So my original attempt at vegan tuna recipe writing [almost to the day, three years ago, in Brooklyn] was named Fauxy Tuna, but more than one person told me they read it “Foxy” in their head, so this time, I’m just gonna let you go right ahead and do that with my blessing.
I was setting out to make us some chickpea tuna tonight, and after consulting several sources, including my own previous tempeh based tuna recipe (which I didn’t feel like fussing with, plus, it is really best if you have carrots with tops!), I just decided to wing a new one. My beef with most tuna recipes is really they just rely heavily on vegan mayo and pickle relish to do all the magic. Nothing against pickle relish and mayo, but I grew up eating tuna sans pickle relish, and with minimal mayo. In high school and college I was a vegetarian. A vegetarian who still ate tuna fish occasionally “for protein”. I was also rather weight conscious, so I used a crazy amount of mustard in lieu of mayo in said tuna. (It was the 90s, and fat was the devil.)
I’ve never been one for sea food, actually. Unless it was tuna fish, or occasionally fish and chips or salmon as an adult, fish sticks or Mrs. Paul’s were the only fish I’d go near as a kid. (Ok, I really liked the tartar sauce that came with them! I take it back. Tartar sauce = Mayo + Pickle relish. Delicious. Fin.)
So let me try to reel it back in. (No pun intended, I swear!) I set out to make this have that salty, briney sort of thing that I find missing from most vegan tuna by adding in some chopped pimento stuffed olives. I think it did the trick, but you let me know what you think.
I’m still getting to know my Seattle Whole Foods better, so when I set out to find kelp powder the last time, all I found was the Bragg’s kelp seasoning. (I’ve since located the actual kelp powder!) So if you’re using regular kelp powder, you may need to adjust the amount. Ok, without further adieu…
Foxy Tuna (Vegan Chickpea Tuna)
2 – cans of chickpeas, well rinsed and drained
2 medium carrots, chopped into large pieces
1 celery stalk with leaves, chopped into large pieces
1/4 medium onion, chopped roughly
6-8 large pimento stuffed spanish olives
1/4 c. vegan mayo (I used red fat Veganaise. The 90s still haunt me.)
1-2 tbsp. mustard (I used 2 of dijon)
2-3 tbsp. kelp seasoning or powder (I used 3 of Bragg’s kelp seasoning)
2 tbsp. pickle relish
fresh ground pepper
1-2 tsp. Tamari, Bragg’s aminos, or red sodium soy sauce, optional
dash of cayenne pepper, optional
1. Add carrots, celery, onion and olives to food processor, and pulse until roughly chopped. (Alternatively, finely chop and add to a large bowl.)
2. Add chickpeas to food processor and pulse until crumbly, but be careful not to mash them too much. Dump into a large bowl and add all other ingredients. (Alternatively, mash them in bowl from #1, with a fork.)
3. Mix up everything with a fork. Taste for seasoning.
You can serve this as sandwiches, tuna melts, or scooped on salad greens!