When I was looking through my old recipes, I found recipes where I used Vegenaise, a product a haven’t used in years. Since learning and growing as a plant-based foodie, I removed a lot of processed foods I initially used when first transitioning. Now, making my own cashew mayo, or Vegan Sour Cream has really changed my outlook on cooking. This version of my vegan chickpea tuna salad recipe is much better than the old version, as it has more healthy ingredients, and no processed foods.
When I was little, my grandma used to stuff tomatoes with tuna salad. Of course, I hated tomatoes, because I was a kid. Honestly, I think it was her way of “hiding” vegetables in our food (she wasn’t very good at it I might add). My sister and I used to scoop the tuna salad from the tomato and leave that beautiful red tomato, with leftover tuna sitting on the plate. Luckily, I grew out of my dislike of tomatoes. Today, I eat tomatoes at least once a day.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE TEXTURE OF THE CHICKPEAS
In order to get the right texture, I use my food processor on pulse mode in order to mash all the chickpeas. Although some chickpeas can remain in halves, you want most mashed completely. Do not, though, overrules, and end up with chickpea paste. Another little trick I learned is to pulse one can of chickpeas at a time, so as not to overcrowd the food processor.
WHY MAKE YOUR OWN MAYO?
Despite the convenience of buying store-bought vegan mayo, the homemade version not only tastes better, it just is better! For example, I buy raw cashews in bulk if I need them or not. In fact, I have been known to search my local Sprouts and other organic market ads, and when they are on sale, I buy an obscene amount.
There are, though, tofu mayo recipes out there, but I prefer to use cashews. 1/2 cup of raw cashews, make an entire batch of vegan mayo, so if you are concerned about fat content, the 1/2 cup of nuts goes a LONG way.
And, making cashew mayo is simple. Who doesn’t like simple? If you own a high-speed blender (my favorite is the Nutribullet), making mayo takes 5 minutes.
DOES VEGAN CHICKPEA TUNA SALAD TASTE FISHY?
Of course, chickpea tuna salad isn’t fishy. In fact, I didn’t fishy tuna salad before I transitioned to a plant-based diet. Chickpea tuna does though, have a wonderful, flaky, creamy texture and a slight taste savory flavor of the sea.
WHAT IS DULSE?
Dulse is a variety of seaweed that resembles leafy red lettuce when fresh. Its flavor will definitely remind you of the ocean — its minerality makes it a great stand-in for salt.
The benefits of Dulse include, for example, high levels of protein and fiber. Dulse is a nutrient-rich red algae which has become increasingly popular in health food circles due to its numerous nutrition properties. More and more experts are advising people to implement sea greens into their diets, including dulse.
Here are some great ways to incorporate dulse:
- Mix flaked dulse into homemade salad dressings.
- Use dried flakes on top of popcorn
- Add strips of whole-leaf dulse to your favorite pickled vegetables.
- Sprinkle flakes over your vegan poke bowl
- Steep whole-leaf dulse in water for a restorative and savory “tea.”
- Mix flaked dulse into homemade bread dough.
- Add to a bowl of ramen.
- Sprinkle flaked dulse over a baked potato to amp up the flavor of a classic.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU ADD TO YOUR CHICKPEA TUNA SALAD?
You can also add any vegetables you want to my vegan chickpea tuna salad recipe. Celery, and yellow onion, for example, are a must. But, feel free to add any chopped vegetables you enjoy, like red peppers, or many people add capers as well.
For instance, I make a Vegan Curry Chickpea Sandwich Spread recipe, which is seasoned with curry powder. You can also add a bunch of dill to give it a more Mediterranean flair or spice it up with red pepper flakes and chili powder. The choice is yours.
SERVE IT UP DIFFERENT WAYS
In an attempt to avoid bread, I often serve chickpea tuna salad inside a carved out tomato. All you need is a large, hothouse tomato and a paring knife.
Then, gently cut the top off the tomato, and about 1/4 from the outside of the tomato, carve around the inside. Next, use a spoon to scoop out any excess tomato flesh, and just add heaping spoonfuls of chickpea tuna salad.
If filled tomatoes aren’t your thing, then simply serve it with greens in a bowl, or eat it with rice crackers. Any way you choose to eat this fabulous chickpea tuna salad, give it a try; you won’t be disappointed. Not only is chickpea tuna salad a great meal to take to work or eat at home, but you can also make it the day before, and just grab it on the way out the door.
I made my son a chickpea tuna salad melt on whole-grain bread with Havarti Follow Your Heart cheese slices. And let’s just say he wanted a second sandwich. Kid tested; mother approved!