It’s time to get thrifty! What can you make with chickpeas, olive oil, and a spice from your pantry? 

When grocery store shelves are limited and we rely on our pantry stock to make meals, we can turn to heritage diets for inspiration.  For centuries, cooks around the world made delicious food using only what was available to them—long-lasting grains, beans, and legumes, greens and vegetables foraged and grown from small gardens, and preserved and fermented products such as yogurt, cheeses, jams, and dried foods. Centuries ago, almost nothing came in boxes and nothing was wasted; vegetables were used from root-to-leaf, and meat, eaten rarely, from nose-to-tail.

Today in our unprecedented times, we’re turning to heritage diets for inspiration. We’re determined to help you make the most delicious meals you can from the ingredients that are available right now. For our first #OldwaysPantryChallenge, we asked our staff to get creative with three staple ingredients:  a can of chickpeas, olive oil, and any spice from their pantry. After you scroll through our staff recipe submissions, it’s your turn! Show us what you can do with these three ingredients, and post on Instagram or Facebook with #OldwaysPantryChallenge to show us your results! We can’t wait to see what you make. 

Chickpeas & Cabbage

“This dish is a comfort-food favorite in my house. In addition to chickpeas, olive oil, and cumin, this recipe combines stir-fried potato, shallot, and cabbage with some Parmigiano Reggiano added at the end to sort of stick it all together. The creamy textures of the chickpeas and potatoes are the perfect complement to the bite of the cabbage.” —Caroline

Everything Green High Five Chickpea Salad

“I immediately thought of the chickpea recipe in Oldways’ High Five curriculum, an eight-lesson, flatbread-based cooking and nutrition curriculum. Oldways developed this curriculum in 1999 with the Chefs Collaborative, and I had tested the lessons in my children’s Elementary Schools in Exeter, NH.  One distinct memory I have is the principal of my daughter Casey’s school coming out into the hall and asking….where are these wonderful smells coming from?  The fragrance from the lemon in the Chickpea Salad was permeating the halls of the Lincoln Street Elementary School!  As I was looking for things to add to this Chickpea Salad, I thought of Chef Ana Sortun. When she makes her Turkish yogurt sauce, she advises adding cucumbers, mint, herbs…’just add everything green,’ she says. As I was looking for things to add to this salad, I thought of Ana and everything green I could add. Perfectly delicious.” —Sara

Greek Baked Orzo with Chickpeas

“I made a Greek Baked Orzo (based on the recipe from Pinch of Yum) adding chickpeas for protein, and also using olive oil, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes. Thankfully, I keep whole wheat orzo pasta stocked in my pantry. It reheats beautifully, and is a great comfort food dish that also happens to be quite nutritious.” —Kelly

Homemade Hummus

Oldways Cheese Coalition Manager Carlos made this homemade hummus using chickpeas from his pantry. He likes to pair dips and spreads like this one with crackers and cheeses such as Comte, for a fun snack board to look forward to at home. 

Spanish Spinach & Chickpeas

“My favorite thing about this dish is that it has a secret superpower—there’s a creamy sauce holding the spinach and chickpeas together, and it’s made from bread, olive oil, and vinegar mashed together into a paste! With the vinegar, smoked paprika, and toasty breadcrumbs, there’s a lot of big, hidden flavors in a simple-looking dish. It’s usually made with fresh spinach, but the frozen greens I had in my freezer worked out nicely.” —Hannah

Chickpea Sweet Potato Shawarma Salad

Graphic Designer Alexis invented a salad with the warm spices of shawarma and a tangy yogurt dressing. The sweet potatoes and chickpeas are baked with cinnamon, cumin, and other spices. The creamy Greek yogurt dressing gets flavor from lots of lemon juice, and a spoonful of hummus. 

Ok, your turn! Show us what you can invent with a can of chickpeas, olive oil, and a spice from your pantry.

Tell us all about it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #OldwaysPantryChallenge




A quick suppah olive oil in my cast iron skillet teas. minced garlic sautéed add a package od fresh spinach and cook to wilted. Add 1/2 can chick peas stir to warm through. Served with homemade bread and wine.
That sounds delicious!

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