Happy (almost) end of summer!
My friend and fellow Northern California vegan, Robin Means of Vegan Dollhouse (and co-host of the podcast Dolls & Doughnuts of which I have been a guest) joins us today for the very first time and has kindly agreed to share a kid-friendly recipe that is perfect for back-to-school lunches. Robin and I met a couple years ago after initially “meeting” through social media. I am a big fan of her adorable style and love of what we call “cute food”. If you don’t know what I mean, be sure to head over to both Robin’s website as well as her social media channels to see exactly what I mean! Thanks for your adorably cute recipe and for being my guest. Welcome Robin!
When Kayle asked me if I would like to make something for her blog, I said Yeehaw! I’m 110% kidding…I don’t think I’ve ever said yeehaw in my entire lifetime. However, I was super excited because I love a food challenge. I actually love all challenges, but food challenges are the most fun. I knew I wanted to make something that was cowgirl related and equally as cute as the cowgirl herself. When I sent her a picture of these moowiches (moowiches stands for cow sandwiches), and her reaction was as excited as mine was, I knew we had found a winner!
I was taught how to make this chickpea salad by a coworker when I lived in Florida and worked at a little market owned by an organic farmer named Frank Oakes. I can’t recall the name of the coworker because this was like 16 years ago, but she was a mostly raw-food vegan, and she taught me a lot of yummy vegan recipes when I worked there. I’ve been using this chickpea salad recipe ever since, with only one modification that my mommy taught me: adding pickle juice. And without further a-moo, I bring you moowiches.
Ingredients (makes 4 moowiches):
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 celery stalks
½ tablespoon pickle juice
¼ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon mustard
2 tablespoons vegan mayo
? teaspoon pepper
10 slices of vegan cheese (2 varieties so you have a color difference)
4 slices of bread (I used organic sprouted wheat bread by Alvarado St)
6-8 black olives, sliced (I used kalamata)
Pulse the celery and pickle in the food processor (or finely chop by hand)
Transfer to a medium sized bowl
Pulse the chickpeas in the food processor (or mash using a potato masher)
Add to bowl
Add the pickle juice, mustard, mayo, salt, and pepper to the bowl
Cut the crusts off the bread and round one end.
Spread chickpea salad on one side of each slice of bread.
To carve the head pieces of cheese, set the bread on top of the cheese slice and trace it. This will make sure the cheese is the right shape. (I used Chao Original and Follow Your Heart American cheese slices).
Then set the piece of cheese on top of the chickpea salad-covered bread.
Carve the nose piece from a contrasting colored cheese slice.
Place the nose so the it overlaps the head piece and hangs off of the edge of the bread.
Using any scraps you have left from carving the nose pieces and head pieces, or using extra slices from the package, carve out horns and ears.
Lift the head piece of cheese to stick in the horns and ears.
Slice all of the olives, and choose 2 slices that are approximately the same size to be the eyes.
Slice a tiny piece off of the edge of the largest capers in the jar. This will keep them from rolling away. These will be the nostrils on the nose.
And you’re all done! Serve to anyone who would appreciate something this cute.
Robin Means (a.k.a. @vegandollhouse) has been vegan for 17 years. She was born and raised in California by a chef and a political activist, raised 2 vegan kiddos, and has a passion for everything kawaii (including cute food). She spent five years blogging at ieatcupcakes.com, and has spent the past three years blogging at vegandollhouse.com. Robin spends her time cooking, crafting, going to shows, and planning vegan events, such as the Southbay Vegan Drinks, San Francisco Vegan Prom, and the occasional bakesale. She also co-hosts a monthly vegan podcast called Dolls & Doughnuts. Contact Robin for collaborations, event ideas, or just to say hi!