You all know me well enough by now to know that I don’t really tend to do overly healthy recipes, and even when I do I try my hardest to make sure they don’t look and feel like healthy recipes. There’s always a common misconception that healthy food is bland and boring, so I’m always weary calling anything “healthy.” But since this is a New Year and because I know we’re all trying to stay on track with our resolutions, I’ve teamed up with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada to let you know all about the health benefits of pulses, which are the delicious, protein-packed, sustainable foods known as dry peas, chickpeas, lentils and beans. Packed with protein, fiber and nutrients, eating pulses can help you maintain a healthy weight and improve overall wellbeing. Head on over to the Pulses website to sign up for the Half-Cup Habit, and see how easy it can be to add 1⁄2 cup serving of pulses to your diet just 3x per week for added nutrients. I already love chickpeas and most beans so adding them to my weekly meals doesn’t seem like a hard thing to do. Especially not when buffalo chickpea bowls are involved. These bowls are filled with barley, arugula, roasted chickpeas (tossed in buffalo hot sauce) and then topped with carrots, celery, red onion and a tiny bit of blue cheese because we still need to live our lives. They taste just like buffalo chicken wings, minus the deep-fried chicken aspect and you’ll feel good about the choices you’re making with your life.
The first thing you want to do is roast the chickpeas. Drain and rinse two cans of chickpeas, and then let them air dry in the colander for at least 20 minutes. Toss the chickpeas on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, chipotle powder and dried oregano until evenly combined. Give the pan a shake to ensure they’re all in an even layer, and then roast in a preheated 400 degree F oven until crispy, about 20 to 25 minutes, shaking them about halfway through cooking.
**Tip: Rinsing the beans removes any of that saltiness they might have from the liquid in the can. Allowing them to air dry will make for a crispier chickpea!**
While the chickpeas cook, this is a good time to cook the barley. I love using the precooked, quick cooking barley that is ready in 10 minutes. You can find it at most grocery stores, if you’re lucky enough to live near a Trader Joe’s, that’s where I get it! Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add some salt, and then stir in the barely. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
**Note: If you can’t find the quick cooking barley, just use regular and cook according to the package directions. You’ll want to start that first though before the chickpeas.**
Once the chickpeas are done, they’ll be golden brown and super crispy. I love making these all the time and having them as a healthy snack. They’re great because you can flavor them a thousand different ways are so much better for you than most packaged snacks!
Place the crispy chickpeas into a large bowl and then toss together with buffalo hot sauce and melted butter until well coated.
**Note: Because I want this recipe to super easy and not stressful at all, I just used store bought buffalo wing sauce. Use your favorite brand, and add as much or as little depending on how spicy you like things!**
Fill some serving bowls with the cooked barely and a large handful of baby arugula.
**Tip: For more flavor, feel free to toss the arugula with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Or use your favorite dressing you have on hand. Or you can just leave it plain.**
Then add the buffalo chickpeas right on top of the rice and arugula.
**Note: If you want to add a bit more protein to this, feel free to add chopped up grilled chicken breast! I like keeping it vegetarian though.**
Top each bowl with sliced carrots, sliced celery, avocado, thinly sliced red onion, sliced scallion, and a tiny bit of crumbled blue cheese.
**Note: I know we’re trying to keep these bowls as healthy as possible, and you can most definitely leave the blue cheese out if you want to be super healthy, but I always believe all things in moderation.**
I also like to serve these bowls with a drizzle of ranch because I love ranch with buffalo wings, but instead of using full on regular fatty ranch, I love these new fresh dressings in the refrigerated section that use yogurt to make them! So that’s what I used here. A yogurt ranch dressing. It’s delicious!
The great thing about these bowls, aside from how great you’ll feel after eating one because you’re actually eating rather healthy, is the fact that you can eat them at room temperature and don’t have to worry about serving them hot. That’s great if you’re feeding a crowd.
**Although this post is sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for your continued support of the occasional sponsored post on this site. They help keep the blog going, allowing me to continue to share my recipes with you on a weekly basis. I never want my sponsorships to feel forced, which is why I only partner with companies I feel very passionate about and actually use on a regular basis.**
- 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ cup buffalo hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 (8.8-ounce) bag quick cooking barley
- 3 cups baby arugula
- 3 stalks of celery, sliced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 large avocado, peeled and sliced
- ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
- ½ cup yogurt ranch dressing
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Toss the chickpeas on a baking sheet with the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, chipotle, and dried oregano until evenly combined. Give the baking sheet a shake to ensure that all of the chickpeas are in a single layer. Roast until crispy, about 20 to 25 minutes, giving them a toss halfway through.
- In the meantime, fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the barley and cook until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Transfer the crispy chickpeas to a large bowl and toss together with the buffalo sauce and melted butter until well coated.
- Fill 4 serving bowls with cooked barley, baby arugula and buffalo chickpeas. Top each with carrots, celery, red onion, scallions, avocado, blue cheese and a drizzle of ranch. Serve immediately and enjoy!