Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sonoma Chickpea Salad

I have never been a mayo person. I have always thought it is the most disgusting thing in the world. Something about the texture and the fact that it turns clear when it sits out too long has always grossed me out. And then my brother got food poisoning from bad mayo on a vacation one year so that really did it for me as a kid. Therefore it is probably no surprise that when I chose to go vegan in 2007 I still had no interest in vegan mayo.
Somewhere along the line though, I was introduced to Wildwood's Garlic Aioli and I thought it was pretty darn good! Now I try to avoid most soy products, and too many processed foods, but I figure that a little bit every now and then is probably ok.
I never liked mayo based salads until after I became vegan and liked the Garlic Aioli. Now, I have found that they have a place in my life. I was at Whole Foods this morning picking up a few grocery items, and I saw they had a Sonoma Chicken Salad made with a processed soy based chicken replacement. It looked really good and refreshing on this 100 degree day in Roseville. I got to thinking that I could probably make the same thing with chickpeas to make it less soy based. So I came home and I did just that. And it is REALLY good. The only soy in this dish is the soy protein that is in the Garlic Aioli, which isn't too terribly much per serving.
Try this between two slices of toasted whole wheat bread, on sliced baguette, on a bed of lettuce, or hey even straight out of the bowl!

Sonoma Chickpea Salad

1 can (rinsed) or 2.5 cups cooked chickpeas
2 stalks organic celery, cleaned and diced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
approx 20 organic red grapes, halved
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup Garlic Aioli or other vegan mayonnaise you prefer
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp agave nectar
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl,  use a potato masher to mash up chickpeas until chunky and broken up but not too smooth. Add in celery, walnuts, grapes, onion, and mayonnaise. In a separate bowl combine lemon juice and agave nectar, and add that into your bowl. Mix everything together well, then add in sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Taste and re-season if necessary.

This dish is best served chilled. 4-6 servings.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pure Life Chef is now Angelfood Vegan

Well hello there, it has been awhile! I am sorry for the absence, so much has happened since my last post! First and foremost, I had a baby. I have a beautiful 5 month old baby girl, and she is absolutely amazing and my new inspiration. 

Not too long after my last blog post, I got pregnant and suddenly food was completely uninteresting to me. All food except for plain whole wheat bread or a plain whole grain tortilla suddenly became the most disgusting thing ever. And that lasted quite awhile. Therefore I didn't do much cooking while I was pregnant or even grocery shopping for that matter. I had to send my husband to the store most of the time, just because I didn't like the smell or being in the presence of food. I also became obsessed with reading everything I could about pregnancy, birth, babies, and raising children. Hence, blogging took a back seat. 

Here's the little lady at 4 months

Now here I am five months after giving birth to my baby, ready to get back out there. I've never been more inspired than now to keep spreading the vegan message through my cooking and recipes and now my newest venture, my vegan baking operation. I have revised this blog to reflect the name of my new business, Angelfood, and I am also expanding the topics that I will blog about. I will still cover my  cooking, recipes and products, but I plan to also blog about my adventures in raising a healthy veg child.

I was able to keep all of my old posts and followers as Pure Life Chef, as you can see in the archive, but I am excited about the new direction of my blog and my business with Angelfood. Angelfood Vegan Treats is my new baking operation. I work out of a local kitchen to produce all handmade, small batch vegan treats such as cookies, brownies, sweet breads, muffins, cupcakes and candies. I am currently in the process of making contacts to get my products out and accessible to the public, and I am also taking orders for bridal/baby showers, parties and events. If you are in the Greater Sacramento Area, please check it out. In the future, I am also hoping to start teaching some vegan cooking classes again, I really miss them!

Many exciting things on the horizon here. Thanks for sticking around the blog, and I promise lots of good stuff to come!