(Chickpea ‘Blondies’)

I feel a certain calmness these days that I haven’t felt in a long while. Is it that the air seems crisper and fresher? I’ll admit, I’m more aware these days that I’m getting older. I’ve adopted that sing-song voice when I talk to friends’ kids. The guy behind the counter at the local liquor store has long since forgotten to ask me for ID. Face cream, not ice-cream, is now an important daily ritual.

Of course, I still love ice-cream, but am becoming increasingly conscious of the need to eat healthily. My heart still beats faster for butter but I’ve also found new things to be excited about. Not forgetting my foray into the world of black bean brownies, I’ve become equally excited about Celine’s chickpea ‘blondies’. The fact that a combination as unusual as strawberry jam, tahini and chickpeas can be delicious and as an added bonus, healthy and vegan, is what I find so interesting.

(Tofu salad with sesame sauce)

In the spirit of the vegan recipes and wholesome eating, I’m including a beautiful vegan-friendly tofu and sesame dish, adapted from a chicken recipe by Harumi Kurihara from her book, Harumi’s Japanese Cooking. I’m a big fan of cucumber, and happily eat it with most things (especially in sandwiches). If you happen to dislike cucumber, you can easily replace it with any other vegetable, such as shredded cabbage, carrot, beansprouts etc. This dish is wonderful as an appetiser, or can be served with rice or soba noodles as the main event.

You can find the recipe for chickpea ‘blondies’ here.

Tofu salad with sesame sauce :
(serves 4, or 2 hungry people)

50g spring onion (scallions), finely shredded
200g cucumber (or a mixture of your favourite vegetables)
250g firm tofu, cut into strips or cubes
50g green beans, blanched and refreshed
1/4 bunch coriander, leaves picked and roughly chopped or torn

for the sesame sauce :
1/4 cup (50ml) chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
4 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ginger, finely chopped
2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped

Cut the cucumber in half, remove the seeds with a spoon, and slice the remaining flesh into batons. Combine the cucumber and remaining ingredients in a bowl.

Mix all the ingredients for the sesame sauce in a separate bowl, the pour it over the tofu and cucumber. Toss well, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, and serve.

(PS: I’m dedicating this recipe to a good friend in Alaska, who kindly reads my blog every now and then, and somehow manages to comment occasionally even though he doesn’t have much interest in baking. There you go W., I’ve got a savoury recipe for you to try!)

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  1. Reemski said,

    April 30, 2009 @ 1:48 pm

    As soon as I saw the title of your post, I knew what it was about! Love the blondies…going to next try them with peanut butter…

  2. pea and pear said,

    April 30, 2009 @ 1:56 pm

    I just bought the beautiful book ‘veganomicon’, if you find it is worth a look. I am finding the world of vegan and raw food very inspriational at the moment.
    That salad looks sensational I love it!

  3. Y said,

    April 30, 2009 @ 2:12 pm

    Reemski : I’ll have to try it with peanut butter soon too!

    pea and pear : I’ve seen that book around, but haven’t had a chance to flip through it and decide if I should get it. But like you, I’m really warming to this kind of eating as well, so shall attempt to seek that book out again. Thanks for the recommendation πŸ™‚

  4. helen said,

    April 30, 2009 @ 2:18 pm

    Beautiful salad.

    It’s been three years since I was asked for ID, and the frequency of being called “Ma’am” has skyrocketed. Tsk, tsk.

    I’ve been enamoured by chickpeas recently. Roasted well, they taste like carnival doughnuts. I’m sure the blondies are delicious. Well done as always!

  5. Laura said,

    April 30, 2009 @ 3:33 pm

    Wait until you have to get bifocals!

    Nice salad, and interesting blondie recipe.

  6. snookydoolde said,

    April 30, 2009 @ 4:25 pm

    Nice recipe I like tahini πŸ™‚ I d like to try the blondies you mentioned πŸ™‚

  7. W said,

    April 30, 2009 @ 5:02 pm


    You are made of awesome, a ray of sunshine and a hint of dark chocolate.

