One of my favorite ways to get inspiration for vegan recipes actually comes from when someone brings up a traditionally non-vegan recipe. Sometimes it’s just mentioned off-handedly and I start to wonder if I could make that vegan. While other times it becomes more of a challenge in itself.
“I bet you can’t make that!”
“I bet you wish you could have some of this”
Or my favorite “don’t you miss _____ since you’re vegan?”
Anyone who is vegan has most likely gone through a similar thing at one time or another. People who are not around vegans often enough get this strange perception of what we eat on a day-to-day basis. So I always enjoy shocking them out of their usual state of mind and to realize all of the options we actually have. Some of these vegan recipes I have made actually have ended up being some of my families favorite recipes.
This one was actually not a challenge per-say but my family kept talking about chicken salads and how they should make one for father’s day and wouldn’t that be good. So I took it upon myself to try and make a more savory than lemon chicken salad to please my family.
This recipe was an absolutely perfect combination of smokey and sweet, which was not a flavor combination that I thought I looked for in a recipe. The roasted pine nuts helped to bring out the warm and deeper tastes that this recipe held.
I had to even shoo my mom away from the roasted pine nuts because they are one of her favorite things in the world.
Even though I added them ahead of time and they sat in the fridge for a while, they did not become overly soggy. But if you want to, you can wait until right before serving to roast the pine nuts and add them to the mixture. Just make sure you have enough pine nuts to chickpea salad otherwise you are missing that extra flavor.
Similarly, you can substitute the craisins for raisins if you do not like them but simply make sure that not only the ratio is corrected but that they are cut to roughly the same size.
Oddly enough this ended up being a kind of Thanksgiving chicken salad. I didn’t realize it while I was making it but most of the ingredients are usually found in different my Thanksgiving recipes.
Not that anyone was complaining. It was just so weird that these were the flavors I drifted towards. It actually made me really want Thanksgiving to be here. Mainly for the food and the get togethers. But definitely not the weather.
I didn’t really even notice these tastes when I first ate it either. It was actually when my dad and I were having some leftovers that I could really taste the sage and he pointed out how it reminded him vaguely of stuffing. Not exactly what I was going for but delicious none-the-less. And aren’t those always the best recipes that come out of nowhere.
- 3 cups chickpeas, cooked
- 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 4 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 medium Jazz apple, finely diced
- 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoon sage
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread pine nuts evenly over a baking sheet and place into oven for 5-10 minutes or until the pine nuts begin to turn a light golden brown.
- In a medium bowl, mash up the chickpeas until there are no full pieces left. Add in cranberries, pine nuts, apple, and celery. Mix together until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, maple syrup, and sage and stir until an even consistency is reached. Pour the mixture into the other bowl and mix until all of the ingredients are evenly coat.
- Allow to chill for 1 to 2 hours before serving and enjoy~