Hello, friends! We are going to get to the chickpea salad sandwiches soon, but I need to tell you about something else first. About a week ago, I woke up early with Josh, and after he went back to sleep I sat on the couch ready to get some work done (because now I work from the couch, life is good). As I raised my huge mug of coffee to my lips, I looked down at my hand and realized that MY WEDDING RING WAS MISSING. The following ensued:
WHEN DO I REMEMBER SEEING IT LAST?
I had it on at the park yesterday. I am sure of it. Or am I?
I had it on at my Barre3 class last night. I am sure of it. Or am I?
I had it on when I went to bed last night. I am sure of it. Or am I?
Searching every imaginable place and every unimaginable place I can think of.
Crying buckets of tears.
Pushing my helpful family away because I don’t want them to see just how messy/cluttered everything in my house is.
Insurance claim started.
Even more crying.
Almost a week later, in a bout of desperate re-searching, I looked in my cluttered nightstand drawer again. And underneath a pile of envelopes and other junk, right at the bottom of the drawer, there it was, sparkling back at me, as if to say, I was right here the whole time. What took you so long?
Instead of crying, I laughed out of sheer happiness and relief. And then I started to unpack the reality that at some point during the night, I physically took off my ring and placed it in the drawer, underneath a bunch of stuff, then closed the drawer again. I have no idea why I did that, and I have no memory of it, but it’s the only possible explanation, unless there is such a thing as an actual ring goblin (MY PRECIOUS) and I’ve just been unaware until now.
Anyway…that was my week. How was yours? Are you ready to talk about chickpea salad sandwiches now?
Worst segue ever.
Chickpea salad sandwiches are for people who like everything about tuna sandwiches except for the tuna. 🙂 Or they are just for people who like tasty sandwiches. Especially sandwiches that taste even better with some sprouts, juicy slices of tomato, and, of course, pickles. My husband is shuddering right about now. So these are also for him, just without pickles (what is wrong with him?).
There are lots of recipes out there for chickpea salad sandwiches, and I have tried many. This one is a little different for two reasons.
1) This recipes uses dried chickpeas that have been soaked/rehydrated rather than canned chickpeas (which are still totally ok, by the way).
2) Rather than mayo, this recipe uses oil-free savory cashew cream (although you can use a ripe avocado, or favorite vegan mayo will still work just fine too).
Let’s talk about this soaked chickpeas thing. Did you know that if you take one cup of dried chickpeas, add it to a quart sized mason jar covered with cool fresh water, and leave it for about 8 hours, you’ll end up with 3 cups of chickpeas? It’s true, you will! Essentially, you’re rehydrating the chickpeas back to their fresh state. Although fresh chickpeas start out green, and these won’t be green because the chlorophyll will have left in the drying process. That’s science, I think.
So why do this? Isn’t it easier to open up a can of chickpeas? I suppose that’s debatable, since the active time involved in soaking chickpeas is basically zero, but I get your point. For me, it’s about texture. I just prefer to have a bit of “bite” in my chickpea salad, and using the soaked chickpeas is the way I solve that problem. But if that’s not for you, no worries at all, because this recipe still tastes awesome with cooked chickpeas. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on. 🙂
When it comes to flavoring up this chickpea salad, I like to go simple, but you can doctor it up to your heart’s content, because that is your right as the Chief Chickpea Salad Maker. I am going with celery, shallot (or red onion), and the savory cashew cream, of course. But you could add shredded carrots, red bell pepper, capers, sunflower seeds, cucumber, or whatever else floats your boat.
Putting this together couldn’t be easier. Cut the celery and carrots into large chunks and add them to a food processor along with 3 cups of soaked, drained chickpeas and 1/2 cup of cashew cream. Pulse a few times until the texture is roughly chopped, and then season to taste with salt and pepper (I love the flavored salt Herbamare for this recipe).
Now comes a big decision. To pickle or not to pickle? For me, this is not ever a question, because OF COURSE pickle. But I understand that there are people in this world who are anti-pickle, and while we may not understand each other, I still believe we can be friends. In fact, I believe that a pickle-hater and a pickle-lover can even fall in love and make babies and live together as a very happy couple. I believe that because it happened to me, and I’m still madly in love with my pickle-hating husband. And I have to admit I get a little bit giddy every time Vida asks me for a pickle. 😉
Layer that tasty chickpea salad on your favorite toasted bread, and top it with your favorite sandwich fixings! For me, this sandwich just isn’t the same without sprouts. Did you know you can grow your own sprouts at home? I have a dream that I will one day have inspired you, my wonderful blog readers, to do things that might previously have seemed hard or weird, like growing your own sprouts, or soaking chickpeas in a mason jar to make a sandwich. Not to be cliché or anything, but honestly, if I can do it, you can do it. 🙂
What goes better with a sandwich that a bowl of comforting soup? Kabocha Squash Soup is the perfect way to round out your lunch, and frankly, it just looks pretty. So, what do you think, am I crazy with this soaked chickpeas thing? Tell me in the comments! It won’t be the first time I’ve been called crazy. And after the whole ring saga, maybe I am losing my mind a little. It happens to the best of us. 😉
Chickpea Salad Sandwiches (Vegan, Oil-Free)
- 1 cup dried chickpeas (soaked in filtered water for 8 hours, then rinsed and drained*)
- 1/2 cup Savory Cashew Cream (or 1 ripe avocado**)
- 1 shallot or 1/2 small red onion (peeled and chopped into large dice)
- 2 ribs of celery (cut into 2 inch chunks)
- Salt to taste (I love Herbamare)
- 8 slices whole grain sandwich bread
- Shredded carrots
- In a food processor, pulse all ingredients except bread a few times until the chickpeas have broken down a bit but still have some texture, and the shallot and celery are finely chopped.
- Makes at least 4 sandwiches, and the filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.