Lots of things come to mind when you plan out your Labor Day menu. Grilled steaks, chicken and burgers top the list from backyard barbecues to classic American fare restaurants. And, with these staples taking center stage on every table as the final days of summer slip away, anyone who is looking for a way to differentiate their plate should consider 2018 trending ingredient: chickpeas.

Mostly known for their appearance in Mediterranean cuisine, the Chickpea and its related flavors and spices, are reaching new heights on state-side menus. Their mild flavor and soft texture still allows your center of the plate items to shine and they take well to a variety of dressings. For a fresh take on a Labor Day menu, here are a few of our favorite recipe pairings:

Grilled Steak and Chickpea Salad

The Steak

  • 2, 8 oz Butt Tenderloin Steaks
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Bring steaks to room temperature and pat dry. Blend all spices together and rub over steak. Drizzle evenly with olive oil and grill on medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes per side. Set aside to rest. Slice and serve with chickpea salad. (recipe below)

Mediterranean spice rubbed steak and chick pea salad

Mediterranean spices blend the flavor of the chickpeas and steak.

The Salad
  • 2 cups Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 medium Cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced Kalamata Olives (optional)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Feta
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Toss together chickpeas, cucumber, pepper, onion, Kalamata olives and crumbled feta. Season lightly with kosher salt and generously with ground black pepper. Top with dressing (recipe below) and toss again.

The Dressing
  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped Cilantro
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Whisk together olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice. Add cilantro and season to taste with salt and peppers. Lightly pour over the chickpea salad and serve with the steak.


Grilled Chicken & Chickpea Bowl

  • 1/2 cup Quinoa, prepared in chicken broth
  • Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1/2 Red Pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup Brussel Sprouts, halved
  • 1/4 Avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 cup Chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon Parsley, chopped

Prepare quinoa in chicken broth and set aside to cool. Season Chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Grill over direct medium-high heat, 5-8 minutes per side depending on thickness. Drizzle red peppers and brussel sprouts with olive oil and grill over indirect heat (in basket or foil).


Chicken Chickpea Quinoa Bowl

The Lighter Side of your Labor Day Menu: Chicken Chickpea Quinoa Bowl


Place a bed of quinoa and spinach in a medium bowl. Top with grilled vegetables, chicken and chickpeas. Garnish with avocado and cilantro. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional) and enjoy the lighter side of your Labor Day Menu.


Grilled Seafood Taco

  • 4 oz Shrimp or White Flaky Fish, shredded
  • 2 cup Chickpeas
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons Tahini
  • 3 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 cup Roasted Red Peppers
  • 1/4 teaspoon Basil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Corn Tortillas
  • 1/2 cup Cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 medium Red Onion
  • 2 teaspoons Cilantro, chopped

Marinate Shrimp or Fish (optional) and grill 2-3 minutes per side. Set aside.

Combine garlic, chickpeas, tahini, and lemon juice in a food processor. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Add roasted peppers and basil. Blend until the peppers are diced. Season with salt and pepper. Chill hummus until you are ready to use.

Spread 2 tablespoons of hummus over each tortilla. Place shrimp or shredded fish over the hummus. Top with cabbage, onion and cilantro. Add sliced avocado (optional).