Chickpea omelettes are popping up everywhere, from slick cosmopolitan cafes to trendy boho breakfast spots, giving vegans a tasty breakfast option that extends beyond avocado toast. Gram flour, or ground chickpeas, are increasingly being used to replace the eggs and when done correctly, they create a light, fluffy alternative with a crepe-like yet crispy crust.
“They’re healthy, nutritious, low in calories and high in protein and fiber,” says Sharmila Shahani-Sewrathan, MS, RD. “They can help with blood sugar management and aid digestion.”
In short, chickpeas make a great meatless protein, clocking in at 14g of protein per one cup. But if you’re whipping up a chickpea omelette at home, keep an eye on what you buy.
“Make sure your canned chickpeas are lower in salt and BPA free,” says Shahani-Sewrathan.
Also go slowly with amounts, if you’re new to chickpeas. Too many too quickly can cause bloating and other tummy upsets.
And if you fancy chickpeas for breakfast while restaurant hopping around the UAE? There are plenty of spots popping up, notes Jill Okkers, group executive chef at Tashas. “We are more aware of what we are putting into our bodies, and a lot of guests are looking for plant-based alternatives.” Chickpeas won’t ever really take the place of eggs, she adds. “But it’s a very good alternative for those who are vegan or exploring options.”
Here are some great egg-free omelettes to try:
Son of a Chick at Bounty Beets
This pretty-in-pink venue is all about everything holistic. There are plant-based nachos, gluten-free pizzas, detox shots and plenty of multi-colored lattes. We recommend the Son of a Chick omelet for plenty of vegan protein goodness. Here the chickpea “omelette” is stuffed with spinach, cashew cream, peas and mushrooms.
With venues across Abu Dhabi and Dubai, this healthy, happy “casual to gourmet” spot serves breakfast all day. Coconut yogurt bowls come with lashings of chia seeds, while vegans can dive into the vegan mushroom omelette (chickpeas with roasted miso mushrooms, plum tomatoes and a vegan mustard dressing).
Revo Cafe’s chickpea omelette
With a whole range of vegan breakfast options and a chilled cafe-on-the-Palm vibe, this Anantara spot is ideal for a leisurely morning. Try the vegan omelette for a fluffy gluten-free creation made of chickpea (gram) flour stuffed with potatoes. The secret to the omelette’s lightness, according to insiders, is that it’s not overcooked in the slightest. Veggies on the inside help too.
This yoga studio-meets-boho shop-meets-holistic cafe has something for every healthy craving. Skip past the tempting superfood salad and the entirely plant-based ‘cheese’ platter to the eggless omelette. A crispy chickpea exterior is stuffed with mushrooms, semi-dried tomatoes, cashew cream cheese, avocado and salsa.
White boho interiors and dashes of crisp green plants give this trendy cafe a crisply inviting feel and the food is just as appealing to the eye as the tastebuds. There’s plenty for non-vegans (here’s looking at you, sweetcorn waffle and lobster Benedict), but the chickpea omelette will tempt even the meatiest eaters. The chickpea crepe is stuffed with mushrooms, scrambled tofu and caramelized rocket.
Danae Mercer is a freelance health and travel journalist. In addition to working as editor-in-chief of Women's Health Middle East and Men's Health Middle East, Danae has written for The Sunday Times, CNN Travel, Dubai Tourism, The Guardian, Afar, Bloomberg and many more. She's based in Dubai and is a trainer at Crank. instagram.com/danaemercer