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Tuna? Tuno.

the veggie nook

Holley history lesson: I grew up “vegetarian”, but I ate turkey. And chicken. And beef jerky.

Who am I kidding? I wasn’t vegetarian. I did, however, still manage to develop a fondness for fake meat products. Hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken wings are all better when they’re of the soy variety. I still, to this day, believe that.

The one soy meat alternative I didn’t like? Tuno. Tasted nothing like tuna. Tasted everything like…brown.

Fast forward 20ish years. I’m pregnant with J Man. All I want. All. I. Want. Is tuna fish. Real tuna fish. No tuno for this mama to be.

And because I’m as “type A” as they come (I measured the temperature of my bath water while pregnant because I didn’t want to hard boil my baby…true), I very diligently kept track of how much tuna I had per week because I didn’t want mercury poisoning or whatever it is that tuna can give you.

And it was hard. It was hard to hold myself back because it just tasted so good. (side note: it turns out that I became anemic during that pregnancy so maybe my craving was my body’s way of getting as much iron as possible?)

And here we are, four years later. I can’t remember the last time I had a tuna fish sandwich, and while the real stuff doesn’t appeal to me, I wanted a substitute.

Friends, please meet the most versatile legume ever- the chickpea!


Do garbanzos taste like fish?


If you combine them with the right ingredients they do! Granted, my fishy taste buds are a little rusty, so if you’re a tuna frequenter, you might disagree with me.


Regardless of what it doesn’t taste like, this is what it does taste like:


Delicious. Adding the celery and walnuts gave an awesome crunch and the grapes were the perfect sweetness. I ate this two lunches in a row – one as shown above, and today, mixed into romaine, carrots and cucumber.


Try this awesome spread and you won’t be saying “tuNO”, you’ll be saying “tuYES”!

(oh, that was awful- downright embarrassing! I’m ashamed…but not enough to erase it…)

Vegan “Tuna” Salad

Adapted from the December issue of Vegetarian Times

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 TBS sage
1/2 TBS McKays Chicken Seasoning
1 TBS honey mustard
1 TBS lemon juice
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup diced grapes
1/4 cup chopped walnuts


Pulse chickpeas and seasonings in a food processor to desired texture. I did 8-10 pulses. In a separate bowl, combine chickpea mixture and remaining ingredients. Inhale.


3 responses »

  1. What an interesting idea! I would never have thought to substitute chickpeas for the tuna!

  2. I did something similar but I think I like yours better! 🙂


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