I always hated egg salad. Hated. It. So don’t expect to see a recreation of that nasty little gem around these parts anytime soon. Even today, the thought of those things brings me back to itchy tights, awkward church gatherings and that horrible sulfur smell. Nah, there’s some things I just don’t need to recreate. As for all those other mayo based salads, now there’s one bad ass food group I can get down with. And yeah, mayo should totally have its own food group, and this is coming from someone who grew up eating only Miracle Whip, so if you don’t like mayo, don’t worry there’s still hope for you yet!
Just about everybody and their mother, and their mother’s mother, and their mother’s father’s uncle has got a version of that mayo-y chicken salad tucked away somewhere, and don’t think that us little ol’ vegans are any different. All over the place, people have got their own version, usually just made with some smashed up chickpeas in place of the chicken and man that stuff is deeeelish! Smashed up into a sandwich, piled onto a salad, that stuff be good! But considering the recipe I tend to use is pretty much the same as every other recipe out there, I didn’t see much point in posting it. So instead, I decided to put a little spin on things, while also using up some leftover ingredients from the peanut noodle bowl. Can I get a high five for cleaning out the fridge? Anybody? Come on man, don’t leave me hangin’!I started out like I always do when making chickpea salad. Take some chickpeas, smash, smash, smash, add some mayo, smash, smash, smash, add some…peanut butter? Sure why not. How about some soy sauce, stir, stir, stir (you can only do so much smashing). This whole, a little a this, a bit a dat, went on for a while, until I had created my smashed chickpea salad masterpiece, which as it turns out, tastes nothing like chicken salad. Nah, I’m down with the Asian inspired flavors, because they’re good, and when things are good, you should eat them…unless they’re not edible, then maybe don’t.
I stuffed some of that delicious salad into a pita along with some lettuce and red cabbage. Inspirations from the U.S. and Asia with a Mediterranean pita? Man, I feel like I should be singing “It’s a Small World” while eating this thing. Plus with all those chickpeas smashed in there, you get a bunch of protein along with it. Now the next time ANOTHER person asks you where you get your protein, just point at this godly creation and say “right here, bitch!” (I’ve been watching too much Breaking Bad).After I scoffed it down, I got to snack on some strawberries that were surprisingly not totally bland and sad, but hey, we’ve got all of winter for those disappointing things. I also brought some of my new favorite chocolate, Alter Eco’s Dark Quinoa bar. Have you tried this stuff? It’s so crunchy, smooth and rich and totally reminds me of a Crunch bar! And I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t used to love those things and now I have a way better alternative since it’s vegan and fair-trade, hooray!
Lunch Lady Tips:
- Pack your salad, lettuce and cabbage in a separate container then your pita, and bring a spoon to help put it together at lunch.
- Want to make it gluten-free? Try a gluten-free wrap, turn it into a lettuce roll or have on a bed of greens.
- Since the peanuts in the salad go a little soft, bring some extra fresh peanuts to sprinkle on top for some extra crunch.
ASIAN CHICKPEA SALAD PITAWICH
A fun Asian-inspired twist on the classic chickpea salad sandwich.Author: The Vegan Cookbook Aficionado
- 15 oz can (1 1/2 cups) cooked chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon no-chicken bouillon
- 3 tablespoons vegan mayo
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce or GF tamari
- 1/2 teaspoon agave
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
- 3/4 teaspoon sriracha (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 small stalk celery, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped
- Handful of red cabbage, roughly chopped
- Handful of romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
- 2 to 3 pitas, halved
1. In medium bowl, mash together the chickpeas and bouillon with a fork or potato masher. They should keep some texture as you don’t want them to look pureed, a few whole ones are ok.
2. Mix in the mayo, sesame oil, soy sauce, agave, peanut butter, rice wine vinegar, garlic powder, ginger powder, sriracha, salt and pepper. Fold in the carrot, celery, red onion, scallion, and peanuts until well combined.
3. Take a pita and fill it with some red cabbage, lettuce and some of the chickpea salad. For a gluten-free alternative, fill a Romaine leaf with some red cabbage and chickpea salad.