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Chickpea ‘tofu’ with smoky almond crumb & lemon mayo – soy-free!

Chickpea ‘tofu’ with smoky almond crumb & lemon mayo – soy-free!

A great soy-free protein boosting snack, providing ‘nutritional co-factors’ such as vitamin B6, zinc, manganese and folate needed to stimulate the reward and motivation pathways in the brain. Chickpea flour is also a source of selenium, a mineral found to elevate mood and decrease anxiety. Nuts, with their abundant source of essential fatty acids, maintain brain cell structure, too.
Servings: 10 Fingers


Chickpea ‘Tofu’

  • 150 grams chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pinch turmeric
  • 720 ml water
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil

Almond Crumb

  • 300 grams whole almonds
  • 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 3 tsp ground oregano
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 150 grams gluten free flour/chickpea flour
  • 50 ml water

Lemon ‘Mayonnaise’

  • 200 grams cashew nuts soaked in water overnight
  • 100-125 ml almond milk
  • 1/4 lemon zest & juice
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Course: Main Dish


  • Start with the ‘tofu’. Lightly oil a 1 lb loaf tin or 6 inch cake tin/baking tray with the coconut oil. If you only have something larger, then double up the recipe otherwise the ‘tofu’ won’t set deep enough for optimum slicing.
  • Place the chickpea flour in a bowl with the salt and turmeric, slowly adding half the water (360ml), whisking to combine smoothly.
  • Boil the remaining water in a saucepan, reduce the heat to a simmer and quickly add the chickpea flour mixture, beating vigorously for 8-10 minutes so the mixture becomes thick, smooth and glossy.
  • Pour into the loaf tin and leave to cool at room temperature for approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour (the longer it sits the firmer it will get).
  • Meanwhile make the almond crumb. Place the almonds, paprika, oregano and salt in a food processor and pulse until the almonds are fairly fine, but not dust, retaining some texture (you may have to scrape the nuts from the sides between pulses). Tip the crumb into a wide bowl and leave to one side.
  • Now make the mayonnaise.
  • Drain the cashew nuts and rinse thoroughly with fresh water. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy. Taste, add more lemon juice, salt or vinegar as required. Decant into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Finish off the chickpea ‘tofu’ by turning it out onto a board and cutting into thick finger-length strips (or desired shape). Whisk the water, little by little, into the gluten free flour to create a smooth loose batter. Then, one by one submerge the fingers in the batter to coat and then dip into the almond crumb, covering all the ‘tofu’ and place on a baking tray.
  • Bake at 200C fan/400F/Gas mark 6 for 15 minutes until hot and crispy and serve with the mayonnaise and fresh salad.
  • The crumbed tofu will keep up to 3 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Tip: Separate the almond crumb into two bowls for dipping. If the crumb becomes too damp from the residual batter mixture it will be reluctant to stick, the second bowl provides a fresh batch.


CNM recommends the use of organic produce.
All the recipes on these Diploma Courses are based around organic, wholefoods and without any processed elements. If you want to learn more about becoming a Natural Chef come along to our next Open Evening. Click here for our next Open Evening.
Photography by Juliet Klottrup

By Chef and Nutritional Therapist Francesca Klottrup, who lectures on the CNM Natural Chef and Vegan Natural Chef Diploma training.

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