Joy to the Fishies in the Deep Blue Sea: Vegan “Tuna” Salad

tuna deconstructed

Well, this is a pretty anticlimactic return to the ole blog, but for whatever reason, it inspired me. Lucky you.

I grew up on tuna salad and tuna melts and it was a major comfort food to me, and just one of my favorite things ever. I ate it at least once a week for most of my life. Several years ago at a work event, I had the opportunity to get my mercury level tested for free. I figured it would be high, but it came back at 5 times the “acceptable” high number. Eeks. I didn’t change my behavior too much at that point, but when I was ready to start a family, I went off fish and got tested again and I had brought the level to “undetectable.”

As I moved toward veganism, I knew that tuna salad was one thing I’d miss terribly. So I was thrilled to find easy peasy vegan options. This one is simplified down to the things I like best. While living in the UK for 3 years, I got into the idea of sweet corn instead of celery in the salad and still love it this way.

There are a bajillion vegan “tuna” salad recipes out there, and I’ve tried several. Here’s what I’ve settled on at the moment as my favorite, inspired by the “better-than-tuna salad” recipe in Colleen Patrick-Goudreau‘s The Vegan Table. Amounts are just a suggestion, as this is all very tweakable.

I’ll also mention that my very skeptical husband liked it enough to ask for seconds. Give it a shot.

Vegan “Tuna” Salad

  • chickpeas (a 15 oz can, drained and rinsed)
  • mayo (tofu cashew or Vegenaise or my current fave, Just Mayo) (2 – 3 tablespoons)
  • grainy mustard (1 – 2 tablespoons)
  • sweet corn (1/2 cup or so, I use frozen, no need to thaw unless eating it immediately)
  • dulse flakes (2 – 3 tablespoons)
  • Old Bay seasoning (1 – 2 teaspoons)

Method:

Mash up chickpeas with a fork. Throw in everything else. Stir. Chill for a bit. Try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting but I won’t judge. I’m eating some right now with baby carrots!

tuna mixed

Others you might like:

 

Tofu and Noodles in Ginger Scallion Sauce

This was a very easy, tasty recipe I made tonight and thought I’d share. My husband wasn’t crazy about it, but what does he know? Thank you to my friend Ava who shared the recipe for the sauce. I threw the rest together with what I had handy. While it came together quickly, there are still a buttload of dishes/pots in the kitchen waiting for a fairy to come do them. Don’t be shy, dish fairy!

Tofu and Noodles in Ginger Scallion Sauce

inspired by Gilt Taste <– click here and read!

serves: 4 – 6

Ingredients:

sauce

  • 2 bunches of scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 oz ginger, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup / 8 oz neutral oil good for high heat (I used grapeseed)
  • salt (I used about 2 heaping tablespoons kosher salt)

other stuff

  • one package noodles of choice (I used some whole grain spaghetti)
  • one package super firm tofu (could also do seitan, tempeh, etc)
  • frozen peas (whatever other veg you have would likely work great, too)
  • dark sesame oil
  • soy sauce or tamari
  • hot sauce or red pepper flakes, optional

Method

  1. Put on a big pot of water and bring to boil, cook noodles according to package directions.
  2. While you’re waiting for the boil, press the water out of the tofu. I basically do it like this, except I put some paper towels on top and under the tofu and use various canned goods as the weight. Leave it weighed down for now. Preheat your oven or convection oven to 400F or so.
  3. Read ginger scallion sauce recipe through. Make sure you get out all of the necessary equipment and ingredients.
  4. Now, liberate your tofu from the oppression of the weight, cut into cubes or whatever you like, and put in single layer on foil on some sort of shallow baking pan with sides. Drizzle with soy sauce/tamari and sesame oil. Pop into the oven or convection oven for 10 – 20 mins (basically, I just let it bake until I was ready to plate the dish, but keep an eye on it).
  5. Prep the scallions and ginger according to recipe, put in big pot/bowl (I used my big stock pot) and salt to taste. He wasn’t kidding, it does taste nasty at this point.
  6. Heat up the peas in the microwave or on the stove top in a little water.
  7. Heat up the oil for the sauce according to recipe. Keep a close eye on it. When it seems damn hot and/or almost smoking, dump it in the huge pot with the scallion/ginger/salt mixture.
  8. Assemble the dish: serving of noodles, top with tofu, then peas, then sauce. I used about 2 tablespoons of sauce per serving and this was probably too much as it was a bit greasy. Top with hot sauce or red pepper flakes, if desired. Gobble up.
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Now you know I’m no food stylist. Busted.