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Chickapea Makes Better-for-You Pasta That Helps Fight Food Insecurity

February 23, 2022

There are lots of grain-free pasta brands out there, but how many help fight climate change? How about work to reduce food insecurity in their community?

“At Chickapea, we’re on a mission to create good for the world through nutritious, organic meal options and impactful social contributions,” says Shelby Taylor, Founder & CEO of Chickapea. Those nutritious meal options include pastas loaded with veggies and legumes, which offer a protein-packed alternative to traditional flours. And the brand’s social contributions come from initiatives to help build a better future for food in impactful, measurable ways, both through partnerships with organizations fighting food insecurity and by supporting regenerative farming practices that can help to reverse climate change.

Fighting Food Insecurity Close to Home

Chickapea is a women-owned business and certified B Corporation, which means that it meets the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility and transparency. That sense of social responsibility impacts every decision the brand makes; in 2021, Chickapea formed a partnership with Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC) and The New Farm near Creemore, Ontario, to provide organic and regeneratively grown produce to low-income communities.

“Community Food Centres Canada operates with the mission to build health, belonging, and social justice in low-income communities through the power of food,” Taylor explains. “The organization has vibrant, well-resourced Community Food Centres (CFCs), across the country. Each CFC offers high-impact food programs in welcoming community spaces that bring people together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for good food.”

Regenerative Agriculture for the Future

Today, Chickapea donates 2% of the brand’s sales directly to CFCC, which uses the funds to purchase organic, regenerative produce from The New Farm and distribute the food in the communities they serve.

Aside from the social impact of this partnership, Taylor says that Chickapea also deeply believes in the importance of regenerative farming practices. “Regenerative farming uses tried and tested practices to pull carbon out of the atmosphere and store it in the soil, where it belongs,” she explains. “This helps mitigate climate change while preserving topsoil, protecting our water, and promoting biodiversity. Healthy soil produces the healthiest food.” For Chickapea, that healthy soil impacts not only the products they sell, but also the world at large.

High-Protein Pasta with Better Ingredients

While many alternative pastas choose ingredients that simply replace the flours, Chickapea chooses ingredients that also add ever-important protein to your diet — even if a heaping bowl of pasta may not be the first place you’d look for protein.

“Pasta as your protein? Yup!” Taylor says. Protein helps build and repair body tissues and is a source of energy,” she continues, describing Chickapea’s  pastas as great ways to get essential protein in a “quick and simple meal.”  For people who struggle to get enough protein (especially if you follow a plant-based diet), Chickapea’s pastas—which come in shapes like spaghetti, shells, spirals and even lasagne—make quick and easy sources with lots of different applications.

Chickapea pastas are made with ingredients like lentils, green vegetables, and, of course, the brand’s namesake chickpeas, which makes them a great way to add protein to your diet even if you don’t eat common animal-sourced proteins like meat or seafood. And since there are no unnecessary fillers or binding ingredients, Chickapea pasta is able to pack a hefty 23 grams of protein and 11 grams of gut-healthy fiber into every 3.5-ounce serving of pasta. “A serving of Chickapea has as much protein as a 3-ounce serving of chicken or fish—and it’s completely plant-based,” Taylor explains. “Plus, you benefit from all the additional fiber, iron, magnesium and other nutrients from the chickpeas and lentils we use to make the pasta.”

Roasted Vegetable Buddha Bowl with Chickapea +Greens Spirals Pasta Recipe

“There are lots of ‘unconventional’ recipes to sneak more protein into your meals,” Taylor explains. “[We encourage] our customers [to] think beyond their pasta bowl and get creative with Chickapea.” One great example is this Buddha Bowl recipe, which is packed with roasted veggies and uses Chickapea +Greens Spirals Pasta instead of the usual rice or grains.

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Yield: 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

1 package of Chickapea +Greens Spirals Pasta

2 tablespoons salt (for cooking pasta)

2 cups + 1 tablespoon of Thrive Market Organic Balsamic Vinegar, divided

2 tablespoons Thrive Market Avocado Oil

1-2 teaspoons salt, to taste

2 teaspoon Thrive Market Organic Garlic Powder

6 russet potatoes, cubed

1 head of cauliflower, washed and separated into bite-sized florets

6 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise

1 head of kale, washed and chopped

1 red onion, sliced into rings

Finishing salt, fresh dill, or other herbs to garnish

Instructions:

In a small saucepan, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium heat.

Reduce the heat to medium/low and simmer to reduce for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently. Balsamic vinegar will be sufficiently reduced when it is a syrup-like consistency or thickly coats the back of a spoon and slowly drizzles off. [Pro tip: As a shortcut, use Thrive Market Organic Balsamic Glaze instead.]

Remove the balsamic vinegar from the heat and allow it to cool to continue thickening.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Add the cauliflower florets, cubed potatoes, sliced carrots, chopped kale, and sliced red onion to a large bowl. Drizzle the vegetables with avocado oil, one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (not the reduction), salt, and garlic powder. Massage the seasoning into the vegetables.

Separate the vegetables onto two trays. Place cauliflower and potatoes on one tray, and red onion and carrots on another.

Roast the cauliflower and potatoes for 45 minutes, turning them once at the halfway point.

Add the carrots and red onion tray and roast them for 25 minutes, turning once at the halfway point.

With 10 minutes remaining on the vegetables, add the kale to one of the baking dishes to become crisp in the oven.

While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the Chickapea +Greens Spirals to the package specifications. Once it’s done cooking, drain the pasta and rinse it with warm water.

Add the pasta to your serving bowls. Top with the roasted vegetables and drizzle with desired amount of the balsamic reduction.

Garnish each portion with finishing salt and fresh herbs.

Serve warm and enjoy!

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Amy Roberts

Amy Roberts is Thrive Market's Senior Editorial Writer. She is based in Los Angeles via Pittsburgh, PA.

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