Cookbooks and Chickpeas

I’ve a few cookbooks that make an appearance time and time again. Anything by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall is a win for me too: the man is a bloody recipe-genius. His Light and Easy, Veg Everyday and Even More Veg are brilliant.

I’ve written before of my love for Hemsley+Hemsley, and Deirdre Madden’s All About Home Economics. The Happy Pear have many fantastic veggie recipes: like the Tiffin… I get cold sweats just thinking about it.

Another of my favourites is, “Eat Happy” by Melissa Hemsley. What a wonderful find it is: the flavours are wonderful and recipes tasty and accessible. And everything is geared towards nutritionally dense foods that make our insides happy. It was in here that I found a recipe for Tabbouleh. And by extension, the most utterly delicious Spicy Chickpeas with Halloumi (which I use as the basis of the recipe below).

I adore chickpeas; if I was to choose one food I couldn’t live without, it would be them. I reckon I eat them in one guise or another every day. They are so versatile, tasty and nutritious.

This chickpea recipe is one I make and use several times a week. A combo of a Hugh FW and Melissa Hemsley recipe, it’s super-quick to make (about 4-5 minutes, tops). And if I don’t have halloumi, I just make it without.

Delicious with a baked potato and roast veggies, or sprinkled on tabbouleh or salad: it elevates any meal. Often, I eat it just as it is, spoon by spoon (rolling my eyes and making little whimpering sounds of delight. Naturally).

RECIPE: Spicy Chickpeas with Halloumi and Toasted Seeds and Nuts


1 teaspoon of coconut oil

1 heaped (as in, not a mean teaspoon, I go with more rather than less) teaspoon of cumin and smoked paprika.

(With the spices, you can be a bit “creative”: I LIKE cumin and smoked paprika, I usually add a bit of tumeric too. If you were stuck, you could even just use a curry powder mix)

1 can of Chickpeas, drained and rinsed.

I block of Halloumi (my blocks are approx. 250g), chopped into cubes.

Small handful of walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts or whatever takes your fancy (doesn’t even have to be that small a handful 😉 )

About a 1/4 cup of mixed seeds

Drizzle of maple syrup (going for the “more” rather than “less” amount here, too)


Melt the oil in a frying pan, add the spices and let them sizzle for about 30 seconds.

Add the halloumi and toss in the spicy oil for another 30 seconds, then turn so the halloumi crisps on all sides (2 minutes or so). Once the halloumi is crisping, add the chickpeas, toss in the spicy oil and after about a minute, add the nuts and seeds.

Stir around, making sure the halloumi doesn’t “catch” on the pan.

Drizzle with maple syrup (about 2 tablespoons). Don’t skip this part 🙂

And you are done! Try to not keep testing until it is all eaten before you get to actually sit down with the rest of your meal… (I say, speaking from experience…)