Looking for healthy sandwich inspiration? This chickpea salad sandwich takes minutes to make and is delectably plant-fueled.
Like most of us, I’ve been eating sandwiches forever and I suppose that makes me an expert – at least in my own mind. And all good sandwiches have 2 things in common: good bread just the way you want it (say, toasted?) and great filling. When I’ve been in a rush, I've compromised on one or both elements and it's never that satisfying. Afterward, I'm always left asking if that quick fix was worth the 10 minutes I saved not making chickpea salad.
This is a crazy easy recipe which is one reason you should never make a sad sandwich again. Besides the chickpeas, the 'sauce' is nothing more than mustard, maple syrup, and Tamari (or soy sauce). Add in diced celery, red onion, and pickles and that's the basics. The only optional ingredient I like is kelp powder.
Plant-based sea flavor
A subtle touch of sea flavor, kelp seaweed powder is a great substitute for fish sauce and is used in a lot of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean recipes. Don’t let the kelp part intimidate you. Kelp powder has a quiet pleasant salty taste that won’t overwhelm your food if you use quantities within reason (spoons, not cups).
The elusive 5th taste
That’s umami. If you’re not familiar, if it’s not salty, sweet, sour, or bitter, if it’s pleasantly savory as the Japanese describe it, it might be umami. It’s the flavor I use to describe hemp seed parmesan, strong Tamari, or miso. And besides, who doesn’t enjoy saying umami slowly? It sounds like a meditation chant or if you repeated it too much a verbal coma.
In addition to clearing up for us that indeed we have 4, not 5 taste senses, an attempt to harness the ‘yummy deliciousness’ of umami gave rise to the production of MSG (monosodium glutamate), the controversial food enhancer. All in the interest of furthering tickling our neurons with the release of the MSG glutamate which sends the signal that ‘this is yummy’ and helping us further enjoy the complex savory flavor of umami.
If you are one of those folks trying to avoid MSG, you can still get all the umami you need through a variety of foods, including sea vegetables like kelp. And although I’ve never been inclined to layer kelp into my bread, I can attest a little kelp powder add a bit of somethin’ somethin’.
Where can I buy kelp powder?
Look for kelp powder in the Asian or healthy food sections of your supermarket. It’s also available at many vitamin stores or natural food stores. You can also find it at specialty shops that cater to Chinese, Japanese or Korean foods.
Because I make a lot of chickpea salad, I have a preferred process. You can take it or leave it, but here’s my rationale:
1. Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas to a bowl and mash them. You want to do this first thing because you don’t want to be mashing up bits of onions, pickles, and celery.
2. Mix in the ‘sauce’ – that’s the mustard, maple syrup, and Tamari (or soy sauce). If you do this second, then you can be sure that they are all mixed in without fear of wandering pockets of mustard.
3. Finally, I mix in the diced onion, celery, and pickles. I sprinkle kelp powder on top. You might also be adding some ground black pepper, seasoned salt, or another creative spice. That’s up to you after you taste it. And put the spoon down quick because one the addiction to this takes hold, you might not make it to the bread.
There was a time when I considered sandwiches a convenience food. Something I’d whip up when time and inspiration was short. But when I realized that live everything I put into my mouth, there should be some nutritional relevance rather than strict filler involved, I started being mindful.
Sandwiches, the kind with fiber-filled whole food plant-based bread, with fillings that add flavorful sustenance can keep us marching toward our healthy aspirations. So, whether it’s plant-based bacon, curried chickpea salad, or our this, our favorite chickpea salad, there's something truly satisfying knowing that you're getting happily sandwiched and treating yourself well – inside and out. Peace.Print
Get healthy sandwich inspiration with our favorite chickpea salad sandwich - 8 ingredients, minutes to make, and delectably plant-fueled and low calorie.
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas (2 - 15 oz. or 400 gm. cans), rinsed and drained
- 2 Tbsp. prepared mustard
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp. Tamari or soy sauce
- 1 medium red onion, diced (1 cup)
- 2 stalks celery, diced (1 cup)
- 1 cup diced pickles (we find dill pickles or something semi-sweet is best - sweet pickles can be a bit overpowering for this one)
- 1 tsp. kelp powder (or try 1 tsp. Nori flakes)
- Add the chickpeas to a medium bowl and mash them using a fork or hand masher. I usually leave about 1/4 of the chickpeas whole, but the final texture is up to you.
- Add the mustard, maple syrup, and Tamari or soy sauce. Mix well.
- Add the onion, celery, pickles, and sprinkle on the kelp powder (if using) and mix everything well.
- Serve as a sandwich on your favorite bread, in wraps, or on lettuce leaves.
- Nutritional information reflects the chickpea salad and 2 slices of commercially prepared whole wheat bread. Depending on the type of bread you use, the calories, fat, and other nutrients may carry.
- I've found that nori flakes or grinding a nori sheet lend to a bit stronger of a sea taste than kelp powder, so you may want to start with ½ teaspoon and then add more if you want to adjust the taste.
- You can bulk out or make a few substitutions for the ingredients by adding diced cucumber, a few sliced black olives, or even shredded carrots to your chickpea salad.
- Category: Burgers & Wraps
- Cuisine: Plant-based
Keywords: chickpea salad sandwich