Day ten of vegan recipe challenge: bringing back the “salad” sandwich

Why did the lettuce blush?

Because it saw the salad, dressing!

Popsicle jokes do stick with you. It’s amazing. And with that, happy New Year!

So, while I did go on a slight salad-rant in a previous post during this campaign, salads are so much more than the days of iceberg lettuce + sad cucumbers + one lonely cherry tomato topped (likely) with a pound of ranch dressing.

Cast any salad assumptions aside, and behold! A take on a classic salad…sandwich. This one comes with the promise that no animals were hurt in the process. Put that between two slices of bread and dive in!

Any dish that can bring together the hues of sweet, tart, crunch, and salt, will be a winner in my book. Fortunately for us, Julie at The Simple Veganista dished one of these beauties up in her Cranberry Walnut Chickpea Salad Sandwich recipe.

cranberryPhoto courtesy of The Simple Veganista – WHAT A SANDWICH!

Props much do for this savory concoction that is no fuss but all taste. I have even tossed the “salad” onto a bed of greens for a salad-salad. A duplicative dinner, if you will.

Cranberry Walnut Chickpea Salad Sandwich
Serves 6

Ingredients
3 cups cooked or 2 cans (15oz) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup organic dried cranberries (chopped fresh would be great too)
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped
1/2 cup scallions (green onions), thinly sliced, white & green parts
mineral salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon each)

Dressing
6 tablespoons (1/3 cup) tahini or vegan mayo – KT note: I used vegan mayo
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) champagne, white wine or cider vinegar
2 tablespoons water (only needed if using tahini)
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup – KT note: or agave nectar

To serve
leafy lettuce of choice
bread of choice

Start by mixing your dressing. In a small bowl combine tahini/mayo, vinegar, water and maple syrup. Set aside so the flavors come together. This can be made a day or two ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Add a tad more water, or vinegar if you’re a vinegar lover, to thin out dressing as desired. If using vegan mayo, you may like to add 2 more tablespoons.

In a medium to large bowl, add your garbanzo beans and roughly mash with a strong fork or potato masher. Add in celery, cranberries, nuts, scallions, salt, pepper and dressing, mix well. Serve at room temp or let chill in the refrigerator for an hour before serving.

Serve on your favorite bread as a closed or open faced sandwich, or on a bed of leafy greens. You may even opt to simply enjoy the salad as is.

[Note from Julie: For the dressing, I have only made this using tahini since I do not use any kind of store bought vegan mayos. If using vegan mayo, adjust accordingly adding more mayo as needed, maybe 1/2 cup instead of 1/3. I do recommend trying this recipe with tahini…it is seriously so good that you would never know and it is much better/cleaner for you than the store bought mayos!]

So, with that, it’s officially day 1 of #Veganuary challenge. Are you taking the plunge? Please share what items are on your menu for the next few days, or something you might be curious to try.

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