Eating a plant-based diet doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite foods entirely. You just have to make a few healthy adjustments. If you’re a fan a tuna, this vegan tuna salad recipe is sure to please your taste buds.
During my college years (pre-vegan days), I fell in love with tuna fish. I considered tuna fish sandwiches–on toasted hoagie buns with all of the fixings–to be a weekend splurge.
On many weekends, I would crash at my sisters’ condo for my weekend getaway. I would get the best albacore tuna my money could afford, along with some chips and ginger ale. Then we would turn on a good old-school movie and have ourselves a re-energizing introvert party.
Awww. The good old days.
As I later began to embrace a plant-based diet, I realized just how unhealthy my tuna “addiction” had been.
Why a plant-based diet is a healthier choice
Someone somewhere is reading this a thinking, “But tuna is a good source of nutrients.” Yes, you’re right. Tuna is a source of protein, iron, omega 3 fatty acids, iodine and B vitamins.
However, tuna is also a source of ingredients that pose a health risk.
Canned tuna contains a known neurotoxin called methylmercury. While our bodies excrete mercury over time, too much of it causes an accumulation in our body’s tissues–such as our brain and kidneys–leading to mercury poisoning.
Mercury poisoning can cause trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions. Tuna meat is loaded with heavy metals that attack the heart muscle.
And if this isn’t reason enough to rethink eating tuna, most cans they’re packaged in contain a chemical called Bisphenol A, or BPA. This chemical can potentially seep from the can into the tuna.
Why is this a concern? According to Medical News Today, BPA “can imitate the body’s hormones and can interfere with the production, secretion, transport, action, function, and elimination of natural hormones.”
This is one reason why a plant-based diet is a healthier option.
Why this vegan tuna salad is healthy for your skin and body
Chickpeas–aka garbanzo beans–are the main ingredient in this plant-based tuna salad and have many health benefits. Not only do they help in losing weight, improving heart health, and preventing cancer, chickpeas are also aging skin’s best friend.
Chickpeas contain manganese which gives the skin cells energy to fight free radicals that can cause wrinkles. The vitamin B in chickpeas helps in forming new and healthy skin cells which translates into a healthy glow.
The seaweed in this chickpea tuna salad is ultra-hydrating for the skin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which makes it useful in treating skin rashes and even wounds.
In addition, seaweed is loaded with amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Scientific research shows that seaweed also has anti-aging and anti-bacterial properties. This makes this dish an ideal choice for fighting everything from acne (and these acne-fighting tips also work) to signs of aging.
Knowing how harmful “real” tuna is and how beneficial this vegan tuna salad can be, are you ready to get cooking? Then let’s get started.
Vegan Tuna Salad Recipe
- 2 cans chickpeas
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 1 stalk green onion chopped (optional)
- 1/4 cup dried seaweed (Nori) chopped
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos or low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp dried basil can use fresh basil, chopped
- 1 dash cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked in 1/2 cup water
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp wet mustard
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Place the cashews for the dressing in the blender along with 1/2 cup water. Set aside and let soak while preparing the other ingredients.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas then add to food processor. Tear one sheet of the seaweed and add to the food processor. Pulse briefly until seaweed and beans are broken up and sticking together.
- Transfer mixture to a large bowl and add in remaining ingredients.
- Add the remaining dressing ingredients to the blender with the cashews and water and blend until smooth. Add this to the bowl of the chickpea mixture and mix thoroughly. Serve on lettuce leaves or whole-grain wraps.