This Chickpea Pasta Salad is reminiscent of the tuna pasta salads my mom used to make for me to bring to lunch. Tender, chewy noodles, the occasional crunch from some veggies, flaked chickpeas to mimic flaked tuna, and of course, a creamy and tangy sauce to marry all the flavours together. It’s so simple yet so delicious!
Disclaimer: This recipe is sponsored by GoGoQuinoa! I’ve used GoGoQuinoa many times before so I am super pumped to be working with them to bring you this super easy recipe! Thank you for reading and supporting, and thank you GoGoQuinoa for being patient because it took me forever to get this recipe out ^^;
Do we ever stop learning about who we are? Or is that something that we’re always doing? Maybe it’s one of those aspects of the human condition; always asking who we are, what our purpose is and how it’s always changing as we grow. I feel like this past year was knowing who I used to be, and how I couldn’t always be that person and understanding that it was okay. It was okay to not be able to do all the things I wanted to do in a day and only get 5 hours of sleep, because I’m not so young anymore that I can bounce back. It turns out, as you inch closer to your 30s, you are much more susceptible to the lack of sleep and your metabolism starts to take a dip. Eating whatever you want and not doing much exercise starts to gain momentum on you and change your body to something you didn’t feel comfortable in anymore.
All the things I used to make fun of my mom for doing, I started seeing myself doing because that’s honestly how my body is these days. I often can’t drink anything but water, most foods are too salty, most treats are too sweet, so I end up using way less seasoning than I used to, and way less sugar in my cookies. Not because I was trying to be healthier or whatever, I mean that definitely was a great bonus, but it was just honestly what my body wanted. No more sugary drinks, more veggies, fewer treats, and less salt.
Who I am now and who I was 2 or 3 years ago seem like such different people. More calm, more self-aware, way less concerned about being right all the time (but still a little concerned with it. I am who I am =P). No longer afraid of being alone, being wrong, or being in charge of my own path. I take things as they come and try to prepare because I know myself. I know that future me will always be flying by the seat of my pants, so present me needs to prepare for that.
And you know what’s a pretty easy way to prepare?
You probably guessed it; it’s cooking.
Not just like cooking a bowl of ramen and calling that a meal. I mean, that’s delicious, clearly I love my ramen.
But it’s important to cook nourishing food for future you. And future people in your household if that’s something you do.
Eddie’s been struggling with eating properly and eating enough; sometimes he lacks motivation to eat something because there’s dishes in the way, or the idea of eating toast is more appealing then washing, prepping, and cooking something with actual vegetables in it. So I’m preparing for future us with this chickpea salad. Flaked chickpeas enhanced with some dulse flakes to get that fishy, tuna flavour, the crunch of some celery to keep things interesting, the bright pop of green onion, a slight tang from lemon, creamy mayo sauce and of course, tender, perfectly cooked noodles that, believe it or not, are totally gluten free.
Last year around this time, I went gluten-free for about 3 months, and holy moly, did I have a hard time. I didn’t realize how much I actually liked pasta after avoiding it for so long from over-exposure in university. How I missed those tender, chewy, noodles that bounced back when cooked just right. You wouldn’t believe how difficult that is to achieve in gluten-free noodles. Some are too hard, some are entirely way too soft, some have this weird, metallic aftertaste. But I keep coming back to GoGoQuinoa noodles again and again, not only because they NAIL the texture of pasta, but because it’s also so easily found in places I like to shop. Mostly I buy GoGoQuinoa at Costco because I’m all about the deals, but it’s just so easy. It cooks, tastes, and looks like normal wheat pasta so much that I forget that it’s gluten-free sometimes. But there’s no wheat in this pasta; it’s quinoa, chia, sorghum, and amaranth, all combined to give you your daily 25% of iron and 24% of fibre in 1 cup.
Who says pasta can’t be good for you?
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this little childhood throwback of mine and try some of this for yourself! It’s really easy and delicious packed lunch, and it’s good for random potlucks or parties too. Pasta salad is always a crowd pleaser.
If you want to see how I made it (particularly how I ‘flaked’ my chickpeas), check out this video I did!
- 2 cups uncooked GoGoQuinoa Super Grains Fusilli
- 1 can of chickpeas (540 mL or 18 fl oz can), rinsed and drained well
- 2 ribs celery, finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup vegan mayo
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 tsp dulse flakes (or shredded roasted nori)
- 1-2 sprigs green onion, finely diced (use 2 if you like them a lot, otherwise just use 1)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Cook 2 cups of GoGoQuinoa Super Grains Pasta Fusilli in a boiling pot of water until al dente (about 7 minutes). Drain and rinse well with cold water to prevent sticking, then set aside.
- In a large bowl, use a pastry cutter or fork (or you could pulse a few times in your food processor) to "flake" the chickpeas. They won't be all uniform, but just cut them into flake-like proportions. The skin of the chickpeas sort of peeling off in the process is what gives a lot of that flaky tuna-like texture.
- Add the vegan mayo, lemon juice, dulse flakes, green onion, salt and pepper and combine. Add the pasta and mix well until pasta is coated into this mixture.
- Serve immediately or chill as a great lunch for later or potluck salad!