Tuna-less Tuna Salad

butterfly Serves: 4

Written By Eydie Desser


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I first became inspired to go plant-based when I learned about this plant-based cooking course from Rouxbe.com. Not only did I learn a lot of new cooking techniques, I also learned how whole foods play a huge role in our health. One of my favorite recipes is their Tuna-Less Tuna Salad.  Sadly, tuna is known to contain large amounts of mercury, which is terrible for our brains.  They replace mayonnaise with cashew cream. Chickpeas and nori mimic the taste and texture of tuna!  We eliminated the pickles, which provided way too much sodium.


For the Cashew Cream:

(makes 1 cup)

  • 1 cup raw organic cashews, soaked for 20 minutes in hot water, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½-3/4 cup water, or as needed
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (optional)
For the “Tuna” Salad:
  • ½ cup cashew cream
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (1) 28-ounce can) or 1 cup dried and cooked fresh beans
  • 3 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
  • 2-3 celery stalks, finely diced-about ½ cup
  • 2 tablespoons nori flakes , (1 sheet) ground 
  • 1/2 teaspoons. freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (Optional)
  • bibb, butter or other lettuce, tomatoes


Make the Cashew Cream:

In a high speed blender or food processor, add soaked and rinsed cashews, lemon juice, ½ cup water and apple cider vinegar.  Blend until very smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl down, and continue to pulse until smooth.  Add more water if a thinner consistency is desired.  Place in bowl and reserve.

Make the “Tuna” Salad:
  1. Pour the chickpeas in a large mixing bowl.  Use a potato masher or fork to mash the chickpeas to break them up. Add the finely diced red onion, celery, nori flakes, black pepper and salt, if using.
  2. Stir in ½ cup cashew cream
To Serve:

Place a scoop of the salad onto a lettuce leaf on a pretty plate and serve with tomatoes. 

butterfly Cook's Notes:

Serve this as an hors d’oeuvre by placing a tablespoon of the salad onto an endive spear.  Or make a sandwich using whole grain, gluten free bread.

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