'd double or triple the amounts.
Heat oven to about 180 celsius/350 fahrenheit. I used about 160 or so given my oven is fan forced and tends to run hot.
2 420g cans chickpeas
Spice mix - you could play around with this for your own tastes
1.5 tspns ground coriander seeds
1.5 tsps ground cumin
3/4 tspn garlic powder (not garlic salt)
Couple of pinches salt, (more if you like salty, I don't use a lot of salt, so this was fine for me)
3/4 tspn mexican chili powder (this is quite mild but you could up it for hotter or leave it out altogether or just put in a bit of pepper or mild paprika if you don't like chili and it would be fine).
Drain the chickpeas and put in a glass or metal bowl while still damp (the spices might stain plastic but otherwise plastic is fine).
Mix spices together in a small bowl.
Spray chickpeas a few times with some olive oil and toss through. Add spices in small batches and stir through each time - you want to try and get the spice mix on all the chickpeas.
Transfer to a baking tray or roasting tray lined with baking paper - you want a single layer of chickpeas. For me, the 2 cans fit perfectly in my glass lasagne pan, you'd need more trays if you increased the amounts.
Cook for about an hour, stirring around every 20 mins or so initially then probably every five or so after that to check for done-ness. Final time will depend on just how crunchy you want them, I like them mostly crunchy all the way through but still a little soft. Cool then store in an airtight container.