Vegan Chickpea Salad

So, we’ve talked about the stuff my parents used to pack me for lunch. Liverwurst sandwiches, leftover soy sauce chicken, prunes as a snack. I was a very well-fed kid. But stinky. So stinky.

Tuna was always one of those stinky staples. When my dad was away and my mom didn’t feel like cooking, we’d eat tuna sandwiches. Made with lots of mayo, and chopped pimento-stuffed olives. If my dad made it, it was curried. But that’s a different story. He doesn’t do normal.

But apparently the stench of tuna bothers some people. Weird. This non-tuna salad variation is perfect to bring for lunch and it has the added bonus of not smelling like anything in particular (other than good stuff like lemon, dill and onion).

So when I have kids, I’ll feed them this. On top of the liverwurst sandwiches, leftover chicken, and sardines on toast (yep, that was in the lineup!). This pairs well with busy days and a glass of lemonade with a pretty paper straw.

Chickpea Salad

Vegan Chickpea Salad

Makes 3-4 servings

What you need:

-1 15-oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
-2 tbsp Trader Joe’s Reduced Fat Mayo (Did you know this is vegan? Fun fact.)
-Juice of 1 lemon
-1/4 of a large white onion, diced
-1-2 stalks celery, finely chopped
-2 tsp fresh dill (dried is fine in a pinch… GET IT?!)
-1 tsp paprika

What you do:

1. Mash chickpeas with a fork or potato masher. Add mayo and lemon and continue to mash until it’s at your preferred consistency. I like mine super mashed, but some people like a few full chickpeas in theirs. You also don’t have to mash at all. Up to you.

2. Stir in onion, celery, dill and paprika. You’re done!

3. Optional final step is to spoon this onto some thick slices of toasted sourdough with avocado. Actually I take it back. That’s not optional. Super necessary.


Roasted Squash and Caramelized Onion Tarts

It’s not Fall. I’m sitting here pretending it is, but it’s not. It’s too hot to roast vegetables. It’s too hot to stand over your stove top caramelizing onions. Especially when your kitchen is a narrow little thing in your un-air conditioned, one bedroom Lincoln Park apartment.

But here I am sipping my hot Pumpkin Spice Latte (joke’s on me – I hate pumpkin), dreaming of hay rides, pumpkin patches, baking apple pie and – yes – roasting the buttercup squash I got in this week’s CSA and caramelizing my onions.

But it’s okay. It all comes together in this amazing Fall-inspired tart. I think it was worth it. And maybe by the time anyone else makes this, it will actually be appropriately cold enough to be doing so.

This pairs well with a tomato jam, sauteed spinach, cheap white wine and Christmas music. (WHOA – that escalated quickly. My bad. Apparently we’re just doing all the seasons way too early this year. Also, I don’t celebrate Christmas.)

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Roasted Squash and Caramelized Onion Tarts

Makes 4-6 tarts

Crust (from Joy the Baker – minus the sunflower seeds):
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup olive oil

Filling (Adapted from Joy the Baker and Epicurious):
2 medium onions
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp sugar
1 small squash
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup parmesan
1/2-1 tsp fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, etc.)
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

First, to make the crust, in a medium bowl combine flour, salt, seeds, and black pepper.  In a small bowl whisk together egg, egg white, water, and olive oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together with a fork.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough comes together in a disk. If necessary, add a sprinkle of water or flour to reach desired consistency. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Slice into 1/2 to 1 inch thick circles and place on a baking sheet. Smash garlic and put on sheet as well. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and roast for 25 minutes.

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While squash is roasting, chop onion into 1/4 inch semicircles. Melt butter in wide pan over medium heat, add onions and toss to coat. Keep at medium heat for 10 minutes, and if your onions are sticking or drying out, reduce to medium-low. Sprinkle with sugar. Let cook for 30 minutes to an hour, stirring every few minutes (not so frequently that they aren’t browning). Add some water to the pan if they appear to be drying out. Once well caramelized, remove from pan to a small bowl and set aside.

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When squash and garlic are done roasting, remove from oven and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, scoop squash away from rinds into a large bowl, with the garlic. Mash roughly with a fork until garlic is well combined. Add caramelized onions, parmesan cheese, herbs, salt and pepper and mix with a fork. Set aside.

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Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out into a disk about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into either four equal sized squares, about 6×6 inches.

Lay pastries out on a clean work surface and add 1/3 cup of filling to center of each. Top with a sprinkle of goat cheese. Lightly brush the edges around the filling with egg wash and bring two opposite corners of the dough together into the center and pinch together. Lift the two remaining corners up to the center and pinch together to seal. You should have a square tart with an X on top. Carefully lift and place on lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough squares.

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Brush the tops of each tart with egg wash and bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until the tarts are golden brown/bubbly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving warm. Tarts can also be reheated in a warm oven covered with foil.

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Don’t share. Just kidding. Kind of.