Garlic, Lemon & Parsley Penne w/ Chickpeas

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep & Cooking: 15 mins

This is probably one of the quickest recipes you’ll find on our blog (…yet anyway)! No fuss- it’s easily thrown together; perfect for when your short on time or when your fridge and cupboards are looking rather empty!

Just a few simple and classic flavours (and yes, more chickpeas!)… and you’ll create a fantastic little pasta dish! If garlic purée isn’t your thing (well, fresh is always best!), then you could gently fry some fresh (and minced) garlic for 1-2 mins instead orrrr… replace the extra virgin olive oil with a garlic infused one! We love having garlic purée (on occasion), as it gives a really intense and enjoyable flavour! A heads up for anyone not preparing their legumes and pulses from scratch- you’ll need just over a tin of processed chickpeas. 🙂

Quick fact:

  • This meal contains at least 3 portions towards your ‘5 A Day’! #legumelove 



+++++++++++++++++++++++++170g      Dried Penne (GF or otherwise; we used wholemeal)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++300g    Cooked chickpeas
+++++++++++++++++++++++++10g        Curly parsley
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1             Lemon
+++++++++++++++++++++++++200g     Salad tomatoes
+++++++++++++++++++++++++6g          Garlic paste (a lower-salt version)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++15ml      Extra virgin olive oil
+++++++++++++++++++++++++              Salt & Black pepper



1. Cook the pasta according to the the packet instructions.

2. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the chickpeas (if applicable; we used our slow cooker ones!). Place them into the pasta pot 4 mins before the end of cooking; drain everything into a large colander.

3. Wash/soak the parsley, remove the leaves from the stems and roughly chop them.

4. Wash, zest and then juice the lemon.

5. Wash, remove any stems and roughly dice the tomatoes.

6. Place the cooked pasta and reheated chickpeas into a large mixing bowl.

7. Add the parsley, lemon juice and zest (use as much or as little as you like), tomatoes, garlic paste (again, as much as you prefer!) and the oil into the bowl. Toss to combine and coat. Taste and season it with some salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

8. Serve warm.




Curried Chickpeas & Sweet Potato Dinner Bowl

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 1
Prep & Cooking Time: 30-50* minutes (*Dependant upon cooking methods used!)

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and is low in salt, sugar and saturated fats!

Who doesn’t love a great (healthy!) salad bowl- especially one that contains chickpeas and a fantastic curry flavour?! Well here’s a lovely, simple and versatile recipe that provides just that; chickpeas…check, enticing curry flavours…check, fantastic colours and a lovely crunch factor…of course! 😀

We used some leftover roasted sweet potato, but feel free to use any of your favourite seasonal salad vegetables, or any leftover roasted or steamed vegetables you might have knocking around! It’s worth noting that when you use curry paste straight from the jar, it tastes realllly spicy!…So adjust the quantity to your own preferences!

We have no doubt that this light and delicious curried-salad option is perfect for those summer days ahead! #getreadyfortheheatwaveUK #stayhydrated #SPF50 #alwayswearsunglasses



+++++++++++++++++++++++++70g     Sweet potato
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g     Kale
+++++++++++++++++++++++++150g   Cooked chickpeas
+++++++++++++++++++++++++80g     Green bell pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++30g     Red onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++60g     Salad tomato
+++++++++++++++++++++++++16g      Radishes
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1/2       Lemon
+++++++++++++++++++++++++3g        Extra virgin olive oil
+++++++++++++++++++++++++3g        Curry paste (we used masala!)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++3g        Pumpkin seeds (unsalted)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             Salt and Ground black pepper



1. Heat the oven to 200C/400F. Wash and scrub the potato. Pierce the flesh several times with a fork. Place it onto a baking tray. Spray it with low-fat cooking oil. Bake in the oven for 30-40mins or until tender. Remove. Allow it to cool slightly and then chop it into bite-sized pieces.

Tip: If you are lacking time (or can’t stand the heat in the kitchen!), you could dice the potato (into bite-sized cubes) and place it on a baking tray under a heated grill for about 15-20mins, OR wrap the potato in a piece of kitchen paper and cook it in the microwave for 4-5mins (or until tender).

