This recipe has been on my to-do list for ages. Let me just say, lunch was so good today and I’m so happy I finally got around to making a version of this amazing plant-based lunch staple. A big thank you to Food52 and Minimalist Baker for the recipe inspiration here.
I remember growing up really disliking tuna; the not-so-pleasant aroma seemed to penetrate every corner of the school lunch room some days. To further complicate things, one of my closest friends had inadvertently received a can of cat food for lunch which her mother mistook for canned tuna. Thankfully, it was unopened and unprepared…but, good thing her mother remembered to pack her a can opener. Ever since then, cat food and tuna were indistinguishable to me. I did, however, outgrow my tuna prejudices; several years as a fitness competitor will force anyone to suck it up for “the gains”. One day I may compete again as a plant-based athlete, who knows…
Anyway, I can’t believe I just mentioned cat food in a recipe post…I’m so sorry. Please keep reading, this is really, really good, I promise!
The texture of chickpea ‘tuna’ is so spot on; creamy, with a good “yield to the tooth” as my friend says. I only wish I had made this sooner…my eyes are now wide open. I decided to give this recipe a kick with the addition of smokey flavours from cumin and smoked paprika (which is one of my favourite spices); it’s just lovely in this recipe.
Chickpeas are loaded with protein; combining them with whole grains provides you with all the essential amino acids. They’re high in fibre, folate (also known as vitamin B9) and manganese. Just 1 cup of chickpeas contains 1.7 mg of manganese (84% of the RDA), 13 grams of fiber, and 14.5 grams of protein. Finally, you can’t go wrong with the nutritional and textural components of spinach and avocado, but feel free to omit if you wish; this recipe is so good to eat straight from the bowl!
I hope you love this new take on a traditional sandwich filling. And, if tuna isn’t your thing, you just might be the next doting fan of chickpea ‘tuna’. Give it a try.
SMOKEY CHICKPEA ‘TUNA’ ON RYE w/ SPINACH + AVOCADO
A vegan friendly take on traditional tuna salad! The taste and texture are very reminiscent thanks to the crunch of celery and the smokiness of cumin and paprika. You’ll love it!
| makes 4 open-face sandwiches |
- 15 oz of cooked chickpeas (canned or otherwise)
- 2-3 tbsp non-dairy plain yogurt, or vegan mayonnaise
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 2 scallions, chopped
- sea salt to taste
- 4 slices of rye, or sprouted wheat bread
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 avocado, sliced or cubed
- salt + pepper
Prepare the chickpea tuna:
1. in a food processor, pulse the chickpeas until they resemble a coarse, crumbly texture (see below photo). Spoon the chickpeas into a medium sized bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, stirring until well combined. Season with plenty of sea salt to your own taste.
Make your sandwich:
2. layer the baby spinach on each slice of bread; add several heapings of chickpea tuna, spreading evenly. Top with avocado slices, a few grains of sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Notes | chickpea tuna is gluten free, however, opt for a gluten free bread if wish you maintain this dietary approach. Also, this recipe is so good on toasted bread (just saying). This recipe will last 3-4 days in the fridge covered.