Tuna Salad on a Mission

Used to be that tuna salad was considered the “healthy choice.” But now who knows? Is the tuna wild? Is the mayo used to make the salad healthy? What about the bread for the sandwich? Is it gluten free? We can drive ourselves bonkers trying to keep up with all the information. And, this may  be part of the reason why tuna salad has lost popularity lately.  So, if you ever just get a taste for a tuna salad sandwich, why not just try it from a different angle? This recipe combines a dairy-egg free variation of tuna salad with Life Changing Bread, to bring you a clean(er) nutritional powerhouse of a tuna sandwich, with fiber, complete proteins from the fish and also plants, healthy fats, and other vitamins and minerals.

So, forget about “whether a tuna sandwich is okay” and dig in!

niçoise tuna salad finger sandwiches

2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
About half a scallion, chopped
2 sprigs fresh tarragon, loosely chopped
Splash of unfiltered raw cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon (or more if you like strong mustard flavor)
1 packet of solid white tuna in water (5 ounce)
- wild caught if possible
About half a stock of celery, finely chopped (or more if you like celery crunch)
4 toasted “finger” slices of Life Changing Bread
Baby spinach, tomato, arugula, radish, anything to add to your sandwich and make it yummy and colorful

First make the dressing by mixing the grapefruit juice, oil, scallion, tarragon, vinegar, & dijon mustard. In a separate bowl, place the tuna (drained) with the celery, and add the dressing. Mix gently being careful not to turn it into tuna mush. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Place the tuna on top of the bread slices along with you favorite detox friendly toppings. Pictured here, I added caper berries for a decorative touch. ENJOY!

Vegan Grilled Gouda- Melted Mastery

I couldn’t decide whether throwing together a list of somewhat obscure plant based stabilizers and coconut milk would appeal to any readers. But if you know how awesome it is to find a vegan cheese that is easy to make, and has a really wonderful MELT, you can understand why I had to finally break down and share this. Factor in the current chilly wet weather we have been having, and well, there you go!

The cheese recipe is a slight adaptation from a quick cheese recipe found on one of my favorite plant- based living blogs. The obscure ingredients can be found at a mom and pop health market, Sprouts, or Whole Foods.

vegan grilled gouda & portobello sandwich

Cheese, Wet Ingredients:
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. liquid smoke
¼ cup water
½ tsp. liquid aminos
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast Read More

Spaghetti Squash Burger Fix

We have a bunch of volunteer spaghetti squash growing out of our compost pile. It is relentlessly giving us more spaghetti squash than we would normally eat. So, I am exploring its various wonderful (and not so wonderful) uses. These patties are kind of a cross between falafel and a veggie burger, with some global spice infusion. They hold together well, so they can be enjoyed on a bun or just stand alone as a vegan entree or side dish.

spaghetti squash-quinoa falafel burgers

2 cups cooked spaghetti squash
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 can (1 3/4  cups) mashed chickpeas
2 chia eggs (or regular eggs)
1/4 cup sprouted oat flour
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. garam masala Read More

When Chicken Salad Just Won’t Do

The other day I was plugging away working in my office when that familiar, mid-day hunger craving snuck up on me. Sometimes, when we don’t properly manage our flow of  food fuel throughout the day, we can get the wrong kind of craving at the wrong time. Suddenly, all I wanted was some meat, mayo, and bread made from highly refined flour and sugar. Luckily, I don’t keep any of those things around my kitchen! So I mustered up enough focus to remember, that I have been wanting to experiment with a vegan version of the classic luncheon chicken or egg salad. Here is what I came up with about 20 minutes later, and it turned out pretty yummy.

curried chickpea salad sandwich

1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 medium onion, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
3 tbsp. vegan mayonnaise (or regular for non-vegan)
1 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 cup raisins, currants or mixed dried berries (I used mix of raisins, cranberries, and blueberries)
1/2 cup cashew pieces (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
Your favorite healthy bread
Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sprouts, and-or other favorite sandwich fillings

In a small mixing bowl, combine the chickpeas, celery, onion, cilantro and set aside. In a separate small mixing bowl, make a dressing by combining the mayonnaise, honey, mustard, and spices. Add the dressing to the chickpea mixture, and using the tines of a fork smash and mix everything together. You want to smash the chickpeas into the mixture to the extent that they blend well and become dough-like with the other ingredients, while maintaining a few whole or partially smashed chickpeas intact, giving it a nice cohesive texture. Add the fruit and the optional cashews. By the time you are done mixing, it should look and feel like curried chicken or tuna salad, just to give you a point of reference. Be sure to add salt and pepper to your desired taste.

Make a sandwich with your favorite healthy bread and fillings, or enjoy served over a bed of lettuce, or in the center of a halved and cored avocado. I used Ezekiel bread and made a yummy sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and cucumber. Ezekiel bread provides extra complete protein, making this sandwich an ideal vegan recovery meal for people who are working out or training for a physically taxing event.