Friday, October 22, 2021
The Bookish Vegan Presents:

Crunchy Chickpea Salad Inspired by Leave the World Behind

David and I enjoying the amazing Crunchy Chickpea Salad on sourdough

Ahhhh! I am so behind on December recipes and reviews. I have been so fortunate to have Acting work right now, so that’s where my head has been at. Between virtual performances and recording for a Radio Play, everything about my reading has been behind. I was finally able to rest Saturday night, sit down with my book, and make an AMAZING sandwich with David.

I read Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam in November, but I had so much to process I needed to step away from the book. The book scared me in a way that wouldn’t of happened if it wasn’t 2020. However, that’s where we are at so let me tell you about it.

Amanda, Clay, and their two teens head out of New York City to a remote vacation house in Long Island, expecting a quiet vacation filled with swimming, snacks, and screen time. However, a late-night knock on their door sends them into panic. Ruth and G.H., an older couple who owns the house Amanda and Clay are renting, have arrived in utter panic because there is a black-out in New York City. The TV, radio, and phones no longer work. Is this true? Are they in danger? And have they actually found safety in this supposed crisis?

Leave the World behind scared me for this reason: the horrors of an apocalypse or complete shutdown do not feel so distant from current life. As COVID-19 continues to rage throughout the world, this book nailed it on the head. The impending crises that we see so much in fiction and on television are no longer a figment of the imagination. It’s right here with us. Obviously, zombies, monsters, shutdowns all sprout from a place of reality. That’s why those stories were told to begin with. Yet (for me), it all seems even more on par.

When I started the book, I was immediately enraptured by Alam’s writing style. I keep a running list of vocab words I pick up when I read, and I added anywhere from 25-40 new words from this book alone. The language is stunning and visceral. Some descriptions even lean towards gross, but what amazed me is that even the gross moments were incredibly relatable. I could picture the scenes, hear what they heard and smell what they were smelling. If you don’t mind feeling the occasional sense of doom and appreciate an adrenaline rush, Leave the World Behind is for you.

Crunchy Chickpea Salad Recipe

I picked this recipe because it is reminiscent to meals they eat in the book and reminds me of vacation. This is a great recipe for a summer sandwich, but also IT IS DELICIOUS TO EAT ANY TIME.

  • Serves 3-6
  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 5 minutes


For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup Tahini
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or honey
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon poppyseeds
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the Chickpea Salad:

  • 2- 14oz cans of Chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cups red grapes, halved or quartered
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2/3 cups pecans, chopped


  • Add all the dressing ingredients to a bowl and mix. Put to the side.
  • In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas with a spoon. Once mashed, add the grapes, celery, and pecans.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and mix.
  • Enjoy on your favorite bread or as a wrap! Add greens if desired.

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