Vegan peanut butter cookie from Common Ground. Uncommonly good is beyond accurate.
Vegan cranberry orange scone. The best scone I've ever had.
On my most recent visit to Common Ground, I was ravenous. So so so ravenous. Then, I was overwhelmed with options, thus preventing me from acquiring food efficiently. Vegan cardboard would've tasted good by the time I finally settled on a house-made chickpea salad that looked and tasted more like potato salad and house-made cajun spiced tofu. Though it might have been the hunger, I couldn't handle just how great the chickpea salad and tofu were. I kept raving. Perhaps my company wanted to talk about other things. Unfortunately, I had food on my mind and finally entering my system. I vowed to myself that as soon as I had the opportunity to get into the kitchen again I would remake the chickpea salad. A busy storm struck, and it wasn't until dinner today that I had the time to get to work on re-creating the salad.
My brother, Dan, who is also vegan, told me that the co-op used veganaise in the chickpea salad. I've never purchased veganaise and really was not in the mood to start today. I've made a vegan potato salad without it before, so I knew it could be done. I drew on Detoxinista's potato salad recipe for inspiration. Avocado for creaminess? That sounds stellar. When all was said and done, I decided my salad was better than the one from Common Ground! Blasphemy! ...but actually.
Creamy Dilly Chickpea Salad
2 cans of chickpeas/garbanzo beans (16 oz/each) rinsed and drained
1/3 c. dijon mustard
3/4 c. cucumber (1 small cucumber) diced very small
3/4 c. celery diced very small
1/3 c. onion diced very small
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 heaping tbsp. dry dill weed
1 heaping tbsp. dry dill weed
black pepper to taste
1. Place the finely diced veggies in a large mixing bowl and add one can (16 oz) of drained chickpeas to the bowl.
2. Put the avocado and dijon mustard through a blender or food processor until smooth. This will be a thick mixture, so use a rubber spatula to get it all out of your blending apparatus and into the same mixing bowl as the veggies.
3. Without cleaning your blending apparatus, blend the second can of drained chickpeas. Do not blend until the mixture is pureed. This would be difficult to do since there is no liquid, but don't try to force it. Remove the chickpeas from the blender when the mixture is chunky -- some chickpeas should still be partially in tact. Once again, use your rubber spatula to add the broken down chickpeas to the mix.
4. Add lemon juice, dry dill weed, and black pepper. Mix. Take a bean masher and mash all of the contents of the bowl. At this point, alternate mixing and mashing until everything is well incorporated. Your final product will be chunky (because of the generous amount of add-in vegetables and the whole and near-whole chickpeas that remain) and creamy.
5. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate. This would work well in a pita, on top of toast, or wrapped in large leafy vegetables such as collard greens or romaine. But for my personal favorite, all you have to do is turn the camera a bit:
You should probably do this. If you're smart that is. Cut off the tops and remove the seeds from red, orange, or yellow baby bell peppers and stuff them generously with the salad. Crunch away!