This is the weekend that movie buffs have been breathlessly awaiting.  Who and what will take home that little golden man for a performance, song, screenplay or overall movie experience?

I have a confession – I have not seen a single nominated Best Picture film this year. And very few others that have garnered nominations for actors or technical prowess either.  But that doesn’t mean I won’t be watching the broadcast, wincing at the fashion choices, and maybe playing Oscar Bingo (check off a square every time someone cries or thanks Jesus or has a wardrobe malfunction!).  And when I watch this yearly TV extravaganza, I’m going to want to snack.

Popcorn is the traditional choice when thinking movies – but one snack I try to avoid because frankly, I can rarely manage to stop after having a logical serving of 2-3 cups.  Usually I chow down double that so it’s actually best to substitute something more nutritious and delicious.

How about roasted chickpeas?  Indeed these tiny perfect legumes are a staple of the Middle Eastern diet and packed with nutritional value.  With more than 12 grams of fibre and over 14 grams of protein per cup, this is a snack that’s going to satisfy – and without the bloat of corn that I hear so many of my clients complain about.

To make them doubly good, toss in heart-healthy olive oil and smoked paprika (derived from red bell peppers, one of the best sources of beta-carotene and vitamin C around) and roast until crispy. These would so win in the Best Oscar Snack category!

You can use canned chickpeas (organic, of course) or cook up your own from scratch. That’s simple to do, and super inexpensive, but on a busy Oscar Night day you might prefer convenience to cost-effectiveness this time round.

I guarantee you will not miss popcorn and will be able to stop after just enjoying just one cup.  I also guarantee that there will be at least one inappropriate acceptance speech, one fashion faux pas and one “how they heck did he/she/it win” surprise that we’ll all be talking about post-Oscar 2013.

(PS – would have liked to include a photo of these tasty morsels but when we recently made a batch, they were so snackable they got gobbled up before the camera came out.  Oops!) 

Pimenton Roasted Chickpeas


  • 1-  19 oz can organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed, well-drained and dried off
  • 3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tsp lemon juice (to taste)
  • 2 tsp pimenton (smoked paprika)
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, gently toss all ingredients together.
  • Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and spread out in a single layer.
  • Bake, tossing occasionally until dry and crisp, about 40 minutes
  • Cool slightly and serve.

Tip: these are best when freshly made but save any leftovers in an air tight container to use in salads as croutons substitutes.