My Favourite Lunch of the Moment: Easy Flaked Almond “Tuna” Salad

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This summer marks my fourth year since I started experimenting with vegan recipe development. In what feels like the blink of an eye, I’ve shared over 400 recipes (and many more photos) with you on this blog. When I started out I didn’t know how to cook a simple potato or chop an onion. Seriously. Thankfully, the wondrous internet reassured me that I was not the only person to ever type such a question into a search engine. Whew. Aside from cooking, I’d never shot a picture of food in my life, nor did it ever cross my mind to do so. Now, a day doesn’t go by when I don’t pick up my camera or chef’s knife.

Eric, who claims he does not like cooking (but loves eating), mentioned how he hates when recipes say “season to taste”. [I don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like if I’ve never made it before!] I can’t help but smile when he says this because I used to be in his shoes, scared to make a simple ingredient decision for fear of ruining the entire thing. It gets easier though. My biggest mistake starting out was probably under-seasoning my food or avoiding salt all together. Now I know that adding salt to taste is something you get a sense for with experience. When the flavours pop, I know I’ve hit the sweet spot.

So while I don’t quite believe the saying that practice makes perfect, I do think that practice builds experience and confidence. This is true for so many things in life. The more I work at it, the more fun it becomes. Now when I cook for pleasure, it’s fun to throw things into a bowl and trust my instincts.  

Another surprise for me on this journey has been about the food itself. I’m in awe of the recipes that I can make using simple plant-based ingredients. Each week brings about new inspiration and new discoveries. I feel like I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg as to what I can create. It’s exciting to look down and see a plate of food that looks as vibrant as I feel on the inside. Being able to share this passion with you, is really what I enjoy the most.

almondtunabitesvegan   My Favourite Lunch of the Moment: Easy Flaked Almond “Tuna” Salad

The base of this salad is made with plump soaked almonds. As I mentioned in my last post, soaking almonds in water for several hours allows the nutrients in the almonds to be absorbed better in the body. After soaking and rinsing, I processed the almonds into a flaked texture as the base for my salad. It worked perfectly and the salad has such a great, chewy texture.

vegantuna   My Favourite Lunch of the Moment: Easy Flaked Almond “Tuna” Salad

To bulk up the flaked almonds, I added celery, garlic, and green onion for more flavour and crunch. Finally some oil-based mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and lemon juice brought everything together. The end result is creamy, crunchy, a bit tangy, and seriously, seriously hard to resist. I couldn’t stop eating it straight from the bowl! It got to the point where I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough salad left to photograph. hah. This happens to me a lot actually. I’d be horrible on a cooking show because I’d just want to stuff my face the entire time while trying to pretend like I’m a civilized human being. 

almondtunabites 8483   My Favourite Lunch of the Moment: Easy Flaked Almond “Tuna” Salad

If you’re looking for a fun summer finger food, you can serve it on top of cucumber slices for a refreshing, light appetizer. I used a metal teaspoon to carefully scoop a well into each slice. We enjoyed this for lunch and it was so refreshing! The only thing I would change next time is to peel the cucumber first. The skin was a bit hard to chew through.

You can also serve this mixture on top of a salad (love), stuffed into a pita or wrap (also love), or as a hearty dip for crackers (such as during a 10pm fridge raid).

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Easy Flaked Almond "Tuna" Salad

Email, text, or print this recipe

Serves 6

Ingredients:
    1 cup raw almonds, soaked
    2 celery stalks, finely chopped
    2 green onions, finely chopped
    1 garlic clove, minced
    3 tablespoons vegan mayo (I use soy-free veganaise)
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    1/2-1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, to taste
    1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
    Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    Pinch of kelp granules (optional)
    1 English cucumber, peeled (if desired) and sliced into 1cm rounds (optional)

1. Soak almonds in a bowl of water for 3-9 hours until plump. Drain and rinse well.
2. Add almonds into a food processor and process until finely chopped. It should look a bit like flaked tuna. Place into a medium mixing bowl.
3. Add the chopped celery, green onion, garlic, mayo, mustard, and lemon into the bowl. Stir well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add a pinch of kelp granules if desired.
4. Slice cucumber into rounds, if using. With a small spoon, gently scoop out the centre of each cucumber round to create a small well. Spoon the almond mixture onto each cucumber round. Serve on a platter if you wish.You can also serve it in a pita, with crackers, or on top of a salad. Refrigerate leftover salad for up to 3 days.

Note: Next time I will peel the cucumber before as I found the skin a bit hard to chew through.

Nutritional Info

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The 2013 VegNews Veggie Awards are going down once again! I’m delighted to be nominated in the Favorite Blog category for the second year in a row. Once again, there are all kinds of incredible prizes up for grabs such as a week long, all expenses paid Caribbean Cruise (!), Breville juicer, weekly cookie deliveries, and more just by filling out the survey. If you think Oh She Glows is worthy of such an award, I would be so grateful for your vote of support (Favorite Blog category is found on page 5 of the survey, by the way). You can find the 2013 Vegnews survey here and it’s open until the end of August. While you’re at it, check out all the amazing vegan products/businesses/people/restaurants up for awards and nominate your own favs if they aren’t listed. 

