Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chickpea "Tuna" Salad, Or Sandwiches, Oil Free!

I know I have talked about un-tuna sandwiches before, however, I didn't really provide a recipe, and the options were not oil free. Since going oil free, I have found this recipe, and it is the best. Thanks to Dreena Burton, as usual!

It's also a good replacement for that old chicken salad sandwich...

And this is another lunch recipe that can be a sandwich for your kids, and then made into an excellent salad for yourself, just by putting it onto a bed of chopped greens such as spinach, spring mix, kale, etc.

It's a really good recipe to have on hand for those times when you only have a few minutes to make a meal. I am always looking for quick and easy, and this meets that criteria. And it doesn't hurt that it is WAY healthy and delicious!

We always like adding chopped red grapes to our un-tuna salad sandwiches. Makes it just a tad sweeter and kid-friendly. This recipe is "two thumbs up" according to my husband and children, and myself! We love it!

Chickpea Salad

Ingredients (2-4 servings)
By Dreena Burton, from

4 teaspoons tahini
2 teaspoons plain nondairy milk
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon tamari
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kelp granules (we didn't have this, and it tastes great without it!)
1/4–1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup
pinch or two sea salt (or to taste)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste (optional)
1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained, and semi-smashed (see below)
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced apple
1/4 cup diced red grapes
2–4 tablespoons diced green or red bell pepper or cucumbers (optional)
1–2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)

For Serving:

swiss chard leaves (for rolling), or
chopped greens, or
whole-grain tortillas, or
sliced bread


In a bowl, whisk/stir together the tahini with the milk, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, tamari, mustard, kelp granules, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Mash/smash the chickpeas just slightly with the bottom of your measuring cup, and then stir in with mixture along with celery, apple, bell pepper, and parsley, if using. Stir through until well mixed.

Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use. To serve, place several tablespoons of mixture in a full large chard leaf and roll, creating a raw ‘burrito’ or ‘sushi’. Repeat until mixture is used. Optionally, spread mixture between sliced bread for sandwiches, use as a dressing on a bed of chopped greens, or rolled in a whole-grain tortilla.


  1. Hey Ashlee, I was just wondering. Do you avoid wheat? Do you avoid certain grains and bread? I noticed that you make yourself more of a salad kind of recipe and then an 'optional' variation with bread. Do you notice an increase of health by avoiding bread?

  2. Hey Aimee,

    I love bread.

    I am very picky about the kind of bread that I eat. It has to be 1.)sprouted 2.) whole grain, and 3.) oil free. My favorite bread is from whole foods, either their Mastemacher fitness bread, or their sprouted whole grain oil free "seeduction" loaf from the bakery.

    When I eat bread that does not meet the above qualifications, I am sure to have a greasy face or stomach discomfort/cramps or both!

    If given the choice, I do prefer to have salad greens or veggies instead of bread. I can feel a major difference in my energy levels and ease of digestion if I choose greens over milled grains. I am also satiated much faster with veg than with milled grains.

    The main reason I have been showing so many salads is because of the June Salad-a-Day Challenge. Making a separate salad for myself on top of a lunch for my kids is hard, so I have been trying to show how kid food can easily be modified to be uber-healthy green adult food.

    I do not avoid wheat on purpose, but the recipes I use come from wheat free websites and books, dramatically reducing the amount of milled wheat in my diet. I use mostly spelt and oat flour, sometimes millet flour and brown rice flour for my baked goods. YUMMY!

    I do find that my body has no problem with, and actually likes wheat in it's whole form. Things such as wheat berries, wheat bulgur, etc. I especially like Dreena Burton's Nofu Love Loaf from Let Them Eat Vegan -- she uses wheat bulgur and I LOVE this dish. It makes me feel fantastic.

    I hope this helps!

  3. Thank you, thank you! That really helps. I think so many health professionals are so against bread, gluten in particular. It's nice to see someone thrive, even with wheat in their diet. I think that the way you implement grains is particularly important. For me its seems that the wrong bread/grain makes me feel just awful! Full on brain fog and aches! Many people have no idea how to properly soak, sprout, or implement grains in their diet and so I think this improper handeling has given grains a bad wrap. It's a huge contravorsy in the nutritional field right now. Not only are people getting fat on wonderbread but they are developing real intolerances. I just don't see how anyone can go Vegan and not consume grains as well, you'd be left with Vegetables and Fruit- that's it! Also, I really appreciate that you show how a meal can be flexed for kids and adults. Maybe you could do a post on bread/grains and how to properly implement them in the diet. Why is it that in one form they are so healthy, and in another they wreak havoc? That would be a huge help to the kind of people who are attracted to this kind of healthy lifestyle (they usually go hunting for sites like this because of food intollerances/illness!). Isn't it interesting that so many people are starting to eliminate dairy/casien and gluten to heal their bodies? The whole prospect of food allergies is fairly new and practically cutting edge. I was listening to a naturopathic doctor say that the only way to address your illness is to test for allegies first. Then he went on to say that if you do this and actually pay attention and follow through with the appropriate diet, you are in the top 2 percent of Americans!