Moroccan Chickpea Pockets

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Vegan entree of chickpeas sauteed in garlic, spices, and tomato sauce that makes for a quick, healthy dinner.

legumes, vegetarian entree, vegan, moroccan chickpea in  pita pockets recipe

Some evenings I’m pulling dinner together on the run because of any number of reasons. It could be a last-minute phone call that delayed me, an appointment that ran late, traffic, or just life.

In times like this, I’m so grateful to have little containers of cooked legumes stacked in the refrigerator. After all, just because I’m running late, doesn’t mean I don’t want something healthy and satisfying for dinner. And frankly, if I don’t have a stash, dinner on those nights might be a whole lot less doctor-approved.

So I’ve learned to keep them on hand in both the refrigerator and freezer. Ditto for cooked grains. Okaaay, in the interest of full disclosure, my back up to my back up is canned beans. But once you start cooking your own beans from a dried form, I guarantee you’ll begin to tell a difference in the flavor – especially with chickpeas – and texture. And if you research the additional salt and sugar frequently added to canned beans, and about the BPA that may or may not be leaching out of the can liner into the food, you’ll switch to dried beans in a heartbeat and never look back.

This dish is one of my favorite “go-to” meals on nights I slam into the kitchen about 15 minutes before I want to actually eat dinner. Honestly, it doesn’t take much longer than that to make it. I throw a salad together, warm up a pita pocket, and I’ve got a dinner that can instantly ground me back in my home, far away from the frenzy of my day.

 

Moroccan Chickpea Pockets

     by Susan Pridmore

     Serves 2 entrées or 4 side dishes

       Prep Time: 5 minutes

       Cook Time: 15 minutes (if the beans are already cooked)


Ingredients 

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 large orange, juiced
  • 1 tablespoons dried currants
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes (this time of year I use canned Italian tomatoes)
  • handful cilantro (around 1/3 cup)
  • 4 whole wheat pita pockets

Instructions

I keep a stash of freshly cooked chickpeas in the refrigerator and freezer as I prefer the flavor of freshly cooked to the ones that are canned. To cook garbanzo beans (chickpeas), I rinse the beans, and soak them overnight in enough water to cover them by two inches. The following morning, I drain them, rinse them again, re-cover them with fresh water, and simmer for about one hour to an hour and a half. They can be stored in the refrigerator for four to five days or frozen for a few months.

Combine the salt, paprika, coriander, cayenne, ginger, and cinnamon in a bowl for the spice mix. Set aside.

Warm up the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the chickpeas, minced garlic, and 2 teaspoons of the spice mix. Sauté for 5 minutes until the garlic is very fragrant, but not browning.

Add the orange juice and currants, and simmer for a couple of minutes.

Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 – 7 minutes until the sauce thickens. Stir in the cilantro.

Warm the pita bread in the microwave for 1 minute. Spoon the chickpeas into the pockets of the pita bread and serve with a side salad for a great, healthy meal.

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Comments

  1. says

    Susan, I’ve been looking for a quick and easy way to make Moroccan food (or at least a Moroccan-spiced dish) ever since reading about bisteeya. This is totally perfect! And thanks for the reminder about the benefits of cooking your own beans…I’ve been meaning to try it again, but had a bad experience cooking my own black beans. I bought the dried beans from Target (probably not the best choice) and went through the soaking, draining, cooking process, and in the end, had beans that did NOT taste the best–and this was after listening to all the hype about how they taste so much better! Do you have a suggestion for where to buy dried beans that will taste good??
    erika recently posted..Raspberry Walnut Coffee Cake (vegan, gluten-free)My Profile

    • says

      Rodger has highly recommended her tomato chutney to me and I’ve been looking for it. I see some of her products at WF, so it looks like I need to investigate the others I’m finding. I’m so glad you mentioned it! And I’ve NOT been to their place in Hayward. I feel a field trip coming up….
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Moroccan Chickpea PocketsMy Profile

  2. says

    I’ve been cooking dried beans for years, but I have never cooked dried garbanzo beans. For some reason, I usually just grab a can. O.K. – I need to change that. These chickpea pockets look like they make a tasty and filling meal. Perfect for those night when you don’t want to mess up the kitchen. :) This is a keeper!
    mjskit recently posted..Avocado, Orange and Cucumber SaladMy Profile

  3. says

    Mmm, love these spicy chickpeas, Susan! And I do love using dried beans – the taste and texture is so much better. I needed kidney beans the other day and picked up a can. Fortunately I looked at the ingredients before buying it and saw there was sugar added to what I thought were plain beans. Argh! So now I’m going to start freezing batches of beans to keep on hand. Thanks for a terrific recipe!!
    Hannah recently posted..Waldorf Kale SaladMy Profile

  4. says

    Despite the longer wait time, I’m all about using dried beans as opposed to canned beans. You can definitely control the texture of the ending result better =) These look great!

  5. Dixie says

    I made this this morning and I have to say it was fantastic! Great flavor, fast and easy and I had all the ingredients on hand. This will be in my rotation of dishes. The only things I did differently was use canned chickpeas (drained and rinsed) and because I always love flavor I used just a touch more of the spices and an extra clove of garlic.

  6. says

    This looks like such a fabulous sandwich filler. Hubby’s lunches have been getting a bit boring lately and I think he would love this to spice it up.

  7. Dona says

    Well hello! Looks like I’m late to this party! I just Googled “How to Cook Dried Chickpeas” and found your blog. Got the info I needed plus some wonderful recipes I can’t wait to try! Needless to say, I’m now an email follower! Looking forward to seeing you in my inbox! Dona

  8. Kristen says

    I was just wondering if these were spicy because of the pepper. I have a 2 year old and she likes chickpeas, but I don’t want to burn her mouth. Thanks for the recipe.

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