Food Bloggers Against Hunger: Simplest Chickpea Salad

Simplest Chickpea Salad1Simplest Chickpea Salad

I’m joining today with more than 200 other food bloggers to fight against hunger, an issue that millions of Americans and even more millions around the world face on a daily basis.

I was struck more than a month ago when I was asked by a blog follower how she would be able to do my Green Smoothie Challenge on a budget of $50 for her family for the week. I had to reply: “You can’t” Of course my reply was more heartfelt and helpful than that, but it made me realize how lucky I am to be able to afford all the fresh produce and healthy foods that I want. When you do the math, this person, with a family of four had a budget of $7.14 per day, or $1.78 per person for food for her family. Those figures broke my heart.

Many impoverished Americans are forced to eat poorly. When boxes of generic macaroni and cheese can be found for .33 cents and a packet of ramen noodles can be bought for less than a quarter, it’s no wonder that some of the nations poorest families eat the most nutritionally devoid foods. It’s a bit disturbing that An apple costs more than a cheeseburger on the dollar menu at a drive thru because the government subsidizes beef the beef, dairy and corn that go into making that hamburger, but it doesn’t subsidize apples. 

My goal today was to create a healthy meal for less than a dollar. One that would take less time to create then going through the drive thru and one that would trump that fast food cheeseburger and provide more nutrients.

Simplest Chickpea Salad

Simplest Chickpea Salad

  • One can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I used one that my mom canned for me, so it was free, but you can find a generic can of chickpeas at Walmart for .68 cents or less
  • 1-2 diced tomatoes, (1/4 lb, bought at .99 cents a pound)
  • drizzle of olive oil (pantry item)
  • drizzle of red wine or balsamic vinegar (pantry item)
  • dash of garlic powder (pantry item)
  • 1/2 t. of dried basil (pantry item)
  • salt and pepper to taste (pantry items)

Method: Combine all in a bowl. Serves 2 for less than .50 cents per serving

Nutrition Stats for the Drive thru Cheeseburger

Calories 300 Calories from Fat  110

% Daily Value Total Fat 12 g 18%,  Saturated Fat 6 g 30%,   Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 40 mg 13%, Sodium 750 mg 31%, Total Carbohydrate 33 g 11%,   Dietary Fiber 2 g 8%,   Sugars 6 g, Protein 15 g 30%, Vitamin A (IU) 300 6%, Vitamin C 1.2 mg 2%, Calcium 200 mg 20%, Iron 2.7 mg 15%

Nutrition Stats for the Chickpea Salad

Calories 289.3 Calories from Fat  45

% Daily Value Total Fat 4.88 g 8%,  Saturated Fat 0.6 g 3%,   Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg 0%, Sodium 636.5 mg 27%, Total Carbohydrate 51.32 g 17%,   Dietary Fiber 10.01 g 40%   , Sugars 10.89 g, Protein 11.05 g 22%, Vitamin A (IU) 566.99 11%, Vitamin C 15.9 mg 26%, Calcium 75.16 mg 8%, Iron 3.07 mg 17%

I’m certainly NOT the expert on affordable healthful eating. So, for healthy eating on a budget, I invite you to look at my friend Nick’s Blog, Frugal Feeding. His whole agenda is how to eat well and eat affordably. For those wanting to eat cheaply on a vegan diet, I recommend a book by Ellen Jaffe JonesEat Vegan on $4 a day.



VISIT: Share Our Strength

WATCH: the A Place at the Table, via Amazon or iTunes

GIVE THANKS: to The Giving Table, for creating this event

DO: Take action! click here and take a minute to send a letter to Congress asking them to support anti-hunger legislation. Doing so will protect nutrition programs that help fight hunger in the US.

Pepita Maple Butter Salad Dressing with Carrot Ribbon Salad

Carrot Ribbon SaladCarrot Ribbon Salad with Pepita Maple Butter Salad Dressing

My mom brought me nearly a gallon of roasted salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) last time she came to visit. I’ve been using them in everything, but this post is all about the best salad dressing EVER. You’ll pretty much want to drink it from the jar once you’ve made it. You can serve it over any type of salad. Last night we had it over baby greens, artichoke hearts and white beans. However the carrot ribbons are cute and whimsical, plus this dish reminds me of an unusual (but tasty) salad my mom used to make when I was little: shredded carrot, mayo, sugar, raisins, salt and pepper. I like to think of this as my grown up version. Thanks mom for all the lovely pepitas!

