sandwiches & roll-ups,  vegetarian

Buffalo Chickpea Pockets with Bleu Cheese Drizzle

We are counting down to the Sweet Sixteen. As the bracket narrows, The Man is brainstorming game day menus. One request is Buffalo Chicken Wraps. I agreed, but with the caveat that I make plant-based modifications, just for funsies.

I gave these a practice run and WOW, let me tell you—these babies are a slam dunk!

Blue cheese + buffalo sauce is one of my love languages (um, I seem to have so many). Today we are subbing chickpeas for chicken. Chickpeas are little pearls of protein with less cholesterol than the alternative. You’ll drench them with a spicy piquant sauce and then cool them down with a buttermilk bleu cheese dressing and chunks of cheese. The hint of sweetness from the agave adds yet another dimension of flavor.

So much flavor and so many textures…

Creamy + crunchy + spicy = so much satisfaction!

I used Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, but you certainly may swap it out for your favorite sauce. You know my mantra:  you do you.

Additionally, most any tomato will work. Oftentimes, however, I find it difficult to find tomatoes that have any flavor. Usually sweet cherry tomatoes or meaty grape tomatoes have a little bit of punch to them.

NOTE: The drier the chickpeas, the crispier they will get. Patting them with a paper towel and allowing them to air dry for 20 or so minutes would be optimal, if you have time. This is because when they come out of the oven, you want the divine crunchy outside-creamy inside combo.

NOTE: Easy subs can be made to make these gluten free (swap out the bread) or vegan (sub oil for butter and skip the bleu cheese dressing).

NOTE: Since typing this recipe, we have also tried adding cilantro (delicious), subbing a pineapple-habanero sauce for Frank’s (OMG!), and switching the pita pockets for toasted open-faced sandwiches with naan (yowza!). You could use an entire head of lettuce or kale and cucumber for a gorgeous salad, as well. It’s pretty hard to fail with these flavor combinations!

The world is your oyster!

XXOO AB

As always, I’d love to hear how these turned out for you! Leave comments below and tag #nakedepicurean in your Instagram photos.

Buffalo Chickpea Pockets with Bleu Cheese Drizzle

INGREDIENTS

for the buffalo chickpeas

  • 15 ounce can of chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ – ½   teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon agave (or honey)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 4 whole wheat pita pockets

for the salad

  • 6-8 grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • ¼   small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 2-3 green leaf lettuce leaves, washed and dried, large stems removed
  • ½-ish cup of Buttermilk Bleu Cheese Dressing*

*for the Buffalo Chickpea Pockets recipe, thin this dressing a bit. Whisk in water until sauce drizzles off of a spoon.  

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
  3. Pat the chickpeas very dry with paper towel. Remove any loose skins.
  4. Toss the chickpeas with oil and salt until well-coated; arrange on a cooking sheet in a single layer.  
  5. Roast on the center rack for 20-25 minutes until crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. Shake the pan halfway through cook time for even crispiness.
  6. While your chickpeas roast, whisk melted butter, hot sauce and agave together in a medium bowl.
  7. When chickpeas have achieved optimal crispiness, remove them from the oven. Add hot chickpeas to the bowl with the buttery hot sauce. Mix until coated.
  8. Use a slotted spoon to fill your pita pocket with the chickpeas. Too much juiciness might make it fall apart. (In that case just use a fork instead of your hands, you filthy beast.)
  9. Dress your salad with Buttermilk Bleu Cheese Dressing or your choice and pack that pocket!

Pass additional hot sauce and bleu cheese.

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