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.


Ending the Hiatus: Ground Turkey Burgers, Lettuce Wraps and Garden Berry Salads Meal Prep

I know it’s been forever since I last posted. If you look back through these posts you’ll notice quickly that consistency is not my thing. I make sweeping declarations all the time that just never work out. The only thing I can be counted on to do consistently is be flakey. Sorry about that, friends.

Anyway, today I’m ending my blogging hiatus to share my newest endeavor: Meal prepping. Yeah, I’m always down to cook in the evenings. But with my schedule that means I leave work at 5ish, go to the gym, leave the gym at 6:45ish, get home, cook and eat dinner, spend the rest of the eveningĀ making my lunch for the next day, then I get ready for bed. It leaves my man friend feeling lonely and me feeling like I never stop moving.

So last night I had 1 lb of lean ground turkey waiting to be made into four delicious dinners for the week, and a whole bunch of veggies waiting to be made into delicious mason jar salads. (I have a thing for mason jars that I don’t think we’ve discussed yet. Every breakfast I make is in a mason jar. Every lunch I make is in a mason jar. Every herb I grow is in a mason jar. Every pickle I pickle is in a mason jar. Every jam I jam is in a mason jar. They are my favorite multi-use item of all time.)

Jars for everything!

Jars for everything!

I’m failing blog etiquette 101 with this lengthy post right now, so let’s get to it. These all pair well with a nice glass of iced green tea cuz like SPRING WEATHER and stuff. Three recipes for four days of lunches and dinners:

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Chipotle Ketchup

Adapted from Cooking Light, yields 2 burgers

What you need:

-1/2 lb of lean ground turkey
-2 1/2 tbsp Progresso Italian breadcrumbs (or whatever you have on hand)
-2 tbsp fresh minced cilantro
-2 tbsp fresh grated parmesan cheese
-A sprinkle of S&P
-3.5 oz can of chipotles in Adobo sauce
-2 tbsp ketchup

What you do:

1. Mash together first five ingredients (through S&P) with a fork in a medium sized bowl until all breadcrumbs are incorporated into the meat. Divide into two 1/3-inch thick patties.

2. CoatĀ a nonstick grill pan or skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add turkey patties and grill for about 5 minutes on each side.

3. Place full can of chipotles plus 2 tbsp of ketchup in a mini food processor and blend until smooth.

4. Either eat immediately or save if meal prepping. Heat up in microwave on high for about 2 minutes. Serve with chipotle ketchup mixture and 1/2 oz of goat cheese. Eat on a whole wheat bun if desired, but it’s tasty on its own.

Turkey Prep

Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups

Also adapted from Cooking Light, yields 2 servings

What you need:

-1/4 cup thin sliced green onion
-1 tsp brown sugar
-2 tbsp fresh minced cilantro
-juice of 1/2 lime
-3 tsp fish sauce
-1 tsp sesame oil
-1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
-2 tsp Sambal Oelek
-1/2 lb ground turkey
-1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
-1 cup shiitake mushrooms
-1 head Boston lettuce
-Mixed accoutrement (I like minced red bell pepper, fresh cilantro, jalapeno, shredded carrot, fresh lime and bean sprouts)

What you do:

1. Mix first 8 ingredients in a medium sized bowl until brown sugar dissolved. Set aside.

2. Coat a medium nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add ginger and turkey and cook until turkey is cooked through, about 5 minutes, then add shiitake mushrooms. Continue cooking until mushrooms are soft and turkey is slightly browned, about 2 minutes longer.

3. Remove browned turkey from heat and immediately add all the sauce. Combine well.

4. Either serve immediately or save if meal prepping. Will heat up in microwave on high for about 2 minutes. Serve in Boston lettuce cups and top with desired veggies.

Garden Berry Salads

Garden Berry Mason Jar Salads

Yields 4 personal-sized salads

What you need:

-4 quart-sized clean mason jars
-8 tbsp dressing of choice (I used Whole Foods Market’s no oil, low sodium Tangerine Vinaigrette)
-2 medium sized celery sticks, chopped into 4 equal portions
-1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped into 4 equal portions
-16 cherry tomatoes, each sliced in half
-8 strawberries, each sliced in quarters
-1/2 cup thin sliced green onion, divided into 4 equal portions
-1 bag baby spinach (about 4-5 cups), divided into 4 equal portions
-1 avocado
-2 oz gorgonzola crumbles

What you do:

1. Place 2 tbsp of dressing into the bottom of each of your mason jars. Next, add your hardest ingredients and continue layering to your softest – start with celery, then add bell pepper, then tomatoes, then strawberries, green onion and spinach.

2. When I make these several days in advance, I add cheese and avocado later to avoid mushiness/browning. When you’re ready to eat, pour your salads into a large bowl and then top with 1/4 sliced avocado and 1/2 oz of gorgonzola. (Sometimes I add protein, too, like 3 oz cooked chicken breast or 7-8 shrimp! Also add this when you’re ready to eat it, not before.)


Four days of meals done in about 1.5 hours! Also these are all healthy, low fat, low carb, high fiber and high protein meals. Now maybe I’ll post again next week… or maybe in 4 months. Who’s to say? Inconsistency, guys. My b.