Pepita ButterPepita Butter

Salad Dressing

Pepita Maple Butter Salad Dressing

  • 1/4 C. pepita butter (I made the pepita butter in my blendtec: 3 C. roasted salted pepitas, processed and scraped down, over and over until smooth, this took just a couple minutes) OR you could use 1/2 C. pepitas
  • 1/4 C. pure maple syrup (if desired, halve this amount for a more savory dressing)
  • 2 T. bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 3 T. plant milk of choice, I used soy
  • 2 T. white wine vinegar
  • 1 T. nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 clove minced garlic

Method: In a power blender, blend all ingredients until completely smooth. Dressing will be a bit thin, but thickens nicely in the fridge. If you don’t have a power blender, or a food processor to make the pepita butter, soak the pepitas for a few hours before blending the dressing.

Carrot Ribbons

For the Carrot Ribbon Salad:

  • 2-3 Carrots per person, shaved into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • Roasted and Salted Pepitas for sprinkling over salad
  • Cranberries or Raisins for sprinkling over salad
  • A few tablespoons of the above dressing, per person

Carrot Ribbon Salad 2

This recipe is featured on the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck


Vedged Out Thanksgiving Menu

A Vegan Thanksgiving for 21 Guests including the Ladies at

Good Clean Food and An Unrefined Vegan

Bloggers, If I’ve included a link to your post and you’d like a photo of your recipe to be included here, please give me permission to share your photo in the comments below. I would have loved to make and photograph everything in advance, but I’m not that cool. xx -Somer


Vedged Out’s Macadamia Nut Brie En Croute

Vegetable Platter with Hummus


Sunday Morning Banana Pancake’s Baby Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Pecans and a Maple Basalmic Vinaigrette (she uses cherries in hers, we’re going to use dried cranberries)

photo used with permission 


Vegan Monologue’s Buttery Pan Rolls

Amanda’s Whole Grain Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread

(this is what we slathered the Brie En Croute all over! They were made for each other!)

sourdough bread


Lemon Seltzer Water

Cranberry Fizzy


Mains and Sides

In Pursuit of More’s Cashew Loaf

Dad’s Wild Rice, Cranberry and Pine Nut Stuffing

Dad’s Pine Nut and Glazed Onion Mashed Potatoes

Vedged Out’s Sauteed Green Beans, Red Onions and Radishes

Butternut Squash Puree with Orange and Ginger

Fruited Cranberry Compote

photo used with permission

Post Punk Kitchen’s traditional Green Bean Casserole

Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Keepin it Kind’s Miso Mushroom Gravy



An Unrefined Vegan’s Apple Pie


photos used with permission

Razzleberry Pie

Gabby’s No Bake Pumpkin Mousse Cake

An Unrefined Vegan’s Hazelnut Pumpkin Cheesecake w/ Chocolate-Hazelnut Topping

Hazelnut cheesecake

Vegan Coconut Whipped Cream

Vegan Pumpkin Pies

and Vegan Ice Cream

Simplest Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

I love tabbouleh. It’s light and refreshing. A while ago my friend Amanda (it’s her amazing and florescent carrot butter on that little whole grain toast in the background) introduced me to a pre-made quinoa tabbouleh salad at Costco, it had extra bells and whistles, like mung beans and brown rice, but it was lacking something so I decided to re-create it at home. I like my simple version better and think it’s more flavorful.

Simplest Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

4 C. cooked and cooled quinoa

2 english cucumbers, finely diced

2 beefsteak tomatoes, diced (sounds weird on a vegan blog, eh?)

1 bunch parsley, finely minced

1 t. sea salt (adjust to taste)

1/3 – 1/2 C. fresh lemon juice and zest of one lemon (start with 1/3 and add more lemon juice as desired)

Method: Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Let marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes. Can also be dished over a bed of greens. Serves 4 hungry people.

My friend Shira at IPOM posted a different amazing quinoa salad recipe yesterday. In her post, she included a link to this New York Times article about how increased consumption of quinoa worldwide is decreasing it’s consumption in Bolivia where it’s grown, and the ramifications of that to the health of the people there. Be mindful and grateful when you eat quinoa.