July 11, 2008

Chickpea salad

It's been ages since I've posted. After my two weeks of vacationing at home with my kids and another week catching up at work, I'm finally feeling motivated to write something, even though I'm practically asleep as I type. Last night we had severe electrical storms that had me awake most of the night. There were three intense downpours with outrageous lightening and unbelievable thunder. The storms were bad, and experiencing them with our little dog made sleeping impossible. Buffy (She came from the Humane Society with this name. I wanted to rename her Fiona but the boys rebelled.) is 14, and ever since we got her when she was three, she's been terrified of thunder. I've tried all sorts of interventions to no avail. Normally she sleeps unobtrusively at the foot of our bed, but if there's a storm, she comes up to my head and tries to sleep on top of me. She pants loudly, walks all over me and shakes uncontrollably. It's kind of like being in a vibrating bed with an endless supply of quarters. Pour little girl. She can't be comforted though I try mightily. Of course, she's fine and lively today and I've been comatose and memory impaired. (More memory impaired than usual I should say.)

Anyway, I meant to post this last week but never got to it. After our big brunch, I had a bunch of cooked chick peas leftover because I had planned to use them at the party but changed my mind. The next day I decided to make them into a salad like the mock tuna salad Claire brought to the brunch, but the internet was down and I couldn't get the recipe. So, I threw together a salad based on ingredients at hand. I didn't measure anything, but this kind of salad is very flexible, so I'll give general measures of what I think I used. Here it is, more or less.

Chick pea salad ("mock" mock tuna salad)
  • 1/2 medium red onion, rinsed under cold water and chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 rounded tablespoons tofu cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • about 8 wasabi toasted almonds (from Trader Joe's)
  • 2 cups firm cooked chick peas
  • large, peeled carrot, shredded
  1. Place first five ingredients in food processor and buzz a few times until evenly chopped. 
  2. Add chick peas and buzz a bit more. 
  3. Place in bowl and add shredded carrot. 
  4. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. 
  5. Serve stuffed into pita with shredded lettuce and pickles. I had mine on a plate without the pita, with a green salad.
These directions work best with firm chick peas — the kind you cook yourself. However, it also works great with the softer ones that come in a can if you make one small change. Instead of adding the chick peas to the food processor, mash them by hand in a bowl with a fork or potato masher. You want this salad to have some texture — not turn into hummus!


  1. I'm LOL'ing (but in a sympathetic way) at your description of trying to sleep with an upset doggie. I've had nights like those, with both dogs and cats.

    Although with the cats it's not so much that they're upset as that they just decide one night that 4 am is a perfect play time.

    You know those wall mounted door stopper thingies that are like rubber tipped springs? I once had a cat that liked to play with them. When she was in the mood it would be "boing doing boing doing" all night. Of course she preferred the one in my bedroom over all others.

  2. You've described Elsie during thunderstorms to a "T." I think we need a Cesar Millan intervention!

    And the salad looks wonderful. I just came across a similar recipe for "mock tuna" salad using chick peas--what a great idea! Would never have thought of it.

  3. I hope you enjoyed your vacation! This looks like a delicious salad, and I just happen to have a TON of extra cans of chickpeas lying around. I will definitey try it this week!

  4. Couldn't stop eating this wonderful salad! Loved the touch of soy cream cheese - an ingredient I hadn't tried before.


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