“But if you’re a vegan, how do you get protein?”

Whenever someone finds out my dietary habits they ask this question, without fail. Most people assume that we compassionate eaters survive on lettuce and carrots. And while I love rabbits, I have a more complex diet.

The next question fired my way is typically, “It must be hard, huh?” And you know, it’s not. It really and truly is not hard to find yummy bites whether I’m traveling, eating out, or at home.

I try to keep it as healthy as possible, and since I’m a mama of a little ball of energy who also enjoys working out, I am sure to include a good deal of protein in my diet.

I’ve found that meal prep is essential to staying on track. When I come in from the gym around lunchtime, if I don’t have something ready to go I am inclined to seek out less than healthy choices.

One of my favorite dishes to have on hand is what I call Chick Salad; think chicken salad, but with chickpeas. I always whip up a batch before road trips as well as parties or large gatherings. Most of the time people have no idea they are eating chickpeas – muaaahahaha!

This chick salad, like it’s meat loving cousin, is versatile. I enjoy it alone, with Sriracha, on toast, and sometimes atop those dainty little crackers. Today I added avocado and I’m never going back.

The recipe is fairly simple. I cannot remember where I first saw it, but I’ve given it a personal touch over the years. Feel free to add or omit ingredients. I suggest even swapping chickpeas for chicken in your tried and true recipe. Just don’t tell grandma. 😉

Herbivores and carnivores unite! You’ll both love this heart healthy dish.

Chick Salad

1 can or 15 oz of chickpeas (I soak and sprout mine – research the benefits!)

¼ cup vegan mayonnaise

3 TBSP spicy mustard

2 TBSP sweet pickle relish

1 TSP yellow curry powder

½ TSP paprika

2 pinches of Himalayan salt

1 TSP fresh cracked black pepper

Begin by soaking and sprouting chickpeas, or if you are using a can, drain and wash them. After putting them in a large bowl, mash them with a fork or potato masher until about ½ are mashed. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, relish, curry powder, and paprika, then add it to the bowl of chickpeas and mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper then mix and taste.

This salad is best chilled and then eaten alone or as a sandwich, atop salad, or in a bowl all by its lonesome.

Brittany Cole

Not your average Southern Belle, Brittany is a native of Georgia living in South Florida. She attended Auburn University (WAR EAGLE!) where she received her Bachelors in Political Science and has a Masters in International Relations from The University of Oklahoma. Brittany has many passions in life, in addition to being a wife and mom. She loves all kitchen-based activities, traveling, being outdoors, reading, yoga, and dancing. When you cannot otherwise find her, check the local farmers market – she’s the one buying obscene amounts of kale and turnips. Britt lives every day by the Maya Angelou quote, “Do the best until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better”. Her mission in life is to raise a family of compassionate and empathetic humans while doing the best she can to make the world a more tolerant, beautiful place.