Recipe: Chickpea of the Sea Salad

Yes, I know, there seem to be a million chickpea salad recipes out there, and all of them with more or less the same ingredients. So what sets mine apart? It comes together in about 5 minutes and most of it takes place in your food processor.

This salad is great on two slices of bread. It’s also good served on sliced tomato with crackers on the side.

For this recipe, I typically eyeball most of my ingredients rather than measure out everything, but for purposes of sharing, I tried to estimate how much I use. But the great thing about this recipe is that you can play around with the ingredients to suit your taste without really screwing it up.

Chickpea of the Sea Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients:

2 15 oz. cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 stalks of celery, cut into quarters
1/2 medium-size red onion, cut into quarters
1/3 cup pickle relish
1 tbsp mustard (any kind will do)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup Vegenaise
1 tbsp dulse flakes or nori that is finely chopped
2 tsp dill
1 tsp celery salt
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Throw chickpeas into your food processor and pulse until finely chopped. You don’t want them mashed or turned into a paste, just finely chopped. Remove from food processor and place into a large mixing bowl. Add celery and onion to food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to the same mixing bowl and toss with the chickpeas.

Throw in the rest of the ingredients and mix. If it’s too dry, add a bit more Vegenaise. Taste for seasoning. It can be served right away, but, as always, it’s better the next day so that the flavors come together.

Enjoy!

Cucumber and Avocado Sushi Roll

My husband was on spring break this past week, so I took off a few days to spend time with him for a “staycation.” It was a much-needed break that allowed me to work on a few projects. On the cooking front, I used the time to try a few dishes that I’ve been wanting tackle, sushi being one of them. I was really intimidated with the idea of making my own sushi, but it actually was quite easy; that is, once I got the hang of rolling it. It took a few rolls to finally come to the one you see in the picture above, which still isn’t perfect. But the great thing about making sushi is that you can eat your mistakes.

If you want to make your own sushi, I highly recommend buying your ingredients from an Asian market and not from a regular supermarket to save money. I was able to purchase a huge bottle of seasoned rice vinegar and 30 sheets of nori for under $10. I purchased the sushi rice in bulk from Whole Foods, which ran $1.99/lb. I was able to make about six rolls, with some rice left over using the recipe below.

For the roll you see above, I kept it simple and used cucumber and avocado. I wanted to include wasabi paste, but the only kind I could find had milk in it, which I thought was strange. Also, I substituted Bragg Liquid Aminos in place of soy sauce for added nutrition.

Here’s the recipe that I used for the sushi rice. And don’t worry, you’ll think that you’re adding too much vinegar and sugar, but it soaks into the rice as it cools and turns out perfectly.

Vinegared Rice “Sumeshi”

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups Japanese-style short-grained rice
3 tbsp Japanese seasoned rice vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp sea salt

Directions:

Place the rice in a large bowl and rinse several times until the water runs clear. Drain the rice and leave in a strainer for 1 hour.

Transfer the rice to a wide saucepan and add 2 cups of water. Over high heat, cover and bring to a boil for about five minutes.

Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and leave, still covered, for about 10-15 minutes.

Mix the vinegar, sugar, and salt together and stir until dissolved.

Transfer the rice to a large dish and pour the vinegar mixture over the rice. Fold the vinegar into the rice (do not stir). While folding, use a fan (I used a magazine) to cool the rice. Let the rice cool to room temperature to make the sushi.

Tip: Pour a little of the rice vinegar into a bowl and dip your hands into it before grabbing the sushi rice; otherwise, it will stick to your hands. Also, less is more with sushi (I learned the hard way!). Don’t use too much rice or your roll will look more like a burrito. Spread it out in a thin layer over your nori. The same goes for your veggies. A single, thin line of cucumber and avocado is all that you need.

Enjoy!