EZ Comfort Food for Tired Wenches

For Vegan MoFo 2011, I am focusing a large part of my posts on Allison Rivers Samson’s recipes she developed for her VeganizeIt! column in VegNews magazine. Her recipes are wonderful vegan versions of old comfort food classics such as shepherd’s pie, clam chowder, French onion soup and today’s recipe: tuna salad sandwiches!

Now because I’m also in the process of moving our office this month AND Halloween is approaching, I’m going to be pressed for time. So my take on her recipes is to make them as easy and quick as possible without omitting ingredients but I might cut a corner or two to save time. I will primarily focus on smart planning. Making some portions of the recipes in advance in order to speed up the meal prep after work when I’m going to be crabby and hungry.

First up: Tuna (free) Salad Sandwiches (or in my case, roll-ups)

I was in a hurry to get to the office this morning so I drafted this quickly and added the photos tonight. This is an insanely easy recipe to make and the salad is very versatile to use (sandwiches as in Allison’s original recipe, roll-ups as I made them for easier on-the-go eating, would also be great as a toothy salad on a bed of greens in a bowl dressed with cherry tomatoes). I made a batch of it to keep in the fridge then rolled some up in spinach tortillas, put them in a bento box for work—off to pack more books and tear down furniture. And because this salad uses chickpeas, we’ll have energy all afternoon.

Below is Allison’s recipe, used with permission, and any substitutions I made are in parentheses.

Ingredients:

  • 30 ounces (2 cans) garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced (I used a press)
  • 1/4 cup dill pickle, finely chopped (I have NO TIME so I used relish)
  • 2 tablespoons nori seaweed flakes (I used kelp because I couldn’t find nori last night)
  • 1 cup vegan mayo (I used Earth Balance’s Mindful Mayo, awesome stuff)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 12 slices of bread, lightly toasted (I used spinach tortillas)
  • 6 large, crisp lettuce leaves (I lined my tortillas with fresh baby spinach)
  • 12 fresh tomato slices (included a pile of tiny white currant cherry tomatoes on the side)

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, mash the garbanzo beans with a potato masher or fork. (My potato masher is too dull for garbanzo beans and I was in a hurry so I threw them in the food processor and pulsed them until chopped fine with some chunks)
  2. Fold in the onion, celery, garlic, pickle, nori, mayo, salt, and pepper into the beans. Combine thoroughly.
  3. Lightly toast the bread. Spread the salad on one slice and stack the lettuce and tomato slices on top, finishing with the 2nd slice of toast. Cut in half and serve. (See the caption under my photo for how I rolled up the tortillas since I used those and not toast.)
To keep the tortilla from getting too soggy, line it with spinach greens, spread the garbanzo salad lengthwise but not all the way to the sides, fold over the sides then roll and keep tucking in the sides as needed. It helps to steam heat the tortillas first or at least bring them to room temperature.

Tired Wench Tips:

  • Keep a small batch of chopped onion ready in the fridge for things like this and salads as you go throughout the week.
  • Ditto with celery.
  • Keep your celery wrapped in foil in the fridge to keep it crisper longer.
  • You could buy pre-chopped garlic but it won’t taste as good. It will save time as the dill relish does.
  • Nuke the tortillas in their bag in the microwave for a few seconds (with bag open) to warm them up slightly and retain moisture.

I love easy recipes that are yummy, fast and good for you!