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.
Mock Tuna Salad (reprinted with permission from Main Street Vegan by Victoria Moran)
2 cups (480 ml) raw walnuts, soaked in room temperature water 4-6 hours and drained
1/4 cup (60 ml) dulse fronds, washed (I used kombu)
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 Tbsp (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) fine sea salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped celery
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped onion
1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh dill, chopped (measure first, then chop)
Combine walnuts, dulse, bell pepper, garlic, lemon juice, oil and salt in a food processor and process until it becomes creamy, adding water as needed. Add parsley and blend briefly. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and mix in the celery, onion and dill with a fork. Serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Makes about 2 cups.
Suitable for: ACD Stage 2 and beyond, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, vegan, low glycemic.
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“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?”
© Ricki Heller, Diet, Dessert and Dogs