Sunday, 27 September 2015


Spiced, Honey Roast Chickpeas and Seeds
Ingredients: 1 400g tin of chickpeas, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ½ a teaspoon of paprika, 1 lemon, 50g of mixed seeds (I used 25g of pumpkin seeds & 25g of sunflower seeds), & 1 tablespoon of clear honey.
Time taken: Half an hour to make, then an hour to cool.

Hi readers,
So… it’s been four months. Four months since my last ChefBeHere post! When I last wrote to you, I was cracking under the pressure of final exams at university. Re-reading that last blog post just now, it’s exhausting to remember just how tired I was! Those final days of university were long hours every day, under constant pressure. Stressed to the bloodshot eyeballs. And then some! What were you doing on May 17th?? Can you possibly remember? Was it exams, too, or a whole different party?
So. Since then, over the last four months, I finished university exams. Drank and celebrated accordingly. Then packed up my things and waved goodbye to Newcastle, hungover, the morning after the Grad Ball. Spent a fortnight at home; shopping, planning, packing. Caught Floss’s 21st birthday celebrations and a big family wedding. Then I was off! Interrailing around Europe for 12 weeks.
That’s been my summer, ladies and gentlemen. Turned 21 myself along the way! Celebrated with Hawaiian cocktails in Stockholm. I left on June 21st and returned on September 12th, the exception being 48 hours in July when I nipped back to Newcastle to graduate (with a First!). I’ve now visited Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, France, Belgium, The Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Croatia… and Italy. It’s been an amazing summer.
Me and my friends were very fortunate to stay ahead of the mass migrant movements, which are hampering transport now throughout Europe. Putting aside memories of one bad bout of food poisoning, and one run in we had with the intimidation techniques that local men can use to scare money out of female tourists (both in Slovakia!), there were no major disasters while travelling. I severely injured another iPhone, but saw more of Italy as a result! So no worry there.
Readers, I hope that your summer has been amazing, too! Are you printing out photos of any holidays? Beaches? Picnics? Celebrations? Barbecues? Adventures? Festivals? Photos of tanned family? Friends? Lovers?? Here’s hoping it was amazing. And that the sun was shining, for you this summer. At least on the odd day if you were in England! What did you get up to this summer? What are the highlights? I hope you can look back on snapshots of a great four months.
And now… duh duhh DUHHH! It’s autumn. Officially, definitely, sadly. Autumn. The weather’s turning. The shops are flogging sun cream and swimwear. Tans are fading. Let’s face it, our 9 o’clock winies in the garden watching the sun set. They’re no more. Pistachio ice cream, halloumi salad, lemon slush. No more. Unless, you’re feeling nostalgic.
BUT it’s a new start. A fresh New Start for everyone. It’s AUTUMNNNNNNNN! Red trees, crunchy leaves and Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks! *swoons*  I have a grown up job. New business clothes to wear. And uni friends all over the UK to travel about and drink with on the weekends! Compared with back in May, when I was testing the limits of a human being, this has the potential to be FUN. And your autumn had better be FUN, too. I’m serious. New Start, everybody, whether you want one or not. Let’s get it on.
So. This week, readers, to launch the New Start of ChefBeHere, I’d like to share with you a recipe that I tried out for the first time today. This recipe is one that I found in Tesco's Real Food magazine earlier this week, while waiting to be called into a job interview. Ripping out recipes and stuffing them in my pocket. As is life.
This recipe, readers, is for a healthy vegetarian snack… Spiced, Honey Roast Chickpeas and Seeds. Isn’t this recipe so autumnal? Plus, I guarantee you, it's very tasty. Very good for you. Chock full of protein.  And it’s not too costly to buy the ingredients, I swear. You can check out the original recipe online HERE.
Without further ado. Want to learn to make Spiced, Honey Roast Chickpeas and Seeds in just 10 easy steps?? Here’s how…
1. Preheat your oven to 190˚C. Drain your tin of chickpeas and rinse them in a sieve under the tap.
2. Layer a plate with some kitchen towel/roll/paper (whichever you call it!). Tip your chickpeas onto the plate and pat them dry, removing as much moisture as possible.
3. In a separate bowl, grate your lemon until all the lemon zest is grated in the bowl.
4. Tip the chickpeas into a fresh, clean bowl (bowl no.3 – keep track) and toss with the olive oil and paprika, until they’re seasoned well.
5. Spread the chickpeas out on a large baking tray and roast for 10 minutes. They should just be starting to colour.
6. Remove the tray from the oven and scatter your seeds and lemon zest over the top.
7. Drizzle with the honey and gently stir, until everything is coated.
8. Return your tray to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes, until golden and crisp.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: Don’t delay! Why not wash all your dishes now? Passes the time nicely.
9. Once your stuff is out of the oven (and your oven is turned off, remember) leave everything to cool on the baking tray. Doesn’t matter how long for, but at least an hour I would recommend.
10. Transfer your tasty snacks to a serving bowl if you’re sharing them or hosting a party! Otherwise, crack out your Tupperware collection.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: If you divide your chickpeas n seeds roughly into maybe four portions, each will contain less than 200 calories. Take them along with you anywhere you like. This recipe makes a perfect mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. A top notch healthy nibble.
Here are my Spiced, Honey Roast Chickpeas and Seeds…
...fresh out of the oven
And I’m so enjoying them! Not a word of lie here, having just tried my first little tub of this snack… I think you can taste every individual ingredient. The seeds and the chickpeas. And the spicy paprika. And ALSO the lemon and honey. It’s a taste sensation! Works really well. And makes for a fun snack. Errrbody, get your aprons back out! And get your CHEF ON. Let me know what you think of Spiced, Honey Roast Chickpeas and Seeds!
On a final note, I just want to say thank you millions to anyone reading. It’s been a long time since I blogged, and I feel very rusty, but thank you for not going anywhere.
Stay tuned for more autumnal recipes coming soon.
And roast safely,

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