This recipe is the vegan version of what I call a California Chicken Salad aka Sonoma Salad the classic recipe that includes grapes, pecans, and the crunch of fresh celery. The inspiration for this recipe came from The Simple Veganista, a blogger who I look to for some of the best tasting and easy to prepare plant-based recipes. I love that I can make a batch of this to keep in the fridge throughout the week for easy lettuce wraps, scooped over my favorite gluten-free toast, or served over top salad greens.
California Chickpea Salad
2 cups chickpeas (garbanzo beans), cooked
3 stalks celery, cleaned and finely diced
1 cup of red or green grapes, washed and cut in halves
½ cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup fresh chives, finely diced
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for 30 minutes in hot water, then rinsed in cold water
1/2 cup organic olive oil
Juice and zest of one lemon
1/4 cup filtered water
2 T. maple syrup (could also use honey for a non-vegan option)
pinch of sea salt
1 T. poppy seeds
Make the dressing by adding ingredients into a high power blender and blending until smooth, then stir in the poppy seeds. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
Add the prepared chickpeas, grapes, pecans, and celery to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Top with dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, finish with chives.
Photo Credit: The Simple Veganista