Let me start back with a recipe I came up with not too long ago that we absolutely love around these parts... Mock Tuna Salad. If you've been reading this blog for long, I'm assuming you have gathered that we don't consume any meat in our family. If you didn't know that, well, you do now (smile).
Now, we're not those kinds of vegetarians that go around eating a "meat-and-potatoes" kind of meal and simply replace the meat with fake meat. No. We pretty much completely changed the way we eat years ago. Rarely do we have a plate with three items on it. Most of our meals come in the form of one pot or one skillet and get served in a beautiful bowl (thank you, Mom, for the Polish Pottery!). If they happen to be served on a plate, they are still not three separate items ("meat", starch, veggie). We just don't eat that way.
All of that to say that while we don't generally go around substituting "fake meat" for meat, once in a while a girl still gets a hankering.
One hot summer day a month or two ago, this girl got a hankering for some tuna fish. Somehow, I stumbled upon a recipe online for a vegan (or vegetarian, I can't remember) "tuna salad". I thought I'd try it.
EEEWWW ... it was awful.
I couldn't eat one bite of it.
But, I had already gotten "tuna salad" into my brain and I wanted some. So, I put the first bowl into the refrigerator (in case Daddy wouldn't mind eating it ... I hate to waste) and decided to use some of my own common cooking sense. Instead of following this recipe's crazy ideas of what should go into a tuna salad, I decided to make it the way I'd always made it back when I ate tuna ... but, without the tuna.
What was born out of that "aha moment" is simply divine.
I will credit that awful recipe with one thing ~ giving me the idea to mash up chick peas for the "tuna". But, that is where the credit ends.
So, I mashed up another can of drained chickpeas and went to work adding what my Momma taught me to add to tuna fish ~ celery, pickles and mayo. Of course, I'm rather creative in the kitchen, so I didn't exactly stop there, but that was the base.
And, here is the finished recipe ... try it. Even if you are not a vegetarian or vegan, I'm sure you'll still find it as delicious as we all do! Especially on a bed of chopped romaine with some Mary's Gone Crackers. YUM-O!
Mock Tuna Salad Recipe
- 1 can of chick peas/garbanzo beans, drained (Either buy organic or look for a can that has nothing in it but chick peas and water ... we get ours at Whole Foods ... the other stuff has chemicals to preserve color and freshness ... yuck)
- 2 stalks of celery, diced (again, organic is best ... celery is on the dirty dozen list)
- Diced dill pickles (again, if you're trying to avoid toxins, look for natural pickles at a place like Whole Foods ... the others at the store have yellow-number-such-and-such and other yuckiness)
- Veganaise or other vegan mayo, about 1/3 cup (I just eyeball it)
- Sea salt (about 1/2 tsp) and freshly ground pepper
- Minced fresh dill if you have it ... or a bit of dry dill weed
- A sprinkling of Organic Kelp granules (for that "fresh from the sea" flavor ... but, don't go running away from this simple recipe just because you don't have any kelp, or know what the heck it is ... I'm sure it is just as tasty without it)
- A sprinkle of dry parsley
Funny story. I was making this the other day and I had only gotten as far as opening the can of garbanzo beans and was chopping the pickles and celery. I am not making this up, I promise. My cat came into the kitchen and clearly intended to jump up onto the counter to get to what I was making. My cat does *not* jump on the counters. Ever. Clearly, even he thought I was making real tuna salad (smile).
|Another day for the girls ... on a Wasa cracker with a bit of organic provolone cheese|
|In a crunchy romaine lettuce leaf for Momma|