Much of what you see on the blog is I actually what I eat on a regular basis. For many years now my diet has consisted largely of plant-based foods. Over the years, I’ve gradually decreased my meat consumption and it’s only recently that I’ve given it up completely.
The reasons for shifting solely to a vegetarian lifestyle are multifactorial and something I do want to share with you. But, in order for me to be able to put such emotion into words, I need to have time to focus, sit and write without interruption. And that for me is difficult with kids home from school, summer activities and house renovations happening all at once.
For now, I will just say that the transition takes time and certainly some concerted effort in the meal planning department. But even more than that, it most definitely requires some soul searching. Because first and foremost, you have to be dedicated to the purpose. For me, it was time I put my mouth where my heart was…with the animals.
During the transition and even now, there are some simple things that I really crave and miss like chicken salad sandwiches. My husband, who has been vegetarian for more than 6 years now, has really been my inspiration for the meals I create. Together we came up with this tasty “chicken-less” salad while we were experimenting in the kitchen one day.
What I have learned through this process is that I’m really not craving the meat part, but the creamy, salty, crunchiness slathered between two pieces of fresh bread. I think we nailed it terms of creating a satisfying and even tastier version of this classic.
Chickpeas serve as a superior alternative to chicken. Filled with protein, iron and fiber they blend super well with creamy mayonnaise (we use vegan mayo but you don’t have to). We add in some fresh apples, celery and carrots for flavor and crunch. And for a kick we add in a good amount of horseradish and some salty capers. I use fresh whole grain bread and some greens like arugula which also take it to another level both in taste and nutritional value.
Go ahead and make it on a weekend so you have it for lunch during the week or as a quick snack all by itself. Trust me you won’t be missing a thing after you taste one bite!
- 1 15 oz can or box of chickpeas (drained)
- 1 red apple (roughly chopped into 1 inch pieces)
- 2 celery stalks (sliced into 1 inch pieces)
- 1 small carrot (sliced into 1 inch pieces)
- 2 heaping tbsp mayo (or vegan mayo)
- 2 tbsp horseradish
- 2 tbsp capers (rinsed and drained)
- pinch coarse salt
- pinch pepper
- suggested: fresh whole grain bread, arugula to make the sandwich
- Place the apple, celery and carrot into a food processor.
- Pulse until all the pieces are broken up into large bits.
- Add the chickpeas, horseradish,mayo salt and pepper and pulse again until broken up but NOT pureed. You want some chucky pieces to remain.
- Transfer the chickpea salad to a large bowl.
- Toss in the capers and stir into salad (you don't want to pulse the capers in with the other ingredients because it looks and tastes more pleasant whole).
- Place a few spoonfuls on bread and top with fresh greens.