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{ 161 comments… read them below or add one }

Abby August 15, 2013

Yum! This recipe looks great. I might have to make some for my salads this weekend! And congrats on the nomination again – your blog is great and I have missed more frequent posts the last few months. (It’s the first thing I check every morning when I get to work!)

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Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat August 15, 2013

This “tuna” salad sounds AMAZING! I want some!!!

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Suzanne @ hello, veggy! August 15, 2013

Congrats on your nomination! Best of luck and keep on cooking!!

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Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health August 15, 2013

You are more than worthy of such an award! I will gladly vote for you. No one taught me to cook growing up but I’ve learned so much through reading great blogs like yours. I agree that trusting your instincts usually ends well.
So interesting that you used soaked almonds to mimic tuna. It looks delicious and so creative!

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Erica { EricaDHouse.com } August 15, 2013

Voted for you!

Also finally convinced to start soaking my almonds :)

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Tiff @ Love Sweat & Beers August 15, 2013

My cooking has come a long way, but I think I still side with Eric half the time. A work in progress! :) Thanks for the recipe.

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Emma @ Life's A Runner August 15, 2013

This is such a unique idea – I love it!

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Kathy @ Olives & Garlic August 15, 2013

Congratulations on your nomination. And this recipe is making me drool

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Anele @ Success Along the Weigh August 15, 2013

I’m passing this on to my friend for an appetizer idea for her wedding. She wanted a few vegan options and the little cucumber slices look perfect!

It’s always so awesome to look back and see how we’ve evolved in our cooking. The first time I made mashed potatoes (I was 8) I threw the potatoes in whole. No one stopped me. Cooking Tough Love 101!

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Sarah @ Yogi in Action August 15, 2013

I love this idea! Canned tuna always freaks me out a bit, but it’s such a quick and easy lunch. I will definitely be making this in it’s place from now on.

I also love the walk through of how you’ve grown in your cooking abilities. I can definitely relate to it- as 4 years ago, when my fiancee and I first were dating, I made him banana pancakes which ended up being burnt on the outside and still soggy in the middle. I just had no idea what I was doing. Now, my fiancee can’t even remember the last time he cooked because I love experimenting in the kitchen so much!

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Kaila @healthyhelperblog! August 15, 2013

Such a unique idea for a tuna alternative! I would have never thought to use nuts! I’ve done chickpeas in the past and it turned out great! Excited to try this new combo out.

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Andrea August 15, 2013

This looks amazing! I’ve had “tuna” made from processed chickpeas before, but never almonds. I think this would have a heartier consistency, which is something I look for in a dip or sandwich! Can’t wait to try it!!

Also, just voted for you on the VegNews Veggie Awards! You ARE my fav blog. Your blog has been an incredible source of inspiration for me. I’ve only been eating entirely vegan/plant based for about a year, but your recipes got my husband (and entire family) to see that eating a plant-based, vegan diet does not have to equal bland salads and boring food!! They no longer try to sneak bacon into my food! hehe Thanks for all the inspiration and motivation here! I hope you win! =)

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Shundara@SavyNaturalista August 15, 2013

Oh gosh! I thought you were actually eating “Tuna” Good one!!! I love all your recipes and so happy you have shared them with us.. I look forward to voting for you again this year! :)

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Jill August 15, 2013

I love the way you’ve served this up!
This faux tuna salad is brilliant and congrats on your nomination. You totally deserve it! Your blog is my absolute favourite for the recipes, gorgeous pictures, and your writing :)

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Averie @ Averie Cooks August 15, 2013

I love the hollowed out cucumber rounds as the base for these. And years ago, like 2009-ish, I used to make tons of mock salads like this. They clearly weren’t as photographic and gorgeous as yours! I bet yours tastes so good, too! The colors are stunning!

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Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} August 15, 2013

What a great idea! I have to try soaking almonds… never done it before, mostly out of laziness!

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Summer August 15, 2013

What a fantastic and creative way to eat delicious soaked almonds! Question…could almond pulp be used or would it be too dry? I’m thinking it would be a great way to use the leftover pulp after making your fresh almond milk! Thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 15, 2013

Hmm, good question. Well the almond pulp wouldn’t give the texture the processed almonds would, but maybe the veggies could make up for that or you could always add more chopped almonds to go along with the pulp?

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Summer August 15, 2013

Wow! I just made this with the soaked almonds (not just pulp) and it is incredibly delicious! I didn’t have kelp flakes but I did have dulse flakes so…in they went. Excellent recipe! I’ll wrap it either in nori or romaine leaves with cucumber spears for a tasty and healthy lunch tomorrow. I’ve made a bunch of your recipes and they NEVER disappoint. Totally awesome. Thank you!!!

