Chickpeas offer versatility and nutrition 0

Alison Ashe

By Alison Ashe, Special to 24 hours



During the weeks leading up to the holidays, 24 hours presents a series of recipes from top local chefs that make use of basic items that are part of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society’s two-day supplemental menu.

When called upon to give to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society this holiday season, people are being reminded their contribution doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective. A can of beans doesn’t carry a high price point, but it’s a nutritionally robust item that’s manageable for most people to donate. “Canned protein is always on our most-needed items list,” said Kay Thody, communications manager for the society. “Beans are always a great choice because there are so many different ways you can use them, but they’re simple and offer a high level of protein and fibre that nutritionally doesn’t take much to go a long way.”

Thody also encourages individuals to read labels on the items of food they are interested in donating.

“Often times, it’s the items that are lower in sugar and sodium that make the most cost-effective donations,” she said.

Eaten alone, Thody said, chickpeas make a great snack and, at a base level, deliver the goods nutritionally.

“If you want to cook with them you don’t have to have many ingredients and it doesn’t have to be complicated to turn it into something quite delicious,” she said.

A big fan of chickpeas is Pino Posteraro, executive chef at Cioppino’s restaurant in Yaletown.

“I love chickpeas,” he said. “From the beginning, I was doing a Tuscan chickpea puree as a spread with bread. I was the first in this city to do chickpea fries, and on the menu now I’m doing a calamari with chickpeas.”

Posteraro’s take on the venerable chickpea also included a recent meal for rapper Drake that added a chickpea crust to pizza.

“Because some people are allergic to gluten I made a chickpea pizza with mushrooms, smoked scamorza and mozzarella di bufala,” said Posteraro. “He (Drake) said it was the best pizza he ever had.”


Chickpea Soup with Glazed Bacon and Cream Cheese


  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 500 ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tbl sour cream
  • 2 tbl cream cheese
  • 1 tbl honey
  • Croutons made from leftover bread
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste



Boil the stock with the drained chickpeas then blend with the sour cream to make it thick and creamy. Meanwhile, rub the bacon with honey and place on a baking sheet topped with parchment paper and a second baking sheet (to prevent curling) for about 15 minutes at 300 F. Serve the soup with croutons, bacon, drizzle of olive oil and a little cream cheese in the middle.




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