Friday, March 4, 2022

ChezCindy: Taco Tuesday with Chickpea Tacos


Have you ever wondered if there is a difference between chickpeas and garbanzo beans?  They are actually the very same thing.  It is just a matter of word preference or even a regional dialect.  

No matter what term you use, chickpeas are a versatile legume most well-known for its use in hummus. I have been using chickpeas in so many other ways, like this chicken and chickpea stew.  Or simply tossed into my lunch salad for a quick hit of protein.  Dried chickpeas are inexpensive and easy to make but take a commitment of time from start to finish.  I love the convenience of using canned chickpeas.  Ready anytime when I am.  

I recently developed a recipe for tacos using chickpeas in place of meat.  It is quick to come together, with most ingredients coming straight from the pantry.  Use this meatless mixture as you would taco meat in taco shells or tortillas, adding your favorite toppings.  A store-bought taco seasoning mix can be used, or I have a recipe you can use to make your own.  This earlier post also has a great recipe for taco ranch dressing that is delicious on the chickpea tacos. 

 The recipe below can easily be doubled to feed a larger crowd on your next Taco Tuesday.  

Chickpea Vegetarian Tacos
1 15-ounce can unsalted chickpeas
1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as canola or avocado oil
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper, store-bought
3 teaspoons taco seasoning*
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro or parsley

Reserving the liquid, strain the liquid from the can of chickpeas.  Set both aside.  
Working with a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, add in the tablespoon of oil, finely diced onions and minced garlic, stirring to combine cooking for about 5 minutes until the onions have softened.  Stir in the chopped roasted red peppers and the drained chickpeas.  Using a potato masher or a large fork, mash the chickpeas until they are coarsely broken into small pieces.  Heat the mixture for about 3-5 minutes.  Sprinkle in the taco seasoning and 1/3 cup of the strained chickpea liquid, stir to combine loosening the mixture with the added liquid.  Add in the chopped cilantro or parsley, and additional liquid if a looser taco texture is desired.   

Serve with tacos shells or tortillas with your favorite toppings.  

*  Store-bought taco seasoning is fine or use my recipe.  

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