Summer is coming! Or, practically here if you’re lucky enough to live in Vancouver like me. There is a prime example above — the spring cherry blossoms in Vancouver are one of my most favourite things in the world! Along with my sister, of course. Here is a picture of us enjoying ice cream by the sea on a hot day in March… sorry to rub it in. ;)
All this amazing weather means that I do not want to spend time indoors cooking, or turn on my oven. I just can’t resist being outside when the sun is shining. The seawall and mountains beg me to take advantage of them — and I usually listen.
So, quick meals that are good for picnics and ready to go in the fridge are a must. Sandwiches are a great option, but I try to avoid deli meats. They are ultra processed, high in sodium, and just all around not a great choice. (Yes, even those “natural” ones… whatever that means.)
My go to sandwich filling is either sliced leftover chicken or beef, marinated baked tofu, or salmon/egg salad. But, those options can get old fairly quickly and I don’t have leftover meat around often. Therefore, I set out to make a vegetarian sandwich filling, which could become a new staple in my summer diet.
I used chickpeas as the base and it turned out fantastic! To top it off, I got to enjoy my creation on one of my grandma’s homemade buns (my favourite food!). I like to add a bit of fresh dill and dijon mustard if I have it kicking around. You could switch up the bean you use as the base too.
Tired of sandwiches or want something a little lighter for a snack? You can use this chickpea salad as a dip too. Try it with celery sticks or on crackers. If you’re packing it up for a picnic, make sure you are keeping your food safe, especially if children will be eating it. Read this article written by my fellow RD friend Nicole to find out more: “Don’t Panic Over Your Picnic: Three Food Safety Tips for a Healthy Summer Outing.”
Tangy Chickpea Salad
Makes about 2 cups (serves 3-4)
- 1.5 cups chickpeas, cooked or canned
- 2 tbsp tzatziki (or plain yogurt)
- 2 tbsp Mayo
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp rep pepper flakes
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste (careful with the salt — some ingredients are salty already)
- 1 rib celery, chopped small
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 pickle, chopped small
- 2 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- Combine ingredients up until the salt and pepper, mash well with a potato masher
- Stir in remaining ingredients (mix well) and let sit for 1-2 hours (if time allows) to allow flavours to meld
- If chickpea salad is too thick, add 1-2 tbsp of pickle juice and a bit more mayo/tzatziki until desireed thickness
- Serve on your favourite fresh bread as a sandwich, or with crackers or celery sticks for a snack