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Mock Tuna Salad from Main Street Vegan

Every year, I spend pretty much the entire fall and winter whining, grumbling and griping about the weather (Oh, how I hate the cold! How I wish this season would just whiz by with no snow! How come we can’t have summer all year–boo hoo? And how are you supposed to wear those hats with the ear flaps, anyway??–etc., etc.).  Well, seems that so far this year, I’m getting my wish. It’s incredible how quickly the time is zipping by–winter will be over before you know it. Seems it was just Labor Day; then, all of the sudden, Canadian Thanksgiving; and now it’s almost American Thanksgiving. Before we know it, it will be Christmas–and my goodness, where have all the days gone??

Well, I suppose I have a valid excuse for that fleeting feeling this year.  What with a full course load at the college (we’re in the throes of final-stretch of the semester, with piles of essays and assignments to mark), a cookbook manuscript due in, oh, just a few weeks (gulp!!), cooking up new and tasty anti-candida fare every day, plus all the usual demands at home (“Now that you mention it, Mum, we have been feeling rather neglected these days. . . though taste-testing all your baked goods hasn’t been too bad“)–well, no wonder I feel as if I’ve been living in a time warp. Sort of like Young Joe gazing across the table at Old Joe and wondering how the heck he got there. (Okay, so that’s an obscure allusion.  But you should go see it–it really was a good movie. And I have such an old-lady crush on Joseph Gordon-Levitt.).

Well, this faux tuna is pretty good exemplar of the types of foods I’ve been eating lately: quick and easy to prepare, even quicker and easier to eat (and it can be made portable, too–bonus points!).

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I consider my mother to be a latent vegetarian. She didn’t eat meat, and she refused to touch the whole fish my dad sometimes brought home, that he’d been given as gifts from customers.

A major exception, however, was canned tuna. My mother would purchase only the “solid white” kind, mix it with an inordinate amount of mayonnaise for a mushy, white, gluey spread that she slathered on sandwiches or plopped over salads.  According to my mom, the white kind was the only kind that was edible, with its firm flesh and mild taste. At the time, I couldn’t understand why she’d eat it at all, since to me it was reminiscent of shredded cardboard–not that I had any true experience consuming shredded cardboard, of course. (“Mum, take it from us–and we do have experience eating shredded cardboard–there’s just no comparison with canned tuna.“). In retrospect, I imagine the reason she preferred that type was precisely because it didn’t taste anything like fish.

As for me, I prefer my tuna faux, in any case. I’ve already served up some yummy chickpea-based spread on this blog before, but this new recipe offered a terrific alternative that was both light and filling at the same time.  Unlike the more common versions, this recipe from the book Main Street Vegan by author Victoria Moran contains no legumes, but is nut-based instead.  I received a copy of the book last summer from the publisher, and have been meaning to write about it since (see what I mean about time zipping by?).

While the book does contain recipes, it is not a cookbook per se; instead, Main Street Vegan provides a reference source and guidebook for anyone who may be curious about, or interested in, adopting a vegan lifestyle, but is not sure where or how to begin. The book offers a balanced, non-preachy, informative and even keeled approach without proselytizing. As her publisher tells, us some of the topics covered in the book include:

  • Figuring out what works for you as an individual, even if that means taking baby steps
  • Saving money; being plant-based doesn’t have to mean spending your whole paycheck on Tofutti or Tofurkey
  • Leaving diets behind and making peace with your body for keeps
  • Making this work in real life: dating, raising kids, traveling, eating out, and getting along with people who just wish you’d eat some meat
  • How a vegan diet changes the world for animals, and for people

Plus much more!  Each chapter ends with a recipe. This Faux Tuna made an appearance after the chapter, “Let Fish Off the Hook.”

This spread really does look a lot like “the real thing,” except this one is full of flavor and plant-based nutritional goodness as well–nothing at all fishy about that.

This recipe is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

Mum, it may not be from a can, but this Faux Tuna still looks great to us–we’d love to taste-test some of this! I think you’d better let us deal with the leftovers. . . .I mean, you don’t want us to keep feeling neglected, now, do you?”  

Diet Dessert and Dogs blog's Chaser in a sun patch

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Last Year at this Time: Plumberry Sauce or Jam (gluten free; ACD Stage 2 and beyond)

Two Years Ago: Sweet Freedom’s Coconut Macaroons (gluten free; ACD maintenance)

Three Years Ago: Classic Waldorf Salad (gluten free; ACD Stage 2 and beyond)

Four Years AgoChocolate Pecan Pie (not gluten free; ACD maintenance)

Five Years Ago: Sweet Potato and Carrot Casserole (gluten free; ACD stage 2 and beyond)

© Ricki Heller, Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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14 comments to Mock Tuna Salad from Main Street Vegan

  • Courtney

    I had gotten Main Street Vegan from the library a few months ago–even though I have been a vegan for quite a while I enjoyed it. I had to return it before I tried any of the recipes, though…thank you for the reminder of this one!

    I understand hating winter, but fall?? Really?! I love fall! Cooler but not cold…it is perfect 🙂

    Courtney

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    As soon as the weather cools, it’s earmuffs, scarf and gloves for me. . . . .fall? Bleh. Just give me summer all year round! 😉

    [Reply]

  • This is a gorgeous recipe – I love the look of the spread all wrapped up. It would be a great sushi filling too I imagine. Plus, I am the same with weather complaining, but in the opposite way, as I spent a lot of summer complaining about our heat 😛

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Sushi would be a perfect use for it! Especially with the faux-fish vibe going on. .. 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Marty

    After 35 years in the Interior of Alaska, I loathe the cold and dark (its -15F tonight)!

    I love moch tuna, though ice made it with tofu or soaked almonds, I can’t wait to try the walnuts. I’ve use dulse or kelp powder when I’ve been out of other seaweeds. I just soaked and dried some walnuts, guess I know what I’m making for lunch tomorrow! Though I’ll have to chop the walnuts fine as we’re moving and all my big appliances are already packed. Improvise is my middle name. And I’ll have it on a gluten-free quinoa waffle, just because. I don’t have this particular cookbook, though I might have to after I move.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    I can only imagine what it would be like to live there. . . can’t say I think I’d like it. 😉 This mock tuna, though, is another story! 🙂

    [Reply]

  • I never understood tuna myself but having loved the mock tuna salad with chickpeas and loving anything with walnuts I must try this.

    And glad that your busy schedule is making you appreciate the winter zipping by – though not too quickly when we have our trip to Scotland please – I am quite looking forward to a bit of festive winter 🙂

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Johanna–though I could wish you good wintery weather, and us the ultimate mild winter. . . all at the same time. 😉

    [Reply]

  • Your chickpea version of Mock Tuna was the first one of your recipes that I tried. I shared it with a neighber and she loved it. I have not made it in a long time but now that you started me thinking about it . . . . . . hmmmm. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Gretchen! I am going to go make it again myself. . . this was a really nice change, though. 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Isn’t Joseph a cutie? 🙂

    I’m already counting the days to summer! but excited about skiing this year. I’d take the snow over rain any day!

    Yummy tuna salad – and so rich!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    TOTAL cutie. *Crush*. 😉 I’m still not sure if I prefer snow to rain. . . true, at least the sun can shine on winter days!

    [Reply]

  • Nia

    I was looking for a bean free mock tuna and came across this masterpiece! This recipe just makes my mouth water! However, It says that it’s suitable for “Nut Free”… when the first ingredient is in fact nuts 😛 I’m off to the markets and will be making this tonight! Yum!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks so much for letting me know, Nia! Obviously, it is *not* nut-free–I have corrected the error. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

    [Reply]

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