This recipe swaps chicken for chickpeas and the result is absolutely delicious!
Our vegan chicken salad uses chickpeas instead of chicken to create a healthy meat-free entree. Cashews star in the dairy-free, vegan mayo, giving this alternative version to chicken salad a saturated fat free experience. Perfect for meal prep or serving a large group of like minded individuals, you may even want to make a double batch.
Cha-ching! Chickpeas Make Meat-Free Entrees
In the phenomena of a phoenix, the humble little chickpea rises from its hummus based roots. Like a once famous celebrity in the midst of a perfect come-back, the star of chickpea rises. Again. You’ve seen it in dessert spreads and crisped in little snack bags. Chickpeas also work famously in curries and other vegetarian dishes. But you’ve never seen chickpeas in this role before!
Mashed beyond recognition, the chickpea gets pulverized in a food processor. A nimble hand holding a fork may also accomplish the appearance of shredded chicken. Whichever tool you use, just try to ensure there isn’t one intact chickpea in the bunch.
Consider Cooking Your Own Chickpeas
Because the vegan mayonnaise calls for soaked cashews, you might want to cook your own chickpeas. Soaked cashews need a while (preferably overnight) to become soft enough to convert into a creamy base. In that case, you can easily soak and cook chickpeas while the cashews do their thing. A big advantage to soaking and cooking chickpeas lies in low sodium content. If you wonder if chickpeas are healthy, canned beans average between 300 to 400 milligrams sodium per half-cup serving, depending on the brand.
Alternatively, home-cooked chickpeas contain zero sodium. Another perk to cooking your own chickpeas (or any other legumes, for that matter), lies in the fact that the more you rinse them, the easier they are to digest. First you rinse them before soaking overnight. Then, rinse again and change the water before cooking them. Rinse once more, and it’s nearly a guarantee digestion will bode well for you.
And of course, chickpeas are healthy. Full of protein and fiber, a cup of these babies will keep you fuller longer. Low in fat, and with no saturated fat content, chickpeas are an absolute boon for weight management.
They are also a great source of potassium and magnesium, two minerals standard diets don’t readily provide. One cup of chickpeas provides 474 grams of potassium and 230 milligrams of magnesium. The recommendations by age of an adequate intake of potassium for most women is 4700 mg per day and magnesium is 320 mg per day. Due to the fact that consuming too much of either mineral can actually cause health problems, always consult with a doctor about your personal recommended amount.
How To Eat Vegan Chicken Salad
This meat-free entree tastes best when given enough time for the flavors to meld. To be sure of this, add in some chill time for maximum impact. Also, feel free to alter amounts of grapes or onions as you see fit. Adding candied nuts will take this to another level, if that’s within your dietary constraints. Served as is or in cups of butter lettuce is fantastic. Alternatively, on a pita or low carb flat-bread would also taste amazing. We just eat it straight from the bowl, like you would a carton of ice cream. So good and nourishing!
Vegan “Chicken” Salad
- 15 ounces chickpeas canned, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons red onion diced
- 1 stalk celery diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill
- 1/4 cup red grapes diced
- 1/3 cup cashew-based vegan mayonnaise see notes section below
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Mash Chickpeas using a fork or food processor. Chickpeas should be mashed into small pieces without any whole ones remaining.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.
- Cover and store in the fridge until chilled.
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