You’ve likely come across tamari almonds; they’re deliciously addictive, but also loaded with fat and calories. Tamari chickpeas sounds almost like a mixed metaphor—combining Mediterranean and Asian flavors, but it works! Consider this — a half cup of almonds has about 415 calories and 35 grams of fat. Chickpeas, on the other hand, have only 143 calories in a half cup, and 1.37 grams of fat. This isn’t to say to avoid almonds; quite the contrary — you just need to use very judicious portions. Tamari chickpeas make a great snack, a nice protein boost for the dinner plate, and a delicious topping for salads and grain dishes.
Makes: About 1 ½ cups
- 1 ½ tablespoons reduced-sodium natural soy sauce or tamari
- 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 ½ cups cooked (or one 15- to 16-ounce can, drained and rinsed) chickpeas
- Smoked paprika, chili powder, dried hot red pepper flakes, or other favorite spices, to taste
Combine the soy sauce, syrup, and vinegar in a medium skillet and stir together. Add a few grindings of fresh pepper. Stir in the chickpeas.
Bring the mixture to a slow simmer over medium heat, then turn the heat down to low and simmer (uncovered) until the liquid is completely reduced and envelopes the chickpeas nicely. This should take about 8 minutes.
Season with other spices to give this an extra kick (though this is entirely optional. Transfer the chickpeas to a small shallow serving bowl. Serve warm or allow to cool to room temperature as suggested in the headnote.