Roasted Chickpea Tacos

Last night I decided to pretend that I was on Iron Chef instead of doing my work.  In retrospect, this was not the best idea.  I don’t know what it was about last night, but I wanted to do nothing related to law school.  I did everything I could to avoid doing actual work.  That meant washing nearly all the dishes in our dishwasher, which is currently broken.  I then went ahead and made dinner.  Made some random kale.  Cleaned the counters off.  Baked some rainbow sprinkle blondies.  Then it was eight o’clock and I had to watch The Following.

By the way, if you are not watching that show start immediately.  It is SO GOOD.

Anyhoo, then it was nine and I had to face the sad fact that I did, in fact, have work to do and I could not put it off any longer.  I actually ended up being very productive for the next two hours and went to bed without an ounce of guilt.

I mentioned dinner above, and it was one to put in the books.  As you might ascertain from the title of this post, I made roasted chickpea tacos ala Mama Pea.  It’s the perfect weeknight meal that is not only delicious but surprisingly healthy.  Crispy spiced chickpeas are paired with salsa, cheese and soft flour taco shells.  I didn’t even miss the meat in here because the chickpeas were so flavorful.  I have the leftovers on dock for lunch this afternoon, and I am already counting down the hours until lunchtime.

So, the bottom line is you should make these.  But preferably in a week when I am out of leftovers and you can invite me over.  I’ll bring the margaritas.


Roasted Chickpea Tacos

Photo: More tacos is always the correct answer

Ingredients:

1 14 oz can of chickpeas

2 tsps chili powder

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp lime juice

2 tbsp water

8 taco shells

Taco trimmings:  salsa, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, etc.

Directions:

Mix together all the ingredients except for the taco shells and taco trimmings and let marinate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roast chickpeas until slightly crispy, 25-30 minutes.  Assemble the chickpeas and trimmings in the taco shells.  

Stuff your face.

Source:  Peas and Thank You

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Mediterranean Couscous with Olives and Artichokes

Study groups are a big deal in law school.  Like, a big-Rod-Burgundy-deal.  Everyone talks about them.  Every information session about how to succeed in law school, blah-blah-blah, talks about them.  Naturally, I formed a study group only to find out a few meetings (okay, more like one meeting) later that study groups and me do not mix.  I didn’t want to leave the group, though, because I had pushed to form it in the first place and it was made up of all of my friends.  Plus, we watched a lot of fun Youtube videos.

I finally bit the bullet yesterday, though, and told them that I would be leaving the study group.  Funny enough, I felt like I was going through a break-up.  I was all uncomfortable and no-it’s-not-you-it’s-me.  I saw one of them in the hallway later that day and thought, Do I say hi?  Do I wave?  My hands, what do I do with my hands?!

It was freeing to finally admit that the study group wasn’t working for me, though.  I tried to stick with it because everyone else was in study groups, and I had this feeling that if I wasn’t in a study group then I wasn’t doing something right.  I had a chat with a friend earlier this week about the constant need to measure up to everyone else here, and it was really enlightening.  He told me that we all needed to stop comparing ourselves to others and run our own race.  Simple words, but they struck a chord.  I love it here and I love the people, but I do sometimes find myself comparing my work and progress with other people.  Sometimes it doesn’t faze me.    Sometimes it makes me reach for anti-acids.  The bottom line is that I don’t want to do it anymore.  What works for one person might not work for me.  I need to find my own way.

I need to run my own race.

One thing that I’ve learned I absolutely need here is to cook.  I love coming home after a lllooonnnggg day at the law school and parking myself in front of the stove.  It’s relaxing.  It’s comforting.  And then I get to eat afterwards.  I mean, I really can’t think of a better way to unwind.  This is a great dinner to make because it’s quick and nutritious.  Most of the ingredients were straight out of the refrigerator or pantry and it made enough for a few days.  Added bonus — the leftovers taste even better because all the flavors have a chance to meld.

Mediterranean Couscous with Olives and Artichokes

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cup Israeli couscous
1 tbsp olive oil
1 3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sliced olives
1 cup chickpeas, rinsed
5 artichoke hearts, quartered 
1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1 cucumber, quartered and sliced
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt/pepper

Directions:
Cook couscous according to directions on package.

Combine all the ingredients, up to the balsamic vinegar.  In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic and olive oil until emulsified.  Pour into the couscous mixture and toss to coat.  Serve either on its own or with a main dish.

Balsamic Black Bean Salsa

I’m of the firm belief that alliteration makes things better.  Movie titles.  Kitschy phrases.  It’s especially true for names, because it helps me remember them.  I am the worst at remembering names.  Like, THE WORST.  I can’t tell you how many times I meet someone, have a long involved conversation with them, and then see them the next day and have absolutely no idea who they are.  Of course, instead of behaving like a normal person and simply going, “I’m so sorry but I don’t remember your name…” I avoid the matter all together and let the no-name-issue fester until  asking would be uncomfortable and slightly offensive.

Yeah, totally wish everyone had alliterative names.  I would avoid so many embarrassing situations.

This recipe almost has an alliterative name.  I made it for Taco Tuesday (yes, I have a problem) with my roommate Sarah and our neighbors and immediately decided that I wanted it with every single meal.  Is it normal to want salsa for breakfast?  Probably not, but I’ve never exactly been normal, so I’m just going to go with it.  Speaking of normal, this salsa is the opposite of it.  It combines black beans, corn and salsa verde with an unexpected splash of balsamic vinegar.  If you’re leery about mixing these flavors the best thing to do is close your eyes, wish for the best, and go for it.  You will not be disappointed.

Balsamic Black Bean Salsa

Ingredients

1 can black beans (15 oz), drained

1 can yellow corn (15 0z), drained

1/2 medium onion, diced

1 can salsa verde (7 oz)

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Salt/Pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix all of the ingredients together and cover with plastic wrap.  Let marinate overnight.  When serving, drain most of the liquid and serve along with tortilla chips.

Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe