Making Chicken Salad Into Chickpea Salad
Who loves chicken salad? Ever been to Chicken Salad Chick before? Growing up I loved chicken salad and as I’ve gotten older (and a lil more wiser) my diet has shifted more to a whole foods plant based one. I was craving some chicken salad so I made it with chickpeas instead and BOOM I had the most simple chickpea salad sandwich possible.
Why eat more plant foods
Let’s chat real quick about why I chose to go more plant based after 30 something years. I’m sure you are aware that gut health is a very popular topic and almost five years ago (can’t believe it’s been that long) I met a community called Health Made Simple. This exercise physiologist was speaking about the top 10 reasons to eat more plants and the top 10 solutions for how to make it actually happen.
I left the talk feeling empowered. Stronger. Passionate. Educated. Ready to do this thang and ready to share it with all my feeding babies as a feeding therapist. I was ready to share it with my family. The hubs was not so sure about all of this. I mean, he knows plants are good for us, I think we can all agree on this but he needed more time and wanted to make small changes towards this diet. So that’s exactly what we did.
But, to get to my point. Why? Why did we start transitioning to a higher plant based diet. Well, because did you know a whole foods plant based diet is the ONLY diet that’s been shown to reverse heart disease?
Did you know a whole foods plant based diet can reverse type 2 diabetes and help control type 1? Ya’ll, a whole foods plant based diet will do amazing things for your body as a whole like lower cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, regulate blood sugars, clear skin issues, relieve constipation, relieve migraines, help with depression and anxiety, bring your immune system into balance, help heal your gut from things like leaky gut, crohns, IBS, etc.
I also believe it will even help prevent or slow/heal cancer. Check out MD Anderson Cancer Institute online. They are big believers in a whole foods plant based diet.
These are just a few of the benefits from eating a higher whole foods plant based diet. For me personally, I wanted to regulate my blood sugars as they were dropping to 40 several times a day. Also, as a pediatric speech language pathologist I wanted to be able to help the families I work with start to heal too.
I wanted to heal my youngest from chronic ear infections, upper respiratory infections, and chronic congestion. For my oldest I wanted to heal his gut, relieve him of constipation and finally ditch the awful miralax we were stuck on for almost four years.
For my husband I wanted his cholesterol/ triglycerides to go down that the doctor kept saying was genetic and wanted his blood pressure to get a little lower.
Guess what? We made small simple changes with some help from Health Made Simple Pro and started feeling the best we ever have. I want that for you! I want that for your kids. Our community is here to help you get started.
How to start eating more plant based
Here are a few ways to start making small, simple changes to eating more plant based. It’s a lifestyle. Not a diet. It’s a marathon not a sprint. It is the absolute best decision you will make because it is the best you will ever feel from the inside out.
You will have more energy than you ever have so you can be more present for yourself, kids, grandkids, pets, whoever is important in your life. So, here are five ways to get started.
- Educate yourself. A quality source that I trust and recommend is the Forks Over Knives website and The Gut Health MD (Dr. B). Click on their names to see their websites. Both have great quality websites that is based on research and keeping things practical.
- Pick a meal to make changes to. Pick only one meal to start with. It could even be your cup of coffee. Maybe you put dairy creamer in your coffee and now you are going to switch to a plant based creamer. There are tons of brands out there to try. Maybe you pick breakfast and start making a smoothie. Maybe you pick an afternoon snack and have veggies and hummus instead of a pack of cheese crackers and a diet coke.
- Make food that you enjoy. If Mexican is your favorite type of meal then start with that. I absolutely could eat mexican food everyday all day so that is what I started making more plant based. I started by cutting the organic ground turkey in half and only used the 1/2 pound of ground turkey. The rest I saved in the freezer. I added all kinds of veggies like black beans, onions, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, etc to the mixture and this was amazing because I was getting in more veggies than I typically would and I was cutting my animal protein in half. Eventually I was making without any animal protein. Fist bump!
- Give yourself grace people! For 30 something years I ate a meat, starch, veggie, and salad for dinner. I enjoy making and eating these meals so this was a new way of eating. I had to continue to tell myself progress over perfection. Plus, at the time I had a very picky eater and knew this would rock his world if I completely changed his style of eating over night so I picked meals that were the easiest and most pleasant to change first. Slow and steady wins the race. If having a picky eater stresses you out then you will want to read about an amazing strategy HERE to get them eating more variety.
- Meal Plan: I know, I know. People say they never have time but seriously find 10 minutes to sit down and think about what you would like to eat for at least three days out of the week. This is also a great strategy if you have a picky eater. Meal planning allows you to think of foods that everyone in the family will like and eat. When we started one of my kids didn’t have much variety so I always planned a meal that had a preferred food of his on all of our plates. Meal planning keeps your grocery budget down, allows you to make ONE meal and not short order cook, look at the variety you are actually putting on your plates at each meal, and helps you from buying those impulse items. Start small if this overwhelms you. For example, only meal plan breakfast for a few days, or only plan lunches.
Ingredients needed for Chickpea “chicken” salad.
1 can of chickpeas or 1 cup of dry chickpeas that have been soaked overnight and drained.
1 tsp finally chopped onion
1-2 tbsp finally chopped celery (typically one stalk)
3 tbsp Dukes Mayo or Veganaise
1/2 tsp ground mustard
sprinkles of sea salt and pepper
Optional: chopped walnuts and/or sliced red grapes
Directions for Chickpea “chicken” salad
In my opinion this is the best chickpea salad sandwich around!
Drain and rinse your chickpeas. Place in a bowl.
Finally chop onion and celery and optional ingredients like grapes and walnuts. (I love to add these last two). Place in bowl with chickpeas.
Mix in mayo, ground mustard, sea salt, and pepper.
Serve in a romaine leaf, toasted bread with lettuce/tomato, or in a wrap. Eat as is or top with sprouts, avocado, lettuce, and tomato. I also love to scoop up with tortilla chips and serve with raw veggies/hummus.
I’d love to hear how you like this chickpea salad sandwich idea. Make sure to tell me in the comments.