Last week I felt like every time I checked out Elise’s blog I couldn’t wait to try some of the simple, healthy, and inexpensive recipes she was throwing together for quick lunch and dinner ideas. Over the weekend, I knew I needed to at least try to squeeze in making one, so I picked the first one that had caught my eye: her “eggless” salad made with silken tofu, chickpeas, and raw veggies.
I, of course, had to reinvent the wheel, and created my own version. [Well, actually two.]
*At yet cheaper than buying just a pound. Go figure.
I had a can of chickpeas at the ready…
I added 5 baby carrots (about 1/4 cup chopped)…
…and 1/4 cup coarsely chopped red and green bell pepper.
Also, since my favorite part about egg or chicken salad is usually the crunch of celery, I added 1 small stalk (again, about 1/4 cup) of that as well.
For a little seasoning, about 1-2 teaspoons of BBQ sauce and honey mustard.
Added some pepper, garlic powder, and a dash of Worcestershire, and processed away!
Intriguingly, I had just purchased this jar of Giardiniera (Italian pickled veggies) at the Dollar Tree of all places.
Oh yes, proving yet again the wisdom of Smart Kitchen Rule #5: You can find good food deals anywhere; don’t be afraid to look in unexpected places. [Only $1! I bought roasted red peppers too.]
While egg and tuna salad scream for celery in my mind…tuna salad needs pickles. So why not try a whole mess of pickled vegetables instead?
In went 1/2 a block of silken tofu and 1/2 cup of chickpeas (twice as much as before for a little thickening…I thought), as well as the whole jar of giardiniera, drained, but including the garlic in the jar.
They were both really yummy. The “Original Soy ‘Salad'” as we might call it, has a lot of crunch and texture, and tastes, for lack of a better word, fresh. The Giardiniera Soy ‘Salad’ has a bit more depth of flavor, and I think I might actually prefer it. I’m not sure though, both have there merits.
Because I used a bit more tofu than her recipe, my ‘salad’ ended up a little more creamy than Elise’s, at least in appearance, although it did thicken up once in the fridge. I kind of liked it though, because it was a lot more the consistency of pimiento cheese (awesome in my book) and could function as both a sandwich filling and a dip for veggies simultaneously…
….which you can see in my lunch from yesterday, which consisted of the Giardiniera Soy ‘Salad’ that I brought along with some sourdough bread, a sliced tomato, and some zucchini, yellow squash, and carrots.
I didn’t want to preassemble, because I knew it would be a soggy sammie if I did.
There is actually a bit of a story (if you can call it that) behind the sourdough. I had intended to buy a new package of some brand of wheat thin/thin bun/sandwich thin…whatever you want to call ’em, you know the trend to which I am referring. However, ever since I had eaten lunch at the San Francisco Bakery & Cafe, I’d had crazy cravings for sourdough bread.
And yet, I debated about whether or not I should buy it. Isn’t it worse for me than the thin bun? I thought.
Well, let’s ponder that. Those thin bun/sandwich thins do promise to have only 100 calories or so, but they also are processed and have a lot of other added ingredients in them. Not to say they aren’t delicious. I really like them. Look at the ingredient list on this:
For some reason I also always thought sourdough would only be made with bleached white flour. Not so, apparently. Also, each slice only weighs in (excuse the pun) at 50 calories, meaning I could still have my (yes, it’s still small) sandwich, but with a less processed food product. Also one that is more cost efficient (9 sandwiches can be made from this loaf, whereas you usually only get 6-8 out of a package of thin buns).