Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mock Tuna Salad

While I like a lot of my meals to be vegetarian, I'm often not a big fan of things pretending to be meat. I like beans, tofu, and tempeh, but they are absolutely not a substitute for a big, juicy burger or steak when I'm in the mood for meat. That being said, I love this mock tuna salad for its flavor and texture, not because it is anything like real tuna salad. I first had this mock tuna salad when I was picking up a quick dinner for myself out of the Whole Foods deli case while my husband was out with the boys. I've seen (and enjoyed) myriad of vegetarian meat substitutes, but I had never seen fake fish before. A quick look at the label revealed a promising list of ingredients, though I couldn't imagine how this was going to imitate tuna salad. Although it most definitely did not resemble tuna salad in any way, it was delicious nonetheless, and I was happy to find that Whole Foods had the recipe on their website.

Freshly prepared at home, this salad is even more delicious that out of the deli case at the store. The fresh dill is the flavor highlight of this dish, balanced by the richness and nuttiness of the almonds and sunflower seeds and acidic notes from the lemon juice and pickles. This salad is fantastic rolled up in a tortilla with some veggies or on top of a big plate of greens. This recipe makes a large batch, and can obviously be halved, but I plan on freezing the extra for an easy salad topping and wrap filling anytime. In the heat of summer, I'm happy to add another delicious meal that doesn't require turning on the oven or stove to my culinary repertoire.

Mock Tuna Salad
from Whole Foods
makes approximately 3.5 cups

1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup raw almonds
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
1/3 cup finely chopped pickles
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon kelp granules
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1. Put sunflower seeds and almonds into a large bowl, cover by 2 inches with water, cover and set aside at room temperature to let soak for 10 to 12 hours; drain well.

2. Pulse sunflower seeds and almonds in a food processor until very finely chopped, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in celery, pickles, onions, dill, maple syrup, lemon juice, kelp, pepper and salt. Serve immediately, or cover and chill until ready to serve.

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