Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Vegan Chicken Salad Sandwich: The Chickpea Salad Sandwich!

For some reason I was in the mood for sometime type of vegetarian sandwich spread to eat. The only problem is that: A.) I don't eat chicken, so there rules out a chicken salad sandwich B.) I don't like egg, so there rules out an egg salad sandwich and C.) I don't eat pimento cheese, so there rules out a pimento cheese spread. (What exactly is pimento cheese? All I remember is that my brother and grandfather loved it as a child, it was one of those items that I locked away in the "all other kids eat it but me" cupboard along with macaroni and cheese. Seriously, can't stand it.)

As a child I did enjoy this particular chicken salad sandwich spread that my mother would buy, it had that mix of creamy and crunchy all spread out on a sandwich. Well, I don't eat chicken and I don't eat mayo, so that wasn't an option. (My mom claims to this day that that specific sandwich spread was the healthiest on the market, but I have my doubts, Mom. Sorry. )

A couple of months ago I made Hubby and Bambina a low fat version of a chicken salad with no mayo (greek yogurt instead!) and both liked it. I took a bite of the celery and thought it was great, but was not interested so much in the chicken part. (What can I say about my relationship with chicken? We've had our ups in downs. Through pregnancy we were tight again, but now that ship has passed and we just aren't right for each other. At least in the latter part of 2012).

So I needed some type of faux chicken salad spread to replace the usual Morningstar Spicy Black Bean veggie burger I eat all the time.  I quickly surfed the net while making my grocery list in the notes section of my new iPhone (which Hubby greatly makes fun of me for. "Find an app. It'll make it easier" he persists. He should just be excited that I'm making a digital list instead of school paper and pencil! This is quite the progression for me!) and found a recipe right away.

The ingredients were a bit...interesting but I was willing to give it a try.The results? Success! It was so good! It had just a tiny bit of fat free mayo, but you couldn't taste it at all, more for binding. The crunchiness of the celery, the sweetness of the raisins and the saltiness of the chickpea were a perfect combination! I ate it with some fresh whole wheat french bread I had made. Neither Bambina nor Hubby had any of this, not too sure what their reaction would be.

Click here for the original recipe

15 oz of cooked chickpea (equivalent to 1 can, drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup of white onion (I omitted)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tbsp fat free mayo
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp paprika
1/4 cup raisins, chopped
pepper to taste

1. Mix chick peas, celery and onion (if using) together. Mash with a fork so that some chick peas are intact and others are not. Add in all remaining ingredients.

2. Refrigerate or serve immediately over lettuce, bread or crackers.

Amateur Cooking Difficulty Scale: 1
If you read the directions you can see just how easy this recipe is. I know it sounds a little peculiar but if you're a vegetarian or like eating vegetarian foods, I highly recommend it!

After reading the reviews of the original post, which I've learned my lesson time and time again to do this before executing a new recipe, I plan to substitute the mayo with nonfat greek yogurt next time I make it. I don't know why I didn't think to do this since that's what I did the last time I made chicken salad.

As Bambina and I like to say, yum yum!

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