Are You Saying “No” to Tuna?

sandwichTuna has been quite the newsworthy fish lately, popping up in all kinds of reports. The New York Times ran an article last month on dangerous levels of mercury in tuna used in sushi. A recent post on Sustainablog takes a look at the safety of canned tuna as well.

If you’re concerned about health risks (or have given up fish for other reasons), but can’t get enough of that lunchtime staple, here’s a simple recipe for an alternative to traditional tuna salad:

1 Can of chickpeas (Bonus points if you can soak them yourself. Find instructions here.)
2 Heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise, or alternative (My favorite is eggless Vegenaise.)
1 Tablespoon flax seed oil
1 Medium carrot, shredded
1/3 Cup chopped celery
4-5 Sprigs of dill, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Using a potato masher, mash up the chickpeas, mayo, oil and dill until it has a chunky consistency, similar to tuna. Mix in the carrot, celery, salt and pepper. Toast up some rye or whole wheat bread, spread it on, and you’re good to go. Serve with lettuce and tomato if you’d like, and an organic pickle on the side. Double the recipe and you’ll have lunch all week.

The flax seed oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids and replaces what you’d be getting from the fish. If you’re using non-animal derived ingredients, you get the added bonus of not having to worry about the salad spoiling if it’s unrefrigerated all day, or out in the sun. It will also keep longer in your fridge — if it’s not all gobbled up immediately, that is.

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About the Author

Sharon began working as Green Options' Office Manager, and has gone on to wear many hats, working also as Intern Coordinator, Editor, and Social Media Coordinator. In the GO office, she is perhaps best known as the founder and chef for the weekly "Soup Day." Prior to working with Green Options, Sharon earned a BA in Humanities from New College of California, and worked in the nonprofit arts and education sector. A vegetarian for seven years, and vegan for nearly three, Sharon has a bit of an obsession for plant-based food. When she's not hanging out in the bulk aisle of her local food co-op, Sharon is at home, trying to grow hydroponic basil, playing with her white fluffy cat, or annoying her neighbors by singing showtunes.
  • swing

    I love tuna, but I’ll have to try this since it sounds absolutely delish!

  • nicole

    this sounds yummy. I havent ate tuna in a while and i think this alternative sounds great. Will try for lunch next week.

  • shelley

    yum. This sounds great. I’ve been needing to spice up my lunches.

  • I’ve had the pleasure of trying this particular dish, and it’s a great snack that’s easy to make.

  • Sharon Troy

    Thanks for your comments, everyone. I’ve got to be honest, it’s been at least seven years since I’ve tuna salad, so I can’t guarantee this tastes like the real thing. But it is delicious, nonetheless.

    Check back for more recipes in the future.

  • Greg Moore

    That actually sounds like a nice alternative to horrible, horrible fish. The trouble is finding chickpeas in Japan. Or really anything that doesn’t already have tuna in it.

  • Thanks for the recipe, this looks awesome! I have been saying “no” to tuna (and to eating all other animals) for a few years now. I normally don’t care much for faux meats but this sounds divine, I’ll have to try it. :)

  • The fish is not horrible, the mismanagement of the oceans that led to this fish becoming contaminated is, the overfishing is, the tuna is a pretty fascinating creature, on the other hand.

  • Kendra

    Mmm this reminds me of this mock tuna recipe I have that uses tofu, great for sandwiches or on crackers…
    http://www.ivu.org/recipes/salads/tasty-j.html

  • Mohammad Abed

    I just soaked some chickpeas to make hummus, I will also make this delicious sound ing sandwich.

  • Greg

    I’m a huge fan of sushi tuna (what’s wrong with heavy metals), but I hate tuna salad.

    I might actually try this!

  • I tried this recipe finally – it is DELICIOUS! I added extra dill and used hemp seed oil rather than flax seed oil. Hemp is also a good source of Omegas. Great recipe, and great for sammiches. :)