I can’t say I’ve ever had a hankering for tuna salad, ever. I’m pretty sure it was some kind of elementary school faux pax to be caught dead with one of those sammies in your lunch bag, the whole school could smell you! But the other day my brother, Andrew, and I were out to lunch and I went ahead and ordered the most obscure thing on the menu: a vegan tuna salad sandwich. And ever since all I’ve wanted is another.
My chickpea ‘tuna-fish’ salad is briny and flavor packed, boasting loads of seaweed and crunchy celery and onion, leaving nothing to be desired. Seaweed is an extraordinary source of the trace mineral iodine. Don’t confused iodine with regular table salt, they’re not synonymous! Consuming healthy levels of iodine is essential for maintaining a healthy thyroid, a gland in your neck responsible for producing and regulating your hormone levels. Iodine deficiency is serious business and can lead to goiter (when your thyroid swells) and can have serious consequences during pregnancy to the fetus. Iodine deficiency during this time can lead to mental and physical retardation known as cretinism. So eat up!
This recipe comes together very quickly and can be easily doubled (or tripled!) to make in one large batch and have for a weeks worth of lunches. I chose to serve mine in lettuce cups, but thick sliced French bread or pita will work just as well. I promise no one at your office will smell you.
Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Salad Lettuce Cups [makes 4 servings]
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 sheets nori, rigorously crumbled
1 teaspoon kelp granules (I use Sea Seasonings)
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1/8 yellow onion, finely diced
1/4 cup egg free mayonnaise (I use Vegenaise)
8 leaves Boston Bibb lettuce
In a large bowl: mash the chickpeas with either a strong fork or potato masher until coarsely mashed. Add nori, kelp, celery and onion and stir to combine. Thoroughly mix in the mayonnaise. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble the lettuce cups by scooping 1/8 of the mixture into each cup. Enjoy!
Nutritional Information (per serving: 1/2 cup (87.5g) chickpea salad + 2 leaves Boston Bibb)
190 Calories, 17g Carbohydrates, 11.5g Fat, 6.5g Protein