Monday, January 15, 2007

Chickpea & Hijiki Salad Sandwich

Today's lunchbox contains all the fixin's for a great big Chickpea & Hijiki Salad sandwich. If you're not already familiar with such a salad, it is basically vegan tuna salad. Back when I used to eat meat, I really liked tuna salad sandwiches, but as long as I've got some of this stuff on hand I don't need to feel like I have to do without. It's a very good cruelty-free replacement for tuna salad, and it tastes delicious on sandwiches, on crackers, or plopped on top of a big bed of lettuce. This particular recipe came from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I've made it a bunch of times, strictly by the book. The next time I make it though, I am thinking about modifying it a little bit by adding some sweet pickle relish. I used to always put that in my tuna salad and I think it would definitely be a plus to this recipe. Of course, it's also perfect just the way it is.

If you've never cooked with Hijiki before, it's a dried seaweed that can sometimes be a little bit difficult to locate, depending on where you live. You can see it in the lunchbox picture as the little black pieces in the Chickpea & Hijiki Salad. You just rehydrate it with a little bit of boiling water. It can also seem like it's really expensive, but it's really not that bad. I picked up a small bag of it over a year ago and was kind of shocked when I saw the price on it. If I remember correctly it was almost $10. I thought, "Ten dollars for THIS!?!?!" I have seen people on other message boards who have found it for significantly less, but that was my only available option. I had really been missing tuna salad, so I bought it even though I thought it seemed expensive. Well, come to find out, that bag of dried Hijiki has lasted me a year and I have made Chickpea & Hijiki salad lots of times. So when you think of it like that, it's really not expensive. It lasts a long time.

I decided to just pack the Chickpea & Hijiki salad separately from the bread so that my bread wouldn't end up being all soggy by the time lunchtime rolled around. The bread is just a big hoagie bun that I snagged at the grocery store. This bun does have sesame seeds on it, and that caused me to check the ingredients VERY carefully, because a lot of times when you have bread with some type of seeds stuck on it, they will use eggs to stick those things on there. I'm not sure what they used on this brand of bun, but it wasn't eggs.

For a side dish, I brought some Rosemary Roasted Potatoes that were left over from Sunday brunch. It's just some potatoes and onions roasted up in olive oil with some garlic salt and rosemary. I swear I could live on these.

I threw in a Cherry Pie Larabar for dessert. I just propped it up there like that so I could take my picture for the blog. After I took the pic, I just slid the bar in there in that little bit of space between the bun and the plastic container holding the potatoes. It fit right in that spot and I was able to close the lid of the lunchbox with no problem.

There are lots of other recipes out there for making a vegan version of tuna salad. There's one in La Dolce Vegan by Sarah Kramer that I plan on trying very soon. It contains a lot of the same ingredients that are in the Chickpea & Hijiki Salad, but instead of using chickpeas you use tempeh. That would give it a lot more texture, and it something that I will definitely be trying here in my lunch in the near future.



raising_kahne said...

I believe this is my first time commenting on your blog. I read and enjoyed it very much before your 'break', and I thought you were through blogging. Im very glad you have come back! I love reading your reviews and ideas on here! I especially love that you use VWAV and other awesome cookbooks that I have, so I can see how they are. I hope you keep on posting, and keep your thoughts/reviews coming as well!


Anonymous said...

Good to see you back man! I love the way you think of some of these combinations of different foods. It helps motivate me to eat healthier and to try new things. This is all GREAT!!! Keep up the good work.


Anonymous said...

Good to see you back man! I love the way you think of some of these combinations of different foods. It helps motivate me to eat healthier and to try new things. This is all GREAT!!! Keep up the good work.


Veg-a-Nut said...

Love your blog! I too am a vegan and love new lunch ideas. I need to buy VwaV soon. Everyone seems to use that book.


bitterknitter said...

I have VwaV, but am uninspired by it...that is until I see you (and other bloggers) making the recipes. I'm going to start using it more, your lunch looks great!