Two Chickpea Salads

by on October 11, 2008
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Creamy Chickpea Salad with Fresh HerbsOctober may seem like a strange time to be writing about salads, but even in the cooler months, I like to eat salads for lunch. I load up on raw vegetables for my midday meal and concentrate on cooked veggies, beans, and grains for dinner. But raw vegetables don’t really fill me up or keep me going all afternoon; I need something with staying power. That’s where chickpea salads come in. Served atop a big salad of lettuce, spinach, cucumber, and tomatoes, they add flavor and texture as well as protein.

As soon as you take a look at the ingredients of these salads, you’ll notice that they have something more than chickpeas in common. Yes, I added okara, the soy pulp left over from all the soymilk I’ve been making. Since I’m making all of our soymilk now, I’m winding up with heaps (some would say mountains) of okara, and it’s made its way into everything from burgers to cornbread. But I did a silly thing one day and tasted it straight out of the machine, and it tasted good, once I added a little agave nectar and vanilla to it–kind of like cream of wheat. Since that experience didn’t kill me, I decided to just start tossing okara into dishes that weren’t cooked, and my first chickpea-okara salad was born.

Now, I know that most of you aren’t making soymilk, and though you can buy okara at some Asian markets, it isn’t that easy to find, especially in its fresh (wet) form. But the great thing is that tofu, either silken or regular, will work, too. The purpose of the okara is to add some creaminess without adding a lot of mayo, and tofu will do the same thing. Tofu is higher in fat and calories, however, and it lacks okara’s fiber, so if you have okara, then you should definitely use it.

This first salad is my favorite. I used fresh thyme and parsley from my garden, and I loved the clean, herbal taste they gave it. My husband said it tasted like tuna salad, but I think he’s hallucinating because I didn’t put anything fishy in it. If you have fresh herbs, use them–you could even experiment with basil or oregano–but if not, give it a try with dried thyme.

Creamy Chickpea Salad with Fresh Herbs

I enjoyed the curried chickpea salad below with Edward & Sons brown rice snaps, which are low in calories and fat, as well as gluten-free. (Attention Weight Watchers: 8 crackers are just one point!) Later, my husband tried it and said it tasted like shrimp salad. Seriously, I don’t know where he comes up with these ideas!

Curried Chickpea Salad

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kellie May 1, 2010 at 1:06 pm

This is the third recipe of yours I’ve tried this week. I’m having so much fun. And I’m eating some very yummy new things. Thanks!


2 Anke June 3, 2010 at 10:48 am

This reminds me of obazda in look which is a german food, though sadly not vegan. I’ll be trying out the first salad. You’ve also inspired me with this to try and veganize the german dish.


3 Verria Kelly ~ Good Health Coach June 9, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Thanks so much for sharing your recipes. You’ve really helped me spice up my vegan repertoire. I know that I can log in and find a recipe for whatever ingredient I have. I often refer my clients to your site when they claim eating healthy is tasteless and hard and some of them have become believers. Thanks!


4 Edeth | Dinnerware July 1, 2010 at 6:56 pm

I just stumbled across this one in the ‘favorites’ section, but certainly wish I would have found it sooner! One of these is definitely being tried out for a 4th of July gathering I’m hosting this weekend.


5 Lucinda August 23, 2010 at 8:55 pm

Your blog always inspires me. Just made the Creamy Chickpea Salad and loved it! Thanks. I have another chickpea salad I make, but its nice to have a new one. And it did remind me of chicken salad, although I’ve been a vegetarian for a decade now, so I’m not sure I really remember what chicken tastes like! LOL. Anyway, I’ll be trying the curried chickpea salad sometime soon too.


6 Sondi August 25, 2010 at 11:30 am

I made the creamy chickpea salad last night and it was amazing!! This is the closest thing I have ever tasted to tuna salad since I stopped eating meat. I agree with your husband.


7 Carli November 17, 2010 at 12:56 am

Hi Susan, I am planning to make both of these salads tomorrow. Quick question: You specify for silken tofu in the Curried Chickpea recipe, but make no specification for the Creamy Chickpea recipe. If both will work, which would you recommend or do you prefer with that salad?