2. Wash and then place the kale into a streamer pot. Bring to a boil. Simmer and steam for about 5mins or until tender. Drain.

3. In the meantime, open, drain and rinse the chickpeas (if applicable). We used some of our prepared slow cooker ones!

4. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and then chop the bell pepper into cubes.

5. Peel and finely slice the onion (dice if preferred!).

6. Wash, remove the stem and dice the tomato.

7. Wash, remove the stalk and then thinly slice the radish.

8. Wash the lemon; grate some zest, slice in half and then juice half of it.

9. Place the chickpeas into a small bowl. Pour over the lemon juice and oil. Add the curry paste. Mix to thoroughly coat.

10. Place the potato, kale, bell pepper, onion, tomato, radish and lemon zest into a large serving bowl. Throw in the chickpeas and scatter over the seeds.



Toss the salad together. Taste and season as necessary.





Here’s another version that we’ve previously made!

Curried chickpeas, garlicky kale and broccoli with some fresh salad veggies. 🙂

Cooking Dried Chickpeas: A Simple Method!

Healthy Recipes

Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), are not only a staple in Middle Eastern cooking, but also in many plant-based households as well. My love affair with them started many, many, years ago when I first discovered houmous!

Such a nutritious, tasty, cheap and versatile legume…what’s not to love about them?!


Well, quite honestly the cooking process was always a bit of a ‘downer’ for me. Yes it’s a labour of love, but as the lovely UK summer weather approaches (fingers crossed!), we have nearly zero desire to spend time perched over big steaming pots of water, nor do we want to buy any more tinned varieties to satisfy our plant-based summer menu!


Our problem….

Our previous chickpea-cooking method was a laborious headache! It involved soaking them for eight hours, ‘hard-boiling’ them for ten minutes (which required standing around and spooning out foamy masses of starch… or it would end up boiling over) and then simmering them for at least one hour (with a continuous mental dialogue of “is it finished yet?!”). This method did not provide consistent results…which made me despise cooking them!


Our solution…

Our improved cooking method is 100% more reliable (a lot like baking a potato!) and involves a 90% reduction in stress! So if you are interested in saving time, money and your sanity (because everyone deserves less stress in their lives!)… here’s a method we’ve found that requires virtually no effort at all (apart from remembering to soak your beans)! 🙂


  • Dried Chickpeas
  • Boiling water
  • Salt (optional)



 Place your beans into a large bowl of cold water; soak them for a minimum of 10 hours (but 12 hours is even better!). NB: Start soaking them twelve hours from the time you plan on getting up the next day, e.g. 7pm- 7am.

Nigella recommends adding some baking soda to your ‘soaking water’ to help soften the skins. She mentioned that it was particularly useful if you were using old beans; just add approx 1tsp. per litre of water. We haven’t tried this tip (as our cooking method is suffice), but feel free to experiment and let us know! NB: This bowl contains beans that were soaked for 10hrs.



Drain and thoroughly rinse them in the morning.



Place them into a slow cooker.



Cover with boiling water (an inch above the chickpeas). NB: ‘Lightly’ salt the water before you cook them, it helps to slightly toughen their skin (which is useful if you what to keep some texture and/or shape to your recipe).



Cover with a lid. Cook on a high heat setting for 4-6 hours, or on a low heat setting for 7-9 hours.



***If you have to jet off to work or just have a busy day outside your house, cook your beans on a low heat setting using a plug timer (you can buy them for as cheap as £3)!



Drain them when you get home; allow them to cool before refrigerating. NB: Depending on your recipe, they might keep in the refrigerator for up until 7 days!



The result…
Perfectly cooked chickpeas with no unnecessary waiting or having to endure a hot kitchen!

Ours were cooked on a high heat setting for 6 hours. A recipe we were preparing needed ones that we slightly ‘broken down’.




Chickpeas are great in soups, casseroles, stir-fry’s, curries, chillies, salads, sandwiches, as a snack, or as a base to plant based burgers, dips or spreads, and of course houmous! For some further inspiration, check out some of our chickpea recipes:



 …Watch this space! We have some new and delicious chickpea recipes heading your way soon! 🙂


Feature image source: Real Foods