    This is perfect and you just made my week ^^


  8. Betty said,

    April 30, 2009 @ 5:36 pm

    that looks beautiful! i love cucumber too.

  9. Marija said,

    April 30, 2009 @ 7:36 pm

    I am planing to eat, not healthy, but healthier for start, but somehow it’s not working πŸ™ I need to be more determined!

  10. Anita said,

    April 30, 2009 @ 9:08 pm

    What lovely flavours in the sesame sauce! thanks for the recipe and suggestions πŸ™‚

  11. Piggy said,

    April 30, 2009 @ 9:46 pm

    The tofu salad looks yummy and refreshing! And I love cucumber too!

  12. Caitlin said,

    April 30, 2009 @ 10:07 pm

    Hehe – my heart beats faster for butter as well πŸ™‚ Luckily, as long as I get my running / swimming / biking in, that’s okay. But both the salad and the blondies sound wonderful. Two more ways to use up some of the tahini in my cupboard.

  13. anna said,

    May 1, 2009 @ 12:31 am

    I always forget about poor little tahini – about half the time I make hummus I forget the tahini! This looks really good. Fresh raw fruits and veggies are my favorite thing right now, and I have almost everything to make this salad – I’ll have to try it sometime! The chickpea blondies sound really interesting, I’m going to give them a try. It would be fun to experiment with different types of jam and nut/seed butters.

  14. Manggy said,

    May 1, 2009 @ 2:21 am

    I must admit I was surprised to find a salad (!) here, but you gave it the beautiful Lemonpi touch too, I’m so envious of your talent πŸ™‚ It looks and sounds delicious!

  15. Shellyfish said,

    May 1, 2009 @ 3:55 am

    Celine’s recipes are pure genius! I just love them.

  16. matt wright said,

    May 1, 2009 @ 6:18 am

    what a fantastic looking salad, and just beautiful photos. Funny thing, I just did a shoot using an almost identical looking tabletop!

    Salad looks so clean and fresh, awesome.

  17. Sophie said,

    May 1, 2009 @ 7:30 am

    Yummie,…..I love it,…Eh,…I adore it!! You creative person! Yum!!!

  18. erin @ dessert girl said,

    May 1, 2009 @ 8:34 am

    I can’t wait to try these! I love chickpeas and blondies, so I’ll surely love these as well!

  19. Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said,

    May 1, 2009 @ 10:27 am

    I can see how chickpeas would work totally. I made the Jessica Seinfeld chickpea and choc chip cookies with whole chickpeas and despite thinking that whole chickpeas would taste too much like…well whole chickpeas, they’re great!

  20. Juliana said,

    May 1, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

    Great looking salad….love the idea of adding tofu in it! Nice pictures.

  21. Arwen from Hoglet K said,

    May 1, 2009 @ 1:01 pm

    I’ve been meaning to make these blondies, but only got as far as buying the tahini. I’ve tried it stirred through porridge, but it’s better on toast with honey. The salad dressing idea is a good one too.

  22. Steph said,

    May 1, 2009 @ 2:37 pm

    I’m a big fan of cucumber too! And I tend to prefer asiany salad dressing, they’re so much zingier and lighter, so this is totally something I am going to try soon! Thanks!

  23. tara said,

    May 2, 2009 @ 3:26 am

    Chickpeas in all their forms are terribly popular around here, my three-year-old adores them something fierce. It is great to read some new ideas, especially when they look as delicious as these. I can’t decide which to try first.

  24. Hannah said,

    May 2, 2009 @ 3:34 am

    I have yet to try Celine’s blondies, but they do look and sound incredible! I simply can’t get enough chickpeas, either. πŸ™‚

  25. Miss Honey said,

    May 2, 2009 @ 10:26 am

    Loving the look of that salad, motivated to seek out the cookbook for a quick looksee, would you recommend it?

  26. Christy said,

    May 2, 2009 @ 6:50 pm

    I’ve made up my mind. This is what I’m going to stuff my face with when I feel fat, or have been eating junk all week.

