Friday, March 29, 2013

chickpea tofu salad


It was finally a warm enough day in Chicago to leave the house.  When the weather breaks Chicagoans crawl out of the woodwork looking like they've been cooped up for years, unshaved and crumpled (more so than what is normal for an average Wicker Park hipster).  We all blink at each others' pasty, pudgy bodies a little like "ew, that's what you look like under your puffy coat?" 

Well, to be honest it wasn't all that warm and I wore my puffier-than-average coat to suck it up and take my nephews and cousins to the Brookfield Zoo.  The plentiful sunshine made up for that late spring lingering chill, and chasing the rascals around gave me some much needed exercise (although I'm not ready to put aside my puffer for a bikini any time soon).
Zoo animals: Maddie & Max (upper), Abby & Sam (lower)

You feel me?  So I've been in the mood for lighter meals and have been thinking a lot about egg salad because Easter is coming up.  Seeing that I exploded my last egg in the microwave (it doesn't matter why I was microwaving an egg) that wasn't an option.  Oh, and I really have to watch my cholesterol.  But, I've also been tinkering a lot with the texture of crumbled tofu from the Tofu "Ricotta" Eggplant and Sweet Potato Ravioli posts, so I knew I could use it as a substitute.  Also, I had no celery, which is key to the texture of an egg or tuna salad, so I replaced that with radishes still around from the Chicken Pozole I made last week.  Oh, and mayo is grody, so Greek yogurt instead.

So go make this salad!  It's healthy and vegan and great for picnicking or packing for trips to the zoo.  If it weren't Passover (hence the matzo) I'd spread it on a dark pumpernickel or rye bread or egg bagel - anything that you'd normally pair with an egg salad since it has a similar fluffy texture from the tofu.  Here you go: texture/meatiness of egg salad + flavor or hummus = this recipe. 

Ingredients (makes 4 servings):
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 brick (7 oz) extra firm tofu
  • 3 radishes, small dice
  • 1/4 cup fat free greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dill
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne

Slice the tofu brick into slabs and lay them between a few layers of paper towel to dry out a bit while you dice the radish.
Add the chickpeas, parsley, yogurt, oil, lemon juice, and spices to a food processor and pulse until smooth.
In a bowl, crumble the tofu with a fork.  Fold in the pureed chickpeas and diced radish for a little crunch.  Add any additional salt, seasoning, or lemon juice you need to get the flavor just right.


  1. Nice, easy salad. I can see dipping my celery in it or putting on top of sliced cucumbers. This week, though, it's going in a wrap for my lunch. Thanks for the recipe!

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