Chickpeas: a vegetarian’s greatest buddy – The Cavalier Each day

5 min read

A bit over two and a half years in the past, I made a decision to turn out to be a vegetarian. Whereas considerably tough at first, it has confirmed to be a change I’m actually pleased with. It introduced me nearer to my sister, motivated me to prepare dinner extra and has turn out to be one thing I can bond over with new buddies who additionally occur to be vegetarian.

This way of life change occurred throughout the top of the pandemic after we had been all caught in quarantine and was introduced on by the affect of my older sister. Each of us moved again dwelling from faculty within the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. We ended up spending most of our time collectively, as we couldn’t actually see anybody exterior of our family. She — who had turn out to be a vegetarian a yr or two prior — spent a lot time cooking for herself as she was the one one in our household with mentioned dietary restrictions. Since I didn’t have a lot occurring exterior of digital college, I discovered myself becoming a member of her within the kitchen as a option to hold myself busy. 

At first, I solely helped by chopping greens or making ready components of a dish. I used to be okay with this as a result of I didn’t discover a lot of what she was cooking with — reminiscent of tofu or tempeh — notably interesting. The extra I helped her with cooking although, the extra I discovered myself desirous to attempt what she was consuming. 

One of many first dishes I attempted was a quinoa salad we made collectively. I don’t assume it was something particular, however I keep in mind being pleasantly stunned by how a lot I loved it. This made me understand that vegetarian meals weren’t as unhealthy as I assumed they had been going to be. After this, I started consuming extra of what we had been making, and inside a number of weeks, I used to be consuming nearly all the recipes.

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Earlier than I knew it, it had already been a number of months since I had final eaten something with meat in it. After I realized this, I assumed to myself that I might maintain being a vegetarian. Quick ahead to current day, and I’m nonetheless going robust as a vegetarian. 

If I’m going to be trustworthy, it has been loads simpler than I assumed it will be. There have solely been a handful of instances the place I’ve needed to eat one thing with meat in it and I haven’t succumbed to that but. I believe out of every part, the toughest half has been looking for new recipes. In that wrestle, one ingredient has come to the rescue — chickpeas. 

Chickpeas — or garbanzo beans — have turn out to be a staple in my weight-reduction plan. They’re a superb supply of plant-based protein and for individuals who don’t eat meat, protein is extremely essential to search out in different meals sources. Together with this, they’re excessive in fiber in addition to nutritional vitamins and minerals reminiscent of iron. 

Not solely are they a superb supply of protein, however they’re so versatile and may also be cooked in so many alternative methods. I usually go to Pinterest for concepts and there are a whole lot of recipe choices that incorporate chickpeas. Just a few of my favourite methods to incorporate them into meals embrace roasting them to toss into grain bowls, consuming them within the type of hummus and falafels and even utilizing them in salads

I really simply made my very own recipe together with chickpeas — it’s a zucchini chickpea salad. All I did was mix a can of chickpeas with tomatoes, zucchini, purple onions, olive oil and quite a lot of spices. It’s a easy recipe to make for lunch and I’ve been consuming it alongside some pita chips! I’m certain there are a ton of different methods to make up a brand new recipe by yourself that includes chickpeas — they are surely that versatile! 

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Together with this, chickpeas are reasonably priced — they solely value someplace round a greenback for a can of about 15 ounces. That is tremendous useful when you’re purchasing on a finances, as I’m certain many people faculty college students are. You can too discover cans of them in nearly any grocery retailer which is tremendous handy.

Except for all of the direct meals speak, chickpeas  — together with being vegetarian on the whole — have taught me to take extra dangers and check out new issues. As somebody who wasn’t the largest danger taker, this has been an enormous level of development for me and one which I’m actually pleased with. 

Together with this, chickpeas have made me take pleasure in cooking and that’s one thing I by no means thought I might say. I’ve all the time referred to myself as a menace within the kitchen and hated cooking for myself. After studying of all of the totally different — and straightforward — recipes I could make with chickpeas, I’ve discovered myself really desirous to prepare dinner and having fun with cooking! It feels a lot much less like a chore now and that basically makes an impression once you’re liable for cooking all your meals. 

With how current chickpeas are in my life by means of my weight-reduction plan, you would say they’ve turn out to be like a greatest buddy to me. It’s just a little foolish to discuss with them that approach. Nevertheless, they’ve very a lot turn out to be a dependable, reliable and provoking presence in my life — similar to a greatest buddy.

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Whether or not you’re a vegetarian or not, I hope this evokes you to attempt one thing new the following time you’re on the lookout for one thing to prepare dinner. There actually is loads that you are able to do with one thing so simple as a can of chickpeas — I believe that’s fairly particular. It’s apparent that I’m a giant fan of them and who is aware of, perhaps you can be too! 

Zoya Zahid is a Life Columnist for The Cavalier Each day. She will be reached at [email protected] 

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