Thanks for all the fantastic recipes!


8 SusanV November 17, 2010 at 7:35 am

I think that either will work, but I think the silken will be better. Please let me know how you like them!


9 Carli November 18, 2010 at 3:10 am

I made them both tonight, using silken tofu. YUM! I added some green onions and celery to the Creamy Chickpea Salad and the entire (omnivorous) family couldn’t stop eating it. I was informed that I should probably go get more ingredients to make another double batch ASAP, since I was making this to have for lunch for the next several days. 🙂
For the Curried Salad, I messed up. I totally forgot to saute the onion, pepper, etc, and just mashed everything together like in the other recipe. It’s still very good, but I am eager to try making it again the right way. I will definitely be making these again and again.


10 Connor Paul Wallace February 9, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Only say this post recipe recently, tried it today, and it was right good! I could tell i was gonna enjoy it before i tried it, and i think it turned out a lot better using silken tofu, rather than doing the big mash up with just vegan mayo, no greasy heaviness.

And i actually thought it reminded me a wee bit of something fishy like your husband said…..maybe its a man thing? 🙂


11 Diane June 17, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Hi Susan,
Recipe looks great but I think that Nayonaise is the worst tasting stuff ever. Do you have a great recipe for a diary free, low fat mayonnaise that you can share with us. I know Vegenaise tastes great but it has lots of fat and we are trying to keep this fat free. Thanks.


12 nikki June 22, 2011 at 9:43 pm

this looks great! :). i can’t wait too try it. what’s the exact serving size? i need too know because im counting calories.(trying to lose weight :p)


13 SusanV June 22, 2011 at 9:56 pm

A serving size for each of them is about 1/2 a cup, but you can get an exact amount by making it and dividing it into 4 equal servings.


14 nikki June 22, 2011 at 10:06 pm

thanks 🙂


15 Evelyn Berezin January 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Hi– and kudos for wonderful, thought salads. One question: I need to avoid
soy products, and wonder what you might suggest I sub. for tofu.


16 Alyssa May 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm

The creamy chickpea salad came out just great, even without the tofu. I just mashed part of the chickpeas more thoroughly and added a little more lemon juice. Thanks for a great everyday lunch idea!


17 Almiel July 16, 2013 at 11:17 am

You could try a thick non-dairy/non-soy cream like: or even use ripe mashed avocado. Avocado might change the flavor a little, but if you like avocado I’d bet it’d be good. I may just have to try that myself sometime. 🙂


18 Ilene Hanson June 14, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Just found your yummy-healthy website! Just exactly what I;m looking for! I’m new to “computing”, also new to the “Vegan” approach to health. I look forward to exploring your recipes,etc, and hope to share many of them with friends. Thankyou. Sincerely; Ilene


19 Rita Egan June 29, 2012 at 7:50 am

Like! This is amazing (curry one). When I read it yesterday I went to the freezer for chickpeas but they were all gone, nearly cried! A full batch, and a restocked freezer later I can honestly declare that I just know they’ll all be used for this recipe over the next couple of weeks! YUM!


20 Janet July 16, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I make the Creamy Chickpea Salad every week….mainly to use up my weekly surplus of okara, leftover from making soy milk! Sometimes, I omit the chickpeas and use all okara…..still delicious!


21 Julielyn October 14, 2013 at 10:17 am

On your first recipe, do you have any suggestions for a substitute for Creole mustard? It sounds delicious, I just have no idea where to find it here in VT. I’ve just loved your blog since making the switch, it’s made sticking with a vegan diet so helpful!


22 Susan Voisin October 14, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Thanks! Any kind of spicy mustard will do–or just whatever mustard you like.


23 ,Michelle aulisio November 3, 2014 at 10:46 pm

Oh my goodness!!!! This is amazing! I just started eating/learning vegan last November when I had a butternut squash at home I needed to cook. I found your blog and cooked up something amazing that kick started my cooking every night for my family. (Something I’ve never done in the past btw) 😉 annnnd now this is the first recipe of the fall this year. I always look to your blog first and it never fails, I always find an easy healthy vegan choice for this family. Thank you for inspiring me!


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