A super-convincing tuna salad made without the tuna

Chickpea aren't tuna, but it can be used to make a vegan Waldorf salad sandwich. This one comes from "Pure & Beautiful Vegan Cooking: Recipes Inspired by Rural Life in Alaska" by Kathleen Henry. Photo by Kathleen Henry.

Chickpea aren’t tuna, but it can be used to make a vegan Waldorf salad sandwich. This one comes from “Pure & Beautiful Vegan Cooking: Recipes Inspired by Rural Life in Alaska” by Kathleen Henry. Photo by Kathleen Henry.

Vegans have known for a long time that chickpeas make a pretty good substitute for fish when making tuna salad. When chopped or pulsed in a food processor and mixed with vegan mayonnaise, the chickpeas flake and shred in a way that makes a very tuna-like texture and taste.

If you’re cutting down your meat consumption — or are a vegan and haven’t tried this dish — here is a recipe from “Pure & Beautiful Vegan Cooking” (Page Street Publishing, $21.99) that incorporates apples, walnuts, cranberries and celery to create a mock Waldorf salad that even omnivores would like.

You can use this recipe as a starting point to make your own adjustments, swapping mashed avocado for the vegan mayonnaise or leaving out the pickles if that isn’t your style. Just don’t overprocess the chickpeas or you’ll end up with hummus.

“Tuna” Waldorf Salad Sandwiches

2 (15.5-oz.) cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 stalks of celery (leaves included), chopped
1 small apple, cored and diced small
1/2 small red onion, minced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp. stone-ground, Dijon or yellow mustard (optional)
1 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish or minced sweet pickles (optional)
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Dash of kelp granules or seasoning (optional)
Slices of your favorite sandwich bread, for serving

In a food processor, add the chickpeas and pulse several times until they become a somewhat “flaky” consistency. They should not be whole but not completely mashed, either.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix well. Then, stir in the flaked chickpeas to combine. Serve chilled, between two slices of your favorite sandwich bread, in a lettuce cup or by itself. Makes enough filling for about four to six sandwiches.

— From “Pure & Beautiful Vegan Cooking: Recipes Inspired by Rural Life in Alaska” by Kathleen Henry (Page Street Publishing, $21.99)


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