Since I had my meal planning post for lunches, I’ve had lots of requests for sandwich ideas; particularly for a chickpea mock tuna salad recipe. Well, I have to say, this recipe is pretty amazing! And it taste tested with flying colors. I put it in my salads, sandwiches, inside bell peppers…pretty much any way you can eat a chickpea mock tuna salad, I’ve done it.
Growing up I used to make tuna salads with sweet relish, but since it is pretty hard to find a sweet relish with an unprocessed sugar (please let me know if you have one!), I’ve switched my flavor profile to savory tuna salad. This sandwich is savory and therefore it’s extremely versatile. The olives pack a mediterranean punch, the tuna adds a meaty and fleshy texture, and the seaweed gives it a nice salty flavor. Even if you aren’t a vegan, if you are trying to get away from mercury or have a soft-spot for our overfished waters, you will love this alternative salad! In fact, I’d bet a pretty penny that you’ll like it more!
My adult tuna salad experience has been pretty underwhelming except for the occasional tuna melt (Come to think of it, I bet this would taste ah-mazing with cheese melted on top!), until I started experimenting with olives after being inspired by the Joi Cafe‘s Fun Tuna. Especially since most tuna salads are pretty similar. They’re either sweet pickles or dill pickles, mayo, and tuna/mock tuna. Optional veggies allowed.
This Chickpea Mock Tuna Salad lets the nutrition shine through!
Celery: I mince my veggies so they add texture but not bulk. Celery is actually considered a “negative calorie” so this is a topping you can feel good about. It also has phthalides which is known to lower blood pressure and anti-inflammatories.
Carrots: Carrots add vitamin A and beta-carotene. Actually, carrots are my trick for my very dark under-eye circles. Thanks to carrots, even my genes don’t get me down. If you want to test the theory, drink 8 oz. of fresh carrot juice every day for a week and send me your before and after pics on Instagram @foodscapevpm
Seaweed: Nori touts high anti-inflammatories because of the bioactive peptides and fatty acids. It also is low in calories and contains “…an impressive amount of nutrients like vitamins A, B-6 and C as well as iodine and fiber.” And trust me, the flavor is great in here!
Green Olives: Decreases blood pressure, anti-inflammatory, phytonutrients that fight cancer…these are just a few of the benefits. We already know that olive oil is a healthy fat, but do you eat your olives too? With healthy fats, vitamin e and minerals you’ll feel full and your skin will thank you. Interesting fact, copper (one of the minerals in olives) helps with wrinkles. Eat more olives.
Capers: I knew I liked these for a reason! “Capers are low in calories and a rich source of calcium, magnesium, fiber and vitamin C.”
- 1 can of garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed, mashed
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 shallot
- 2 tbsp capers
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2-3 tbsp seaweed, flaked or chopped (I used a half sheet of nori)
- 1/4 cup soy-free veganaise (or whatever mayo you like)
- 1/4 cup green olives, chopped
- 1 celery, minced
- 1 carrot, minced
- 1 dill pickle, minced *optional
- salt & pepper to taste
- butter lettuce
- Mash the garbanzo beans in a bowl
- In a blender, add the garlic, shallot, capers, lemon juice, lemon zest, seaweed, veganaise and half of the olives. Blend until smooth. (Blending is optional, but I prefer the flavors pureed together)
- Add the chopped vegetables and dill
- Add rest of the ingredients to mixture and stir until well combined.
Try the salad before adding the dill pickles. It tastes really good both ways!
Something cute happened while I was at the store this week…the guy at the checkout counter didn’t know what a shallot was. If you are in that category, shallots are great when you don’t want the sharpness of an onion or the pungent flavor of a garlic. Shallots are right in the middle! When my husband didn’t like onion I started him out with shallots. Now he loves onion. If you don’t have a shallot, you can use more garlic or a bit of onion instead, I just wanted something mild.