Chickpea sandwich salad with vegan avocado mayo

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Today’s post is full-blown vegan!  Getting back to the roots of this blog after a long break…too long…and I’m slowly documenting the story behind it on my sister site about surviving cervical cancer.  It’s very much a work in progress, but for now, I’m happy to be back on this site with a post that’s a delicious alternative in hot weather.

If you like tuna salad or egg salad but would like a vegan, clean eating version, give it a try!  First, you’ll need to make avocado mayo.  There are several recipes out there, but after scanning several, I started with this version: from Pinterest. (Thanks, Alissa!)

My adapted version of avocado mayo:

1 avocado, pitted, scooped out of the peel and into a blender

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 T. apple cider vinegar (skimpy tablespoon)

1 T. olive oil (omit if you wish…but I found it to blend more easily with the addition of healthy fat, which is okay with me)

1/8 t. onion powder

1/8 t. garlic salt (note that the original recipe calls for garlic power and salt separately, but I ran out of garlic powder…)

Blend everything in a blender until it is smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary.  Spoon out into a bowl and rinse the blender.


Chickpea sandwich salad:

1 (15 oz) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

2 T. chopped onion (I used a sweet white onion)

1/2 to 1 t. celery seed (chopped celery is okay to add as well…experiment)

freshly ground pepper to taste

salt to taste ( I used sea salt)

Drain the chickpeas and reserve the juice/fluid/water for another use…if you wish.  (Like what, you say? Check here.)

Dump the chickpeas back into the blender and pulse a few times.  You do NOT want hummus…but you do want a chunky, mashed consistency.  It’s okay to use a potato masher for this, but if the blender is already out…why not?  I’m all for working efficiently and having less clean-up.


Add the chickpeas to the avocado mayo.  Add the onion, celery seed, salt, and pepper.  Fold together into a sandwich salad…think tuna or egg salad.  At this point, you may need to taste and add more celery seed, salt, and pepper.  Don’t go too light on the salt unless it is restricted in your diet, as it really enhances the flavor to have the right amount of salt in this recipe.


Serve as you would your favorite sandwich salad.  Today, I chose an Ezekiel English muffin, open faced with Grey Poupon and more freshly ground pepper.  Yes, I do love ground pepper!  Hope you try it and enjoy.  Happy experimenting! –LindaFullSizeRender (1)


Hummus evolution

Hummus is a staple in my diet, but the type and quality of hummus is constantly evolving. For Saturday’s girls’ night, we opted for a plain variety and a roasted red pepper rockstar.

Two years ago I posted my early version of hummus, and while the current version isn’t drastically different, it now includes a bit of nutritional yeast and some tahini.

Hummus…enough for friends:

  • 2 15 oz cans organic chickpeas (garbonzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • Juice of one whole lemon
  • 1 tablespoon tahini (used Whole Foods 365)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • Freshly ground black pepper (1/2 to 1 tsp)
  • Salt to taste (used 1 tsp celtic sea salt)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Water to thin to desired consistency
  • Extra olive oil to drizzle on top

Add ingredients to a food processor and turn on for at least a minute.  Check the consistency and slowly add water until the hummus is smooth and creamy – or whatever consistency you like.  Usually it takes another two to three minutes in the processor. Scoop into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.  Finish with freshly ground pepper.

Roasted red pepper hummus:

  • 1 15 oz. can organic chickpeas
  • 1/2 whole fire roasted pepper (used Whole Foods brand…sold in a glass jar…enough for 3-4 batches of hummus)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The fire roasted pepper adds additional moisture to this version, so wait to add water and/or olive oil until you’ve judged the consistency. As above, finish with an olive oil drizzle and a turn of the pepper grinder. (Note: Sometimes I add cumin powder to this version, but Saturday I kept it in its basic form.  Experiment!)

We enjoyed both versions with gluten-free treats…corn chips, rice/flax crackers, pepper strips, and celery.  Healthy snacks, treasured friends, conversation long overdue, and a little wine…couldn’t ask for more.

Photo credit:  Nicole Erikson.  : )

Thai-Peanut Rice and Beans (Slow Cooker Version)

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Are you looking for a vegan recipe that’s economical, easy, and delicious? This one is a favorite of mine. While it can certainly be made on the stovetop (simmer for 20-30 minutes), the slow cooker gives the sauce a thick, delicious character. (Not to mention the joy of knowing that dinner is waiting when you get home.) This version uses chickpeas, but I have made it with a mix of white and kidney beans as well. If you try it and like it, let me know!

NOTE: This recipe was adapted from a chicken version at this link
If you are not vegan, you might want to give it a try. I made it often in the pre-rookie days, and it’s the reason this adapted version exists.

1 jar medium to hot salsa (or half of a large 24 oz. jar…ok to be flexible here)
1/3 c. peanut butter (increase to 1/2 c. if you love it, decrease slightly if calorie conscious)
1/2 c. vegetable broth (or water)
2 T. lime juice (substitute lemon if lime isn’t handy)
2 t. grated ginger root (refrigerated tube is incredibly convenient)
2 T. fish sauce (use soy sauce or Bragg’s Amino’s for vegan version…the fish sauce is more authentic for taste but isn’t vegan)
2 (15.5 oz.) cans drained and rinsed chickpeas (may substitute white beans, kidney, or mix)
Prepared rice or quinoa (I like jasmine rice prepared with 1 T. coconut oil and 1/2 t. salt)

Optional garnish: chopped peanuts and/or chopped cilantro

Mix the first six ingredients in the bottom of your slow cooker. Make sure that it is well blended and any visible peanut butter lumps are mixed in. Add the beans and stir gently.
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Set your cooker to low setting, and if it has a timer, choose 8 hours. Important — check the consistency when you get home and/or after 8 hours. If it is too thick, add another 1/2 cup of vegetable broth or water. Stir gently and add more liquid if needed — consistency is up to you! Depending on the type of beans you use, they may absorb quite a bit of liquid. Serve over rice with or without garnish, and enjoy leftovers another day!