Smashed Chickpea Salad with Vegan Caesar Dressing
Author - Alyssa Rimmer
Remember back in August, when the weather was warm and the sun was shining, I shared my healthy spin on a potato-free potato salad? It was a smashed chickpea salad which could easily (and hopefully) replace that potato salad that someone in the group inevitably brings to a cookout.
You know, that creamy, mayo-y salad that is totally delicious and totally not that great for you?
Well I’ve been making that salad for months, eating it by the spoonful, spreading it on crackers and using it on sandwiches, and while I’ve loved every bite, I needed another version to add to my lunch- and dinner-time rotations.
I love sandwiches. Always have and always will. They’re not only a great lunch option, but they’re also perfect for dinner because you can throw them together in minutes, can balance them out nutritionally without much headache and they taste freaking awesome. Especially when you load them up with veggies.
I think the perfect sandwich is basically just a salad between two slices of bread. I like to have greens, a blend of other veggies, some lean protein and good fats on there. The carbs from the bread, so it really does become a balanced meal!
As I’ve cleaned up my diet though and started to eat more plant-based (especially this week!), the protein piece has been a challenge, which is why I’ve turned to my beloved smashed chickpea salad. It combines healthy fats, protein and it’s plant-based!
But like I said, I was getting stuck in a chickpea salad rut and I felt like it was time for some variety.
And so today I’m bringing you my latest creation. It’s a smashed chickpea caesar salad that tastes just like classic caesar salad but it's actually healthy and…it's vegan!
Traditionally, caesar salad gets a bad rap. It's loaded with eggs, oil, and yes, even fish. Not really my cup of tea.
Instead, I made a tasty dressing of cashews, garlic, mustard, vegan mayo, briny capers and a few other tasty ingredients. It results in a rich, creamy dressing that pulls in all the wonderful flavors of caesar without all the icky ingredients. Then you toss it with some smashed chickpeas, a little quinoa and use it like you would chicken salad. It’s a great way to spice up your favorite sandwich (or even use it as a salad topping) and has quickly become my go-to lunch option.
And I hope you love it too!
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Smashed Chickpea Caesar Salad
It’s a smashed chickpea caesar salad that tastes just like classic caesar salad but it's actually healthy and...it's vegan!
for the salad:
- 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Garbanzo Beans/Chickpeas soaked for at least 8 hours (with optional 1/2" piece of kombu)
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup red onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly dill finely chopped
- 1 batch of dressing
- Toppings: sprouts smashed avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, etc.
Add your soaked chickpeas into a large pot with water. Bring to a boil, turn down to simmer and let cook until beans are tender about 70 - 90 minutes. Once tender, strain and run under cold water for a few minutes until they're cool enough to touch.
Transfer the chickpeas to a large bowl and prepare the dressing.
Add all ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. If the blender gets stuck, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the dressing is the desired consistency (that of a classic caesar dressing).
Smash the chickpeas with a fork or potato masher. Add onions and dill and fold in the dressing.
Serve on top of crackers, a salad or on some toasted gluten-free bread!
If you are following along with our Vegetarian Challenge, make sure to use the hashtag #SQchallenge to share your versions of the recipes!