Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Tuna", Aight?

One of the things I've missed most not eating meat is tuna sandwiches. Now I know, with the high levels of mercury, women of childbearing age should limit their intake of tuna, but I loved that stuff. I'd start with your basic albacore tuna in a can, miracle whip (yeah I'm not ashamed to admit it), onions and pickles and then be creative by adding in other things like roasted red peppers or peppadews, carrots, celery, whatever I had around. Top it with tomatoes, lettuce on toasted bread and it's a meal for kings (or queens.)

While on the Engine 2 28-Day Challenge, I tried Whole Foods mock tuna wrap and was surprised at how tuna like it tasted. It got me thinking of a mishap in the kitchen my fiance had when he added a little too much dulse, a seaweed, to his baked beans. Dulse is sometimes used to thicken dishes, but definitely has a little "of the sea" taste. In fact, those baked beans tasted like a steaming plate of fish. Well, hmmm, wouldn't that be perfect for some mock tuna?

I did a little research and found Happy Herbivore's mock tuna recipe. Having looked at the recipe quite awhile ago, I only used it for inspiration. For one thing, I mashed the chickpeas with a potato masher rather than using a food processor. The difference is by mashing you get the consistency of albacore tuna in a can rather than the mushier "chicken of the sea" or tongol variety. It's really your call.

Mock Tuna
4 servings

1 can no/low salt chickpeas
1/2 onion
1 roasted red pepper
2 T vegan mayo (you can make this Engine 2 approved by substituting whipped silken tofu)
3/4 T dulse (Happy Herbivore uses kelp. It's smart to start with less and flavor to your preference)
1 T lime juice (To make the mayo taste like miracle whip :) )
2 tsp garlic powder
dash of black pepper

Mash or food process your chickpeas to your preferred tuna consistency. Add diced veggies, mayo, seaweed and spices. Don't forget the lime juice or other "sour" flavoring, like vinegar if you want a miracle whip flavor :).  Taste and adjust to your flavor preference. Enjoy on a salad, in a wrap or on bread. This keeps well in the fridge.

You can add in shredded carrots, celery, diced pickles, really whatever you like in your tuna sandwich. Watch the video for happy herbivore's recipe for some other ideas.

I whipped this stuff up last night and when I got home from the gym today had a tasty lunch ready in less than 5 minutes. The benefits are this version has no cholesterol (in fact with high fiber bread, this sandwich can help lower cholesterol!) and is very low in sodium and fat. If you're eating tuna for the omega-3 benefit, you could add some flaxseeds or flaxseed meal to the mix.

To our health,

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