It’s so easy to default to rice or potatoes or cous cous as side dish, isn’t it? My goal this year is to take full advantage of the blogosphere’s obsession with fun grains and legumes. (Seriously, once you’ve tried nutty, protein-rich quinoa, why would you ever want to eat nutritionally empty cous cous again?) This month, I decided I needed to start actually making a dent in the humongous stash of canned chickpeas in my pantry. (How come I never remember what I have and what I don’t when I shop?) Mark Bittman had delicious-looking post on Pan-Fried Chickpeas recently, but it was 101 Cookbook‘s Heidi Swanson’s Pan-Fried Chick Pea Salad that won me over last week. The beauty of it is that you can fry up a can of chickpeas (make sure they are drained and as patted dry as possible) add a little shallot or onion (she calls for leeks) and salt, then crisp them up to serve for the kids. Then, just toss with a delicious yogurt curry dressing, add cilantro, and the grown-ups are happy. I served with basic chicken cutlets, but felt it was good enough to stand on its own (maybe with a green salad?) for a vegetarian dinner.