Plant Based 411
Two Nut Phish Salad
By Nancy Eisman
Concerns of people contemplating a plant-based diet often include 1) will I get enough protein, 2) will the food be filling, and 3) can I still enjoy my favorite food classics? Yes, yes, and yes!
Many ingredients, beans and nuts in particular, provide lots of plant-based protein. Along with fiber-rich vegetables, you are sure to feel full and satisfied eating plant-based recipes. Your imagination, some online research, and a bit of savvy swaps will produce a gamut of comfort foods, like this tasty take on tuna fish salad.
Years ago I tasted “untuna salad” at Rainbow Acres, a local health food store, and decided to experiment and recreate the recipe. While opening a can of garbanzo beans one day I noticed there was a seaside scent, and also noticed the beans when chopped a certain way had a tuna-like texture. The original untuna had almonds, so the almonds go in along with ground hazelnuts to justify my “two nut” recipe name. The rest of the ingredients are straight out of old school tuna salad, and the results are spot on.
(Plus no tuna were harmed in the making of this recipe.)
Two Nut Phish Salad
2 cups garbanzo beans
½ cup hazelnuts, ground
½ cup almonds, ground
1 clove garlic, minced
1//3 cup carrots, diced
1/3 cup celery, diced
1/3 cup onion of your choice, diced
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
2/3 cup plant-based mayo (or more or less to taste)
Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
Pulse the garbanzo beans in a processor until slightly mashed and flakey – be careful not to go to hummousville. Or go low tech and mash by hand.
In a large bowl combine the garbeans with the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Season with salt & pepper.
Add more of any ingredient you really like or for that matter you can leave something out or put something else in.
You can put a scoop of the mixture directly on 2 slices of bread for an awesome two nut phish salad sandwich. For a light summer lunch entrée, fill tomatoes, big or small, with some of the salad. If you are kooky like me, go full on phish and form the mixture into a fish shape, embellish it with thinly sliced cucumber and scallion fins, pluck in a hazelnut eyeball, and surround with your favorite crackers, chips, and fresh veggies for a phun phish potluck platter.