By now, you’re probably well aware that no one gives a damn about where you get your protein, until you tell them you’re vegan.
Luckily, the Seitanic Gods’ have responded to this age old concern by giving us the chickpea (or garbanzo bean, as you may know it). This little legume is packed with all sorts of great stuff including protein, fiber, and folate.
As a vegan on the go (and a broke student for many years), one of my favourite meals in the entire world has got to be chickpea salad. It is quick, affordable, and versatile. I love to eat it either on its own, or wrapped up all cozy in a vegan tortilla if I don’t have time even to bust out a fork.
Most often, I start with a 19 oz of drained, rinsed chickpeas. From there, it is pretty practical to add whatever vegetables and herbs you have in the fridge that you think might make a tasty salad.
Tonight, I prepped a version of chickpea salad that included chickpeas, smoked tofu, fresh dill and chives, grated carrots, lemon juice, soy-free vegan mayonnaise, fresh ground pepper, and a handful of kale for some crunch. While on my travels out on the Eastern Canadian coast, I noticed the popularity of lox. I think experimenting with smoked tofu with dill makes an excellent play on this traditional combination, which inspired this particular salad:
Another version of this salad I ate a lot over the summed included 19 oz of chickpeas, a couple stalks of chopped celery, half a red bell pepper, half a cup shredded carrots, a little red onion, a handful of spinach, and a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, tamari, garlic. Toss in some fresh ground salt and pepper, and some rosemary and dill, and this salad is awesome:
As I am usually cooking for one, I love to make a batch of this chickpea salad, and eat it for a couple of days. All I recommend is that if you plan to have leftovers like I do, you omit anything super wilty (such as greens) and add them fresh as you eat them. Some days, I prefer my chickpea salad on a bed of spinach, or quinoa if I am really feeling the need for extra protein. Other days, I wrap it up and take off.
No matter how you plan to dress this babely staple food up, I promise its natural beauty will shine through and you will be won over by its simple charm. Eat the hell out of this for lunch and you will never call salad boring again.