I don’t know about for you all, but once mid-April hits everything for us seems to move in hyper-speed, and somehow it’s May already. Did we not just celebrate New Years? Life is crazy sometimes, especially this past month, we’ve seen everything from the end of the regular NHL season to the start of playoffs, celebrated birthdays (and St. Pats), traveled to Long Island and back, visited several doctors, designed wedding invitations for our siblings-in-laws Chandler + Haylie, and walked with our other siblings-in-laws Cameron + Hunter through heartbreak. It was a month of highs and lows, but Springtime is a time of rebirth and the perfect time to start fresh.
There are so many things I love about Spring. I love pulling out my short collection. I love sitting on the front porch working with LeBraun. I love all the fresh, delicious ingredients available. I love the bright blooms that take over the landscape and the flurry of activity as people and animals break out of their winter routines. And I love enjoying all this newness with lunch in the park.
The perfect picnic basket is like the perfect cheese board. It’s got a bit of every flavor profile. My plan is to help put together a fabulous gluten-free, vegan picnic basket over the next little bit. Good idea? I hope so because that’s the plan, Stan!
Growing up chicken salad was my go-to sandwich so I’ve captured all my favorite elements with a vegan twist—Chickpea Salad!
Chickpea Salad is a great base for a picnic basket as it’s hearty yet light. Creamy, crunchy and full of comforting flavors.
Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) are legumes renown for their wonderful benefits, and they are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Chickpeas contain a high amount of soluble fiber, antioxidants, minerals (like iron, zinc, and magnesium), and vitamins (like thiamin, riboflavin, and B12).
In one of my classic moves I’ve seriously overstuffed my sandwich, but ate in all so as not to be proven wrong. It was delicious!
GLUTEN-FREE, VEGAN CHICKPEA SALAD SANDWICH
- 4 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup vegan mayo
- 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1-2 tbsp mustard to taste
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning blend (n1)
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup red grapes, quartered
- Scallions, chopped
- 2/3 cup slivered almonds
- Red pepper flakes
- 2/3 cup raisins/craisins/dried fruit
- Gluten-Free, Vegan Sandwich Bread (We LOVE Bloomfield Farms Gluten-Free, Vegan White Sandwich Bread)
- Leaves of lettuce, washed and dried (n2)
- Add the cooked chickpeas to a mixing bowl and mash with the tines of a fork. I only mashed them about 75% of the way so there are some chunky bits left, but mash to your texture preference.
- Add the remaining ingredients and adjust seasonings to taste. (n3)
- Enjoy as is, with crackers, atop salads, or in sandwich or wrap-form. Refrigerate the remaining in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
n1. Poultry seasoning contains no poultry or meat. It’s called "poultry seasoning" because it is used to season poultry, not because it contains poultry.
n2. The amount of lettuce leaves needed depends on the number of sandwiches you’re making. We like two leaves per sandwich.
n3. We like to toast our bread before topping, but the choice is yours. :)