Peas, beans and lentils… and chickpeas

When we were young we did have dried beans but not in the way we have them now. Something I liked very much but my fussy (or more discerning) sister hated was butter beans in a peppery white sauce, sometimes an onion sauce – but maybe that was mum using up left over onion sauce from roast lamb for Sunday dinner. When we were young chicken was the luxury meat which we rarely had, lamb, pork and beef rotated as Sunday roasts! The butter beans we had at home came out of a tin, and we only ever had them heated – the idea of cold beans was abhorrent – if we had ever thought about it.

Of course like almost every other household we had baked beans, always Heinz. My mum and dad were amazing cooks, but it never occurred to make their own baked beans although I’m sure they would have been delicious! Other beans such as kidney beans only ever appeared as part of a mixture of beans, including red kidney beans, split peas and lentils which would be soaked overnight and then used in casseroles, especially lamb. I can’t remember any other dried or tinned beans or pulses… and the first time I ever came across chickpeas (although I didn’t know it) was when I was seventeen and went to London to visit a friend who took me to a Jewish restaurant when I had what I now think must have been falafels and tahini. I loved it! it was so different from anything else I had eaten.

Now of course our cupboards are full of bags of different delicious dried goods, and tins of them for when we need a quick meal. We often use different beans in our meals and I often whizz them up to make dips. They are a real favourite, and so adaptable for so many different recipes.

I’ve been looking through the Fitbit magazine (so full of good ideas about all sorts of things as well as exercise!) and came across some delicious sounding recipe suggestions for chickpeas from Ivy Manning:

  • Crispy Curried Chickpeas
  • Italian Chickpea and Pasta Soup
  • Moroccan Roasted Carrot and Chickpea
  • Avocado-Chickpea Guac Wraps
  • Smokey Tomato Chickpea Soup
  • Vegetarian Curry in A Hurry
  • Greek Power-Lunch Salad
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

My tummy actually rumbled as I read through the recipes, and it has just occurred to me that I have nearly everything in order to make the wraps:

  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained, rinsed and mashed
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsps chopped coriander
  • 1 garlic clove , minced/mashed
  • hot sauce
  • tortillas
  • shredded purple cabbage
  • sliced cucumbers
  • chopped tomato
  1. mix the first six ingredients
  2. spread on the tortillas
  3. sprinkle the last three ingredients over the top
  4. roll up and eat, or keep in the fridge for up to five hours

I think I would add a little salt and pepper, and I might leave out the hot sauce but splash it on afterwards. For me I would also miss out the tomatoes as I don’t eat them any more… but as for the rest of it… I think I will just nip downstairs and find that tin of chickpeas!

Here is a link to Ivy’s recipe:


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