Right after tofu, my favorite protein is the chickpea. Both of these things are totally blank canvases for developing and building upon any flavor you want. Because the chickpea is such a simple, cheap and easy ingredient to use, I always have tons of them stored away in my kitchen cabinet. A good soak overnight and a quick toss into the pressure cooker is all that's needed to prepare them. (For a quicker preparation, canned chickpeas may be easily subbed, just skip the pressure cooker step below.) For this dish (which makes perfect lunches for throughout the week), I combined the chickpeas, pulsed a few times in a food processor, with Vegenaise, a bit of red onion and carrot. It's an excellent lunch—filling, nutritious and simple.
2 cups chickpeas, soaked overnight in plenty of water and rinsed in a colander or strainer
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup Vegenaise
1 TB tahini
1/4 cup finely minced red onion (optional)
1/4 cup grated carrot (optional)
2 tsp celery seed
1 tsp salt
Place the chickpeas and baking powder into a pressure cooker and cover with plenty of water. Cook on high for about 25 minutes, until the chickpeas are cooked through (you should be able to mash them easily with a spoon). Rinse them well in a colander or strainer and place into a large food processor. Pulse them 3-5 times (you'll want them to still be a little chunky.)
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients. Add the chopped chickpeas to the bowl and combine well. Chill until ready to serve.