Sunday, October 07, 2012

Happy-Chicken Egg-Free Sandwiches (Tofu "Egg" Salad)

Since I'm up late packing lunches for tomorrow, I thought I'd post one of my fastest and kid-friendliest ways to use tofu. And it's great in lunches!

My kids grew up on these; And we always called them "Happy Chicken Egg Salad Sandwiches" since they taste just like "real" egg salad, but the chickens are, of course, MUCH happier with us!

When we had exchange students several years ago, the idea of "egg salad sandwiches" was strange to them and we had to go into a long explanation of the original and non-vegan and (apparently?) American tradition of boiling eggs, mashing them with mayo and putting it in a sandwich.
If you aren't familiar (or were never a fan) of the non-vegan version, that's perfectly OK, try this recipe anyway - you will probably LOVE it!
We often used this as a dip with whole-grain crackers and celery, but more often made sandwiches. We've served them at parties, potlucks and picnics and they've always been a hit.  
Sometimes when my kids were MUCH younger, (like the nostalgic picture above on the left that I just had to throw in) I'd even cut the sandwiches in fun shapes with cookie-cutters! Whee, party sandwiches!

Kids usually like the mild seasonings in these sandwiches, but prepare them however your family likes/liked their egg salad, this recipe is just a good starting point...

Happy Chicken Egg-Free Sandwiches

  • 1 lb fresh firm Tofu (the kind packed in water), drained - OR you can use extra firm silken tofu here if you want, it has a more egg-like texture, though personally I still prefer the water-packed.)
  • 1/2 Walla Walla (or other) sweet onion, minced very fine (OR 3 green onions, chopped fine - my kids prefer to not have green chunks in their sandwiches though)
  • 1 stalk celery, minced fine
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp. minced pickles or relish - dill or sweet depending on your family's preference
  • 1/4 cup garbanzos
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegan Mayo (or as much as you like)
  • pinch Indian black salt (optional but nice -- adds "egg" flavor)
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. celery salt
  • 2 tsps yellow mustard (the cheap stuff is fine)
  • few drops hot sauce, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
Cut the tofu into teeny cubes. It seems like a lot of work (though it only takes a minute or so) but makes the texture better, in my opinion. If you still have one of those wire hinged "boiled-egg-slicing" gadgets, they work great here!
Toss with celery, relish, diced onions, and set aside.

Mash or puree garbanzos with the mayo until as creamy-smooth as possible.

Mix the garbanzo puree with black-salt, turmeric, celery salt, mayo, mustard, hot sauce, and paprika until well mixed.

Fold into tofu-vegetable mixture. Mash a bit to blend. Add more mayo if too dry.

Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper (if too sweet, you can add a drop or two of vinegar.)

Serve on bread or toast, with tomato slices and lettuce if you want; or spread on crackers; or stuff in celery sticks or hollowed-out tomatoes in you wanna get fancy-pants on me; whatever. Just enjoy!