  27. Y said,

    May 2, 2009 @ 8:12 pm

    Miss Honey : The book is geared towards housewives, so they’re pretty easy recipes with occasional shortcut steps involving the microwave. Overall, I think it’s worth getting – I have more elaborate Japanese cookbooks, but find this one really accessible for day to day cooking.

  28. Scott at Realepicurean said,

    May 3, 2009 @ 1:35 am

    I’m yet to be convinced by tofu. Convince me, please!

  29. Helen said,

    May 3, 2009 @ 2:57 am

    I love the look of that salad. The sesame sauce sounds interesting, I will definitely be giving it a try.

  30. Zita said,

    May 3, 2009 @ 3:44 am

    Mmm… Crisp Salad, love your napkin… waitng for your fav recipe using soba noodles πŸ˜‰

    FYI, They love the cucumbers so much here, it’s common to serve them plain with tea to your guest. ( I was schocked at first πŸ˜‰ )

  31. Tartelette said,

    May 3, 2009 @ 12:42 pm

    The book sounds interesting and the salad looks amazing! Anything with tahini and I am there!
    Oh, and I want to hug your table..badly πŸ™‚

  32. Y said,

    May 3, 2009 @ 4:35 pm

    Thanks everyone for the comments! Good to see more chickpea fans. I love how there are so many creative things you can make with chickpeas. Celine’s blondies are certainly one of the most original I’ve seen.

    Arwen at Hoglet K : You need to try the blondies! I have a feeling it’ll be something you’ll really like.

    Scott at Realepicurean : Salt and pepper tofu or mapo tofu perhaps? Maybe tofu is one of those things you either like or you don’t, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.

    Zita : Quite like the idea of serving cucumbers with tea. Would make for a nice change from sugary treats!

  33. Louise said,

    May 4, 2009 @ 1:22 am

    A delectable salad indeed. We will be celebrating National Salad Month in May. I hope to be posting a blog of salad links some time soon. I hope you don’t mind if I “borrow” this link to include in the post. I too have given up the “ice cream” for face cream:) and am much more conscience of healthy recipes…Thanks for sharing…

  34. Dana said,

    May 4, 2009 @ 8:07 am

    The salad looks absolutely delicious and is the kind of thing I crave all the time, especially when I want something light and healthy. Yum!

  35. Forager said,

    May 4, 2009 @ 10:59 am

    Looks delicious. My bf has an obsession with tahini so that will be sure to please. And that salad looks tempting even to confirmed carnivores like me. Will definitely give it a shot. Lovely presentation btw πŸ™‚

  36. Julia @ MΓ©langer said,

    May 4, 2009 @ 11:16 am

    I love chickpeas. I must give those blondies a go. I am with you about wanting / needing to eat a little healthier at times. But all in moderation, right? I just need to define moderation for myself! πŸ˜‰

  37. mallory elise said,

    May 4, 2009 @ 1:40 pm

    hehe i love personal dedications on blogs. hooray for W! way to go! πŸ˜›

  38. the caked crusader said,

    May 4, 2009 @ 7:29 pm

    sadly, I know exactly what you’re talking about…..sigh!

  39. Jude said,

    May 6, 2009 @ 3:28 pm

    Such an interesting blondie recipe, and I’ve always wanted to try one of Kurihara-san’s recipes. Thanks for this sampler!

  40. linda said,

    May 6, 2009 @ 8:27 pm

    Chickpea blondies, that should be interesting πŸ™‚
    Delicious and fresh looking salad.

  41. Howard said,

    May 7, 2009 @ 11:07 pm

    Salad looks good, even in this cold weather!

    That chickpea thing looks interesting, though I’ve recently developed an obsession with chickpea burgers.

  42. cakebrain said,

    May 8, 2009 @ 3:22 pm

    What a pleasant surprise! I didn’t think of dessert when tahini was in your title, but it certainly opens my mind to the possibilities! it looks so good!

  43. Sneh said,

    May 11, 2009 @ 8:01 pm

    Aww yumm .. chickpea addict here! You are so creative, these look so tasty!

  44. Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes said,

    October 16, 2010 @ 12:03 am

    I’m going to have to definetly try those blondies at the weekend! YUM!

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