Recently we ran out of something at our house. When the girls heard, one of them gasped audibly. The other said, and I quote, “MOM! How could you let this happen?!?”
Had we run out of Epi-pens? Heating oil? Injectable insulin? Potable water?
. . . No.
The fridge was full, the lights were blazing, the wifi offered us access to the world, and the kittens purred on a blanket in contentment.
And yet, all hell had broken loose because we were out of. . . chickpeas.
My daughters are obsessed with chickpeas. Two of their favorite, most-requested meals center on chickpeas (our slow cooker chickpea curry and gnocchi, chickpea, collards, & cheddar). There is always hummus in the house. And they roast chickpeas frequently. Like, multiple times a week, and sometimes, multiple times a day.
If I had to rank all sister arguments in our household, you-only-roasted-one-can-of-chickpeas-without-asking-if-I-wanted-any is almost as frequent as you-went-into-our-bathroom-exactly-when-you-knew-I-was-about-to-take-a-shower and well ahead of you’re-wasting-a-Netflix-screen-on-a-stupid-show.
These girls are quite well-provided-for in terms of fiber. Really, roasted chickpeas are an excellent snack: inexpensive, healthful, delicious. But they’re slightly out-of-control in terms of their attachment to the little buggers.
A funny thing happened between when I started this post and now. My original plan was to document their comical reaction when they realized that we were out of chickpeas, but in between when I got started and now, I had to check in with someone who read my KOAA article Ten Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Vegetables and thought that there was some sort of contest that readers could enter. No — there wasn’t a contest; there was just a link to a long-ago reference to my girls conducting a taste test-style contest (something we used to do quite a bit and, in fact, still do).
Anyway, in the process of reviewing that article, as well as my Vegetables A to Z article, I noticed a couple of things. First: it’s really held up. This is excellent advice that absolutely works, which brings me to the second thing: my kids have vastly improved in terms of their vegetable eating since I wrote these. That “ten ways” article is probably about eight years old, and at the time I wrote it, my kids were probably better than your average kids when it came to eating vegetables. Still, they definitely weren’t “all in,” vegetable-wise. Neither girl wanted anything to do with most salads, tomatoes, or mushrooms. Now they like them all, plus they are so enthusiastic about carrots, cucumbers, avocados, and spinach that they’re almost as nutty about running out of them as they are about running out of chickpeas. The other day M finally realized that our pear and goat cheese salad is delectable. In other words, years of my vegetable-pushing efforts, along with the good fortune of having access to excellent produce over the years, have yielded two awesome vegetable eaters.
Of course, it helps that chickpeas count as vegetables.