Tuna sandwiches and tuna casserole were staples in our house growing up, along with the Salmon and Steelhead Dad caught fresh. But today, that much tuna is NOT a good idea, given the amount of mercury in today's polluted oceans, not to mention the other species of sometimes endangered fish that end up being killed for no good reason as the tuna is harvested.
But how to satisfy a craving for quality albacore tuna without animal protein or cruelty?
Chickpea of the Sea
Cholesterol free and vegan - adapted from a great little vegan cookbook called The Kripalu Cookbook, I found a nice sized bottle on amazon for only about $8 and it's great in other things such as a sauce for fish or grilled tofu - mix 1/4 cup each of the vinegar and honey or agave, add 2 T. olive oil and simmer until it coats the back of a spoon - incredibly good as a glaze on fish or tofu or as a stir fry sauce.
My husband had already had a PB sandwich when I got home from the store with the week's groceries and the ingredients, but he took a bite of mine just to try it as he was a bit skeptical looking at what I was tossing into the food processor.
He then proceeded to make ANOTHER sandwich out of the mixture and ate it as well. It only took five minutes to make so we'll be making this weekly for packed lunches.
In food processor pulse 2-3 times
1 - 15 and a half ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed (or two cups cooked ones - easy to do, just soak overnight, drain and add fresh water to simmer about 2 hours, store and use for dishes and salads through the week).
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons umeboshi vinegar.
In another bowl mix:
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Vegenaise (or mayo if you do eggs)
2 Tablespoons chopped green onion or scallions
1 large stalk of celery - chopped into small pieces
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons celery seed (SEED, not salt)
a few grinds of cracked black pepper
a tiny pinch of red pepper
a dash of James Krazy Mixed up Salt (a low sodium herb/salt blend) - optional
Serve on whole grain bread with lettuce, on a bed of mixed greens or on whole grain crackers. Makes four sandwiches. My husband was right - it had the genuine taste and texture of tuna salad, but was even fresher tasting. With whole grain bread, you can have a nice sized sandwich for around 300 calories with 16 grams of filling protein. Yummy!