Tuna salad is a tried and true sandwich staple. Wanting to make your sad lunch a little happier? Add tuna salad. Rushing off to school? Tuna sandwich. Bored of the grain bowl you prepped on Sunday come Thursday? Top with tuna salad. Tuna is a popular saltwater fish, so can be found at most grocers, and it’s a powerhouse of essential nutrients from Omega 3 fatty acids, to potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamins A and B. That said, you don’t have to miss out on the tasty dish if you’re vegetarian or vegan, or tuna just isn’t for you. There are other fish in the sea (or chickpeas in the aisle), as they say.
The benefits of chickpeas:
There are many vegan iterations on the classic tuna salad, but Julie West of The Simple Veganista has created one of the best and easiest to whip up with her “Chickpea of the Sea” Tuna Salad Sandwich. Not only is her recipe packed with protein, but it’s also loved by everyone around the dinner table for it’s soft-but-not-mushy texture and versatility. West chose chickpeas as the base of this vegan recipe because “they are easy to find with a neutral taste, and perfect to mash with the back of a fork for a flaky consistency.” Though the vegan final product may not taste exactly like its fishy predecessor, the mouth-feel and ways to use it remain similar. And, if you are looking to add a little saltwater flair, you can even add some nori to the mix to add a drop of the ocean. West’s favorite way to enjoy her vegan tuna is in a lettuce wrap for a light and refreshing meal.
This recipe makes three generous servings.
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup of vegan mayo
¼ cup celery, chopped
¼ cup red onion, chopped
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Himalayan salt and cracked pepper to taste
Dash of cayenne
Crushed nori sheets or dulse (optional)
1. Drain, rinse, and mash 3/4 of the chickpeas with the back of a fork in a medium sized bowl until your desired consistency.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well by hand or using a food processor.
3. Serve chilled over bread, lettuce, or with crackers.
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