Looks like tuna, tastes like tuna, must be tuna?
There were no fish harmed in the making of this lunch.
The mighty chickpea mashed up with whole food ingredients like seaweed, capers, celery and avocado (instead of the typical mayo), give this no-tuna salad an A+ in the nutrition department.
One of the trickiest questions to wrap my head around going plant-based was ‘what do I fill the lunch box with’?
Sandwiches used to be centred around the meat, and always had to have cheese.
What kind of sanny do you want today? Tuna? Turkey? Ham? … These were the normal go-to’s.
So, turning plant-based brought on a lunch box challenge. How do we keep it quick, simple, tasty, satiating and, most importantly, above and beyond just carrots and lettuce (because that’s all vegans munch on, right)?
Now, I realize how easy and delicious plant-based lunches can be.
These days the sandwich’s best friends are:
Rice & beans
And today, the spot light is on the versatile little chickpea turned ‘tuna salad’.
I can whip this up on the morning of in just 10 minutes, then have enough for 3 lunches.
~ Chickpeas are packed with easily digestible plant-protein and insoluble fiber, which is great for digestive health and controlling your blood sugar levels.
~ Seaweed of any kind is more nutrient-dense than any land vegetable! It packs tons of micronutrients like folate, calcium,, zinc, iron, selenium, magnesium and iodine.
~ Avocado in replacement of mayo (vegan mayo or not), gives you the benefits of using a whole food. Minimizing oils from processed ingredients like mayo, and replacing them with a natural source of fat from a plant food will allow you to receive the whole package of goodness. Vitamins, minerals, water content, and fibre all come with the avocado.
Why reduce seafood consumption?
- if we don’t drastically reduce our demand for fish, we could be seeing fishless oceans by 2048
- 80% of all fish stocks are in a state of collapse
- Mercury, toxins and heavy metals are stored in the fish flesh that can lead to memory loss, tremors, fatigue, birth defects…
- Farmed fish are polluting the ocean with waste, pesticides and antibiotics
- Wild fish are getting harder to come by each day
- Bycatch is the term for the millions of tons of unintentional marine life each year that is caught and discarded back to the sea, dead or wounded. This represents 40% of global marine catches, that are just thrown back into the ocean, dead or wounded.
- A fisherman will catch 20 pounds of by catch for every 1 pound of targeted fish (dolphins, whales, porpoises, sea turtles, sharks, seals, stingrays, other fish)
- Invasive fishing methods (trawl nets and explosives) destroy the ocean floor and coral
On the bright side?
- You could save 225 fish per year by ditching seafood, or make a difference by reducing your consumption
- By removing fish from your diet (including supplements) you can help marine animal populations make a come-back, plus minimize unhealthy toxins to yourself
- Plant-based food is delicious and mega nutritious
Chickpea No-Tuna Wrap
Time: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 2-3 lunches worth
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1-2 celery stalks, minced
- 1 green onion, minced
- 2 tbsp capers
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1/3 cup mixed seaweed flakes or dulse flakes (or 1 nori sheet made into flakes either minced or ground with a coffee/spice grinder)
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- juice of 1/2 lemon (or one full small one)
- 1-2 pinches cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
- 1/2 avocado
- Strain, then in a big bowl, mash the chickpeas with a potato masher, fork, or pulse them in a food processor
- Mash in the avocado
- Mix in the rest of the ingredients evenly
- Serve it up in a wrap, a romaine boat, collard green wrap, in a sandwich, on a salad, or on an open-face toast with melted vegan cheese!