As I write this, I am 20 weeks pregnant and wow, has pregnancy changed the way I eat in ways I would never have expected. I have gone from being a happy, red-meat-loving omnivore keeping to a paleo-ish eating style, to being completely and utterly meat and chicken averse, plus going from three cooked or prepared meals per day to being utterly unable to cope with the smells of cooking. It has required some creative thinking, which I will write about another time.
I also didn’t realise just how strong pregnancy cravings are – goodness, they are impossible to resist when they strike.
This recipe was a healthy snack I used to make when travelling, either to take with me on the plane or as an easy thing to make for myself in a foreign country when there weren’t many GF foods available (France, I am looking at you here). It has been my most enduring craving, and I eat it almost every day right now. Since it has plant protein, fibre, anti-oxidants and healthy fats and is delicious, I thought I would share it with you all as well as simple, healthy snacks can be hard to find. It’s great for around the house, but you can make it ahead and take it with you if you’re out or at work, as the flavours meld very well together with time and it keeps well at room temperature for a few hours.
You could also whizz it up in the blender and eat it in the more traditional form with crudités. You probably need more olive oil in that case, and you might like to add some tahini or cashew butter to add creamy texture and garlic, for added tang.
- 1 cup of cooked chickpeas. For convenience, I also use Sainsburys Organic Chickpeas in Water tetra-packs – 1 pack.
- 2-3 Tbsp organic, cold pressed extra-virgin olive oil. I like strong tasting olive oil for eating raw.
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Maldon smoked sea salt flakes
- Powdered, dried cumin to taste. I use about 1/2 tsp.
- Hot sauce. I use Tabasco or Sriracha – to taste.
Rinse and drain chickpeas and add to a bowl. Add over the top – olive oil, lemon juice, cumin and hot sauce and stir very well to combine. Finish with a sprinkle of smoked sea salt.
Don’t skip any of the ingredients. Adjust quantities to suit your taste, but if you leave out even one ingredient, the magic is gone.
I sometimes substitute apple cider vinegar for the lemon juice. It’s delicious, but is a stronger taste. The lemon juice still provides a tart edge, but has a more gentle flavour.
I have used other legumes in place of chick peas also in the past. I have tried butter beans and red kidney beans and they both worked very well also.