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Laura@FoodSnobSTL August 15, 2013

I was wondering the same thing! I think I’m going to give it a try and maybe add some extra chopped almonds like Angela suggested.

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colleen September 25, 2013

yes, I have used the pulp from almond milk for a recipe similar to this — it’s a little dryer of course, more like a “tuna” salad w/Vegannaise. But I like this recipe’s lack of packaged food. I’d suggest giving it a try and maybe adding a little water or oil if it seems dry.

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Abby @ The Frosted Vegan August 15, 2013

I love love love almond spread, especially when it is bulked up like this!

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Maria Tadic August 15, 2013

This is such a cool idea – I would never have thought to use almonds for TUNA! The more I experiment with vegan switches, the more plants amaze me. Like making an alfredo sauce that tastes JUST like the real thing, except it was made completely with nuts. I love it!

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Katy @ Katy's Kitchen August 15, 2013

It’s amazing the things you can learn about cooking after some time spent in the kitchen. I started reading your blog about a year and a half ago and I’ve loved it all the way! I can’t wait to learn about new plant based recipes and how I can incorporate more healthy foods into my diet. Quick question for ya- what kind of food processor do you own?

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Jillienne@ChasingRaspberries August 15, 2013

Such a creative “tuna” recipe! I love the way soaked almonds look… they become so vibrant!

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Sandra August 15, 2013

This sounds original. I like the idea of using almonds. Looks like it will be a winner! Great blog.

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat August 15, 2013

This sounds delicious Ange, and that’s coming from a hardcore tuna lover! I recently shot a recipe with the cucumber cup idea and found the same thing as you – definitely better done with the peels off!

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Eileen August 15, 2013

What an interesting idea! I’ve never thought to used soaked almonds for anything but almond milk, honestly. This sounds like the perfect way to enjoy them!

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McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN | Nutrition Stripped August 15, 2013

This looks great, thanks for sharing!

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Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie August 15, 2013

This looks ridiculously tasty – Can’t wait to give it a try! <3 Perfect for non-vegan guests who want to try something plant-based but are used to more traditional meaty dishes. Yum!

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Patti August 15, 2013

Thanks for this! My garden has produced an abundance of cucumbers and I have been looking for other ways to serve them! This looks wonderful!

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Noelle August 15, 2013

Your photos are beautiful!

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Jenny August 15, 2013

This looks absolutely delicious! I will have to give it a try, I like cold refreshing lunches like this, this would be such a nice dish to bring to a picnic or barbecue too.

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Maryz August 15, 2013

This looks so yummy! I have to agree with Eric…season to taste is so vague! I tend to under season everything too!

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tz August 15, 2013

I just made this! I made the “creamier version” in the vitamix. ooooh myyyy! It’s really good. Hubby likes it, too. It’s gonna be picnic food for us tomorrow.

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Christina @ The Beautiful Balance August 15, 2013

YUM! I’ve made vegan “tuna” salad before but always use walnuts. Next time I am definitely going to try almonds and can only imagine how much more delicious it is!

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Jessica August 15, 2013

Love this idea! Usually I use chickpeas to make vegan tuna, but this looks more convincing, and more spreadable. Can’t wait to try it!

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Amanda August 15, 2013

Congrats on your nomination, Angela!
Also, I am pinning this salad recipe for next week! I started soaking almonds for homemade milk this past year, and I am kicking myself for not doing so sooner. They are amazing! I always sneak a few before I toss them in the blender. :)

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Stephanie August 15, 2013

What a great looking salad! I’d love to put that into a sandwich. Yum!!

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Carolyn August 15, 2013

This is an absolutely fabulous idea. Thought about the cucumbers- rather than hollow them out, just use much thinner slices and put a schmear on top. Or- baby cucumbers! I just started seeing these in my local chain grocery store, and I would bet the skin is not nearly as tough as that of full grown cukes.

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Irena S. August 16, 2013

WOW Thats everything I love!! Thanks for this great recipe x

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alishadhi August 16, 2013

definitely gona try it….thanks for great recipe…

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Anita Stephenson August 16, 2013

Hi Angela,
Voted… and in my opinion you are already the winner! A really great blog that I look forward to and tell everyone about!! Thanks so much for all your work.
Anita

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Sarah August 16, 2013

I don’t have vegan mayonnaise and have no idea where the heck I would even find them in this small town I live in, haha! But I really want to make this recipe. It sounds yummy and I the little cucumber boats to serve are just freaking adorable(: What could I use in place of that? Almond milk? Or would that be too thin? Thanks.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 16, 2013

Hey Sarah, There are many oil-based or egg free mayo’s on the market (without the vegan label) and some happen to be vegan, so I would check some labels in your store just to see. Its also possible to make it at home quickly – I have a recipe for it coming in my book. I think almond milk would be much too thin and wouldn’t give the salad the creamy texture. You might be able to get away with cashew cream making adjustments to the dijon, lemon, etc as needed.

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