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Lazy Lulu’s Famous Chickpea Thing



A million moons ago, before my wedding, and more importantly, before my honeymoon, my husband and I went on the Ciao Roma Diet.  The CRD is not as fun as it sounds.  It does not involve eating tons of pasta made with simple and fresh ingredients.  It involved healthily losing enough weight to justify buying new swanky clothes to wear in Rome.

I lost the weight on the CRD and serendipitously came up with a recipe that has remained a household favorite ever since. I would get home from work and the last thing I wanted to do was sweat over the stove, but I also did not want take out or an enchilada (well I wanted and enchilada.) My husband’s vegetarianism made it impossible for me to just throw meat in the oven.  So, over time, “Chickpea Thing” was developed.

Before sharing the recipe, I should let you know that Chickpea Thing uses almost no fresh ingredients (which is not how I usually cook) and followers of Michael Pollan will be disappointed.  The point is that it is nourishing, it is cheap, and it is a mushy food that you can make when you are half dead and then you can eat it out of a bowl (bowls=comfort). You can also make this recipe when you are stuck in a poorly furnished kitchen.  It feeds lots of people easily and said people always want the recipe.  Over the years I have had other versions my friends have made as a riff on my own.

Chickpea Thing


  • 1 tablespoonish olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 small cans or 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 2 small cans of chickpeas/garbanzos
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 bunches of green onions chopped
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups couscous
  • equal parts vegetable broth to couscous


Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Add minced garlic and sauté (do not burn the garlic because that is stinky).


Add diced tomatoes, chickpeas, lemon juice, cumin, and black pepper.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil and allow to boil 2-3 minutes.  Turn heat down to simmer for about 20 minutes.  I cover the pan because I like it very soupy. Stir occasionally.


Meanwhile, bring vegetable broth to a boil in a small pot.  Stir in couscous and cover.  Turn off the burner and let couscous stand for 5 minutes.

Fluff the couscous with a fork.  Put some in each bowl.

After 20 minutes of simmering the chickpeas and tomatoes (really anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes depending on hunger levels) turn off the burner and stir in chopped green onions.  Serve the chickpeas and tomatoes over couscous.



4 Comments leave one →
  1. 01.25.2010 5:59 am

    I was totally hoping you’d describe this chickpea thing in more detail. It sounds awesome. I will have to try this ASAP!

  2. 02.07.2010 9:01 am

    Did I ever send you the link to the chickpea thing I’ve been making for years? I have chicken in this version, but make it without most of the time:

    • Lu permalink*
      02.07.2010 9:13 am

      Thanks! Looks tasty. I will definitely keep in mind. This week’s new use of chickpeas is Chana Masala.


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