It’s been about a month now, and our diet in the Le household has made more changes to become more vegetarian, sometimes vegan, and we feel absolutely great! It started when I was gearing up our meals to reflect even more of a plant-based diet than what we usually ate (in attempts to lower my husband’s cholesterol), but then we found out that when we did eat out on the weekends and had meat, it wasn’t “hitting the spot” anymore. Our tastebuds, we think, have been transformed, and the fact that I’ve been making a lot of really delicious vegetarian foods doesn’t hurt, either!
I do have to admit that I’ve been kind of obsessed with making things vegetarian. I always like to make dishes to know that I know how to make them, but with vegetarian food, I can really be creative and it’s so fun exploring new foods, flavor combinations, and techniques.
So, over the weekend, we chose vegetarian options when we ate at an Indian restaurant, and my husband found a restaurant called “Busboys and Poets” in Washington, DC. This place was awesome! With lots of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, the whole vibe was full of cool, artsy peeps. There were huge portraits of poets, writers, human rights activists, and there was a bookstore in the back near the bar and cafe. Anyways, my husband ordered the vegan tuna salad sandwich, which was made out of chickpeas. I had the avocado, havarti, and roasted red bell pepper sandwich. Both were A-MA-ZING.
I sought a recipe for vegan tuna salad sandwiches right when we got home, made a few changes to what I found, and I must say, I hit the jackpot on this one! I made a double portion, and gave some to our friend Matt. “This tastes just like tuna salad and I haven’t eaten it since before I became vegan!” My friend Grace was over yesterday, and tried some too. “I LOVE IT!” she said in all seriousness. If she made some for lunch today, I take it that she liked it!
I really urge you to try this recipe. I like it even more than real tuna salad because it doesn’t become watery like real tuna salad tends to be (gross). Not only is it full of fiber (chickpeas), you get to have your tuna salad fix – without worrying about the consumption of high levels of mercury that accumulates in tuna.
Vegan Tuna Salad Sandwiches
recipe adapted from “The Kitchn,” makes 4-8 sandwiches
1/2 sheet of roasted nori seaweed (sushi wrapper), cut into a few smaller pieces
2 cans (15 oz each) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
2-3 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 celery ribs, diced
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 cup vegan mayonnaise (or use regular/canola/olive oil mayonnaise if you don’t care about it being vegan)
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon celery seed
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, optional
whole grain bread
green lettuce leaves
In a food processor, process the nori seaweed until finely chopped. Add the chickpeas, and pulse 3-4 times. Add the red onion, celery, and green onion, pulsing about 2-3 more times until desired consistency. Place contents into a large bowl. Add the mayo, mustard, celery seed, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper, if using. Mix all the ingredients together until uniform throughout.
Serve with whole grain bread, green lettuce leaves, and tomato.