Gluten-free On the Road in Israel: Easy Chickpea Pasta Recipe

Eating gluten-free is more difficult on the road, and most difficult of all when traveling internationally. This is why when the DH and I planned a trip to Israel this September, I insisted that we stay somewhere with a kitchen at least part of the time. We chose the Atlas hotel affiliated Tal hotel in Tel Aviv, located within walking distance of the Tel Aviv Port. I learned later that there was a gluten-free store at Hangar 13 of the Port (Aditta’s), so it ended up being an especially good choice. One thing I was not anticipating was the difficulty of navigating labels in Hebrew. I had heard that everything would be in Hebrew and English, so I thought labels would be easy- it turned out that the only thing typically written in English MIGHT be the title of the food item. Labels were NOT in English unless the product was imported in or designed for export. This made all kinds of things complicated. Also, our kitchen was very, very small, which was not a problem, but I found that the hot plate liked to blow the kitchen fuse, which was a hassle until they switched out the hot plate. It was handy that Israeli buffet breakfasts are reasonably gluten-free friendly. They serve (gluten) bread… but they also serve salad, which may consist of arugula-like greens and apples or plums if you are very lucky, several kinds of dairy including soft cheeses like Tsfatit, fresh cheese, a cottage cheese and my favorite, Labane, a smooth, creamy yogurt cheese. They will tend to have labane plain or (my favorite) with chives or possibly dill.

A pescatarian breakfast of salad with tahini as an un-dressing, cottage cheese, labane, tsfatit cheese, and pickled fish.
The nicer hotel buffets will also have an espresso machine, although the machine will be at rest on Saturday morning. I ate breakfast at the hotel every morning, which was a relief to not have to worry about feeding myself or Toddler Yum. Having a kitchen for lunch was wonderful, though. I was able to fry eggs, make gluten-free grilled cheese sandwich, and gluten-free pancakes, when eating out was too complicated. My favorite meal was thanks to some gluten-free pasta I bought at Adittas (also available through an online gluten-free store that delivers or other health food stores. I had bought a can of chickpeas, and had some milk and butter. It was a simple dish, but satisfying, and Toddler Yum gobbled it up like candy. The best thing is that you could make this dish almost anywhere in the world in a dorm kitchen, a weekly mansion hotel, or even at home, with simple, easily available ingredients. I hope you enjoy it.

Chickpea Pasta Recipe for limited kitchens
1 tbsp. butter or olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 thin slices or 1 large grated handful tasty cheese (optional)
1 tbsp. gluten-free flour or baking mix (I used Pamela’s pancake mix because it is what I had)
milk (regular or plain soy or almond milk)
fresh herbs, diced (optional)
minced fresh veggies (red, yellow, green pepper or carrot)
nuts (such as pine nuts etc. if available), lightly toasted

1/2 package of gluten-free corn spaghetti (or your favorite variety)

Heat 1 tbsp butter or olive oil in a small skillet. Add your diced onion and saute until translucent. Toss in your gluten-free flour and mix to combine with the softened onions. Add 1/2 cup milk, stir until combined and heat on medium-low, whisking (with fork or fancy whisk) as needed. When sauce begins to thicken slightly add more milk, whisk together, heat more and let thicken. Add more milk until you have enough sauce for your taste. Then add your chickpeas and simmer until the chickpeas have been flavored by the sauce. Add your (optional) cheese and let it start to melt. Turn off the heat and let it continue to melt.

Cook your favorite pasta until al dente and drain. Stir your chickpea sauce. Top your pasta with your chickpea pasta sauce and add diced fresh herbs (if you have them), salt, pepper, and sprinkle minced fresh veggies and nuts on top. Enjoy!

Perfect for limited kitchens with at least one stove burner and a dorm refrigerator. This recipe only uses commonly available ingredients, except for the gluten-free flour and gluten-free pasta. When I know I will have at least one burner at a destination, I pack pasta and flour in my suitcase.

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6 Responses to “Gluten-free On the Road in Israel: Easy Chickpea Pasta Recipe”

  1. How did Toddler Yum do with all the travel? It’s a long plane ride to Israel. My dh travels a couple times a year and one of the biggest reasons we don’t go with him is my fear of finding safe food in other countries. His next trip is to New Zealand, so I just might have to overcome this fear!

  2. Toddler Yum was a total trooper! She loved the plane and adapted beautifully to the hotels and even sightseeing. No problems at all. I think New Zealand would be a good gluten-free destination. I bet there are good resources… and no language problems! :)


  3. Oh wow. How lovely! She’s such a cutie, and enjoy your stay. I would absolutely adore real Israeli food…

  4. Thanks for the great idea of packing pasta! I have packed quinoa flakes, homemade GF bake mixes, Larabars, and lots of nuts but never thought about pasta.

  5. thanks for sharing this recipe

  6. [...] dietary restrictions, it can be a real nightmare trying to find food you can actually safely eat. This blog has some handy tips about being gluten-free on the road, as well as restaurant reviews and recipes [...]

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