The $2 Trader Joe’s Pantry Staple I Turn To for Easy and Nourishing Weeknight Meals|Recipes Spots

Trader Joe's storefront

Trader Joe's storefront
Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

Working as a full-time recipe developer has its perks. There is always delicious food around me. The problem is sometimes that’s four types of frosting or three dozen cookies from recipes I’m creating. While some nights I’d love to eat nothing but cookies for dinner, I know what’s best for me now in my wise old age. 

That said, the last thing I feel like doing after a day full of cooking for work and doing dirty dishes is more cooking for my family. So I’m always on the lookout for easy dinner shortcuts. 

On a trip to Trader Joe’s one day, they were out of the canned chickpeas I usually stock up on, so instead I picked up Greek Chickpeas with Cumin and Parsley. For $1.99 you get about 10 ounces of delicious chickpeas marinated in lemon juice, cumin, garlic, and parsley. Let me just say this product turns out to be true pantry gold. 

In a pinch, I’ve been known to eat them straight from the can during the afterschool shuffle. Where they truly shine is when I need a quick and easy weeknight meal on days I don’t have it in me to whip something up from scratch—these marinated chickpeas are super versatile.

Trader Joe's Greek Chickpeas Parsley and Cumin
Simply Recipes / Wanda Abraham

5 Ways To Turn TJ’s Greek Chickpeas with Cumin and Parsley Into Dinner Stat

Here are five of my favorite ways to work these protein-packed legumes into my dinnertime rotation. 

1. Mashed Chickpea Sandwiches

I am NOT a canned-fish girl—tuna fish and therefore tuna salad has never been my thing. However, I’d eat a mashed chickpea sandwich for almost every meal if I could. I mash the marinated chickpeas with a bit of olive oil and a few dashes of hot sauce and serve it between toasted whole grain bread layered with crunchy green leaf lettuce.

2. The Easiest 15-Minute Pasta Salad

Add the Greek Chickpeas with Cumin and Parsley to a pound of cooked pasta of your choice, along with crumbled feta, chopped cucumbers, and green olives. Season it with fresh lemon juice and olive oil, and you have a pasta salad packed with flavor and textures.

3. The Most Nourishing Rice Bowl

Roast cauliflower florets tossed with a can of the marinated chickpeas until crisp and golden brown. Serve it on top of reheated Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice with a drizzle of tahini and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

4. Make Fritters

My kids claim they don’t like chickpeas, but they’d eat just about anything deep fried, like chickpea fritters. I mash the chickpeas in a bowl with a fork, then add 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, and one egg. Mix it until combined, then dollop the mixture in a frying pan with olive oil and cook for two to three minutes per side until golden brown and crispy all around.

5. A Simply Yet Comforting Soup

For a quick, easy, and nourishing soup, sauté a chopped onion in a bit of olive oil until soft. Add the Greek Chickpeas with Cumin and Parsley and your stock of choice. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, then stir in kale leaves or baby spinach, and cook until wilted. Serve the soup with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly grated Parmigiano on top.  

Article Categories:
Dishes · Salad · Sandwiches

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