Vegan Chickpea Salad Wraps
Health-Supportive Culinary Arts student Julianna Abdallah wins another market basket challenge.
Each week our New York campus is closed because of COVID-19, we host a voluntary virtual market basket challenge. This week, the focus ingredient was Old Bay seasoning, and Julianna incorporated it into vegan lettuce wraps. Here's how she developed the recipe.
Life is complicated, and sometimes I like a complex, time-consuming recipe to distract me and take my mind off the everyday. But at the moment, I’m all about simplicity —anything to make life a little easier right now.
It’s hard to believe we’ve been at this for 16 weeks now. I’m probably not the only one who incorrectly assumed there’d be three, maybe four Market Basket Challenges before ICE reopened. I love them, though. In the middle of a week when I’m immersed in work or feeling all of the emotions watching the news, I get to pause, get in a creative headspace and reflect back on the fun times in culinary school. Once the ingredient is announced, I think, what did I learn about that in class? and what did Chef say we should do with it? I get to not only test my skills but also reminisce on all of the tastes, sounds, people and experiences ICE gave me.
When I saw that the must-use item for the week was Old Bay, my obvious first thought was seafood. I dreamed about the most divine roasted oysters I had the honor of tasting on one of my trails at Gramercy Tavern. They made their own version of an Old Bay seasoning with celery salt and paprika, and then mixed it with breadcrumbs to give the roasted oysters a texture and flavor far superior to anything I’ve tried.
This memory took my brain to my very last trail at The Modern during the first week of March. The murmurs of COVID-19 were just starting to buzz, and NYC had not had many cases yet. I vividly remember standing at my prep station, sweating, nerves rattling, in the zone brunoising approximately four zillion carrots as I listened to the kitchen chatter.
“What if Corona gets worse and restaurants have to start limiting guests … or I don’t know, close altogether?!” one of the commis chefs muttered. I didn’t look up from my cutting board, but I remember thinking the question was a bit of a stretch. That moment was a blip in time, but I wonder about that team often and pray they are able to get back in the kitchen.
All of this to say, I know your minds are working overtime, too, and even us food-obsessed need a break from meal planning when we have other pressing work/life/family matters that take precedence. That’s why I wanted to make something simple, delicious, and nutritious this week. Something that balances the complexities of life. These chickpea salad wraps fit the bill and are now my go-to, satiating lunch for busy weeks. The dish has tuna salad vibes with the Old Bay and fresh dill, but it’s 100% plant-based. It comes together in a snap, and I promise you do not have to brunois even one carrot to make it.
Vegan Chickpea Salad Wraps
Yields 6 lettuce wraps
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup vegan mayo
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 6 butter lettuce leaves
- 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
- Optional: shredded red cabbage, shredded carrots, avocado slices
- In a medium bowl, mash chickpeas with the back of a fork until mostly smooth (I like to leave some whole for texture).
- Add the next seven ingredients (through salt and pepper) and mix well.
- Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes to overnight.
- To assemble lettuce wraps, scoop 2-3 heaping tablespoons of the chickpea salad onto the lettuce leaf. Top with desired toppings and sprinkle with fresh chives. Enjoy!