Me visiting Central Park with friends, circa 2006

Me visiting Central Park with friends, circa 2006

When I was a senior in college, I was obsessed with the falafel salad at Whole Foods. I don’t even know if they make it anymore, but basically, it was falafel, feta, tabouleh, and roasted chickpeas over greens. I’d pick one up for lunch at least once a week and savor every bite. This was back when I was a total disaster in the kitchen and relied way too heavily on things like instant oatmeal, canned tuna, and Chinese food (at least I’d add frozen veggies to stretch the leftovers!).

Anyway, this salad was a small indulgence, but it felt like such a treat at the time. This is embarrassing to admit, but since I’d only just recently tried falafel when visiting a guy in New York City, it made me feel all cosmopolitan or something. That West 40th street falafel cart, man—totally the height of sophistication back in the days when I still wore American Apparel and silver cowboy boots on the regular.

All that aside, when it came to flavor, this salad kicked the ass of all those wimpy prepared salads at the convenience store on campus.  Over the years, I’ve learned my way around the kitchen enough so that I no longer have to rely on boxed salad, and when I eat falafel, I enjoy it in one of NYC’s many wonderful restaurants (but preferably this one). I’ve even attempted making my own at home. However, there are still a bunch of no-brainer foods that I mean to try my hand at—I just forget.

Until I remember.

IMG_2209These roasted chickpeas have been on the list for ages. When I finally made them yesterday, they reminded me so much of that last crunchy component to my beloved salad, that when I took the first sample bite, I swore I was back in my wood-paneled apartment on Westland Ave with the time-tamed green shag carpet listening to Elliott Smith—but in a good way. Total time travel food.

What you’ll need:

  • Chickpeas, rinsed and dried off (I had 1/2 cup left and used that).
  • Olive oil (I used ~ 1 tsp)
  • Spices of choice—I used cumin, chili powder, and black pepper

What to do: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Toss chickpeas with oil and spices.
  3. Spread chickpeas on foil-lined baking sheet and bake 20-30 minutes or until crispy.
  4. Eat plain, over salad, or any other way that seems like a good idea in the moment.

And about that ridiculous apartment…

Do you have any time travel foods? 

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