A delicious, plant-based version of a classic salad that’s good for you too!
This Raw Mock Tuna Salad, made with RawFoodz French Onion Dip, is the perfect plant-based spreadable salad for sandwiches and collard green wraps. It is equally delicious on top of a salad packed with fresh greens and veggies! If raw isn’t your thing, that is totally fine, this salad is delicious between two slices of yummy bread with all of your favourite sandwich fixings!
the real deal about fish
One of my favourite lunches growing up was tuna fish sandwiches, but when I learned the truth about the fishing industry my days of eating any type of sea animals were long behind me. I have done extensive research on the consumption of fish, and have concluded that fish are not a “health food” like the fish industry would like us to believe. Aquatic animals are an unnecessary source of food since our bodies can thrive off of plant-based foods that do not harm our planet’s precious bodies of water and the aquatic creatures. Commercial fishing is an incredibly wasteful practice that has caused irreversible damage to aquatic ecosystems all over the world.
Here are some quick facts about commercial fishing to get you up to speed on this issue:
- 3/4 of the world’s fisheries are exploited or depleted;
- we could see fishless oceans by the year 2048 - that is in less than 32 years from today;
- For every 1 pound of fish caught, up to 5 pounds of unintended marine species are caught and discarded as by-kill;
- As many as 40% (63 billion pounds) of fish caught globally every year are discarded; and
- Scientists estimate as many as 650,000 whales, dolphins and seals are killed every year by fishing vessels.*
There are also many issues surrounding fish raised in fish farms around the world. When it comes to the environmental aspect of raising farmed fish, it is particularly concerning when fish farms are placed within naturally existing bodies of water. It is simply unnatural to introduce a large number of fish into in small area, as the waste and pollutants they create cause serious degradation to the natural ecosystem. Additionally, when foreign fish are farmed this way they can infect local fish with exotic diseases and devastate wild healthy fish populations when alien species escape.
an easy alternative to flaked tuna fish
This recipe uses raw sunflower seeds as a substitute for flaked tuna fish. Sunflower seeds are inexpensive, environmentally friendly, readily available and packed with protein (29g of protein in 1 cup of seeds). Mimicking flaked-tuna is simple - all you need to do is soak the sunflower seeds in water and then process in the food processor. You will have to plan ahead as the soaking time is 6-8 hours.
Soaking nuts, seeds, legumes, grains and pseudograins is is a simple practice that can help aid with digestion. By soaking these foods the phytic acid is broken down and enzyme inhibitors are neutralized which makes these foods easier to digest. The beneficial nutrients and enzymes also increase because the once-dormant seed is now preparing for growth.** Soaking creates the perfect texture for making a spreadable salad like this mock tuna salad.
In this recipe I have used dulse, which is a sea vegetable that has a non-offensive, mild fishy-flavour. It is high in vitamin A, the B-complex vitamins, and chlorophyll, and even has more soluble fiber than oat bran. You can substitute nori, kelp or your favourite sea vegetable if dulse is not available.***
what are raw foods?
Raw foods include any plant-based food that is in its most natural form, like raw/dehydrated fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted legumes and cold-pressed oils. One of the main benefits of eating raw foods is that the natural living enzymes found in these foods are readily available. When we heat foods much of these enzymes are destroyed and naturally occurring nutrients, vitamins and minerals are sensitive and damaged by heat.
Enzymes are responsible for every metabolic action in our bodies, including digestion. Raw, living foods have the enzymes that are needed to aid in digestion. When our diets are exclusively composed of cooked food we put stress on the pancreas which must compensate by producing additional digestive enzymes, and a greater amount of energy is therefore needed for digestion. Fresh, raw foods have enzymes for easy digestion and assimilation. They also provide high amounts of clean energy without putting stress on your body.***
I typically eat raw foods for the majority of the day, especially in the summertime when fresh, organic fruit is readily available in my city. The best advice that I can give for eating this way is to ensure that you always have fresh fruit and vegetables in your kitchen. Also, I like to plan ahead by keeping cut up fruit and vegetables in the refrigerator so that I am not left wondering what to eat when hunger strikes!
all about RawFoodz
To achieve a creamy consistency for this Raw Mock Tuna Salad I've used RawFoodz French Onion Dip instead of a dairy product like mayonnaise. What I love about RawFoodz products is that they are completely raw and convenient to use, making food prep super simple. RawFoodz products are a staple in my kitchen. When I first discovered RawFoodz it seemed as though my dairy-free prayers were answered. RawFoodz has not only mimicked traditional style comfort foods, but they have taken them to a whole new level of healthy convenience. The raw-vegan and organic line includes classic dressings like Caesar, Ranch, Greek and Italian, as well as dips, butter and cheese spreads.
I had the opportunity to sit down with RawFoodz co-founder Michelle Cass, who is a holistic nutritionist, to chat about how RawFoodz got its start, the skinny on healthy fats and clean eating. Check out the interview here.
Now for the recipe:
Raw Vegan Mock Tuna Salad
2 cups raw sunflower seeds
5 tablespoons RawFoodz French Onion Dip
2 celery stocks, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dried dill
2 tbsp Kosher dill relish (with live probiotics)
2 tsp Dulse Flakes, or Nori Flakes
1 tbsp finely minced onion (red or sweet white)
Pink Himalayan Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
(use organic ingredients)
- Rinse sunflower seeds and place in to a medium size bowl. Fill with filtered water, leaving a few inches of space above. Cover with a clean towel, secured with an elastic band. Allow to soak 6-8 hours.
- After the soaking time is up, rise sunflower seeds again. Add to food processor and pulse to chop into an even consistency, scraping down with a spatula as necessary. You do not want to over process otherwise you will end up with a creamy consistency. Instead, you’re going for a crumbled consistency that resembles flaked tuna.
- In a large mixing bowl add chopped sunflower seeds and the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.
Serve chilled and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
* ”Facts and Sources." COWSPIRACY. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 June 2016. <http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts>.
** Crosby, Heather. Yum Universe. Dalas: BenBella, TX. Print.
*** Loux Underkoffler, Renée. Living Cuisine: The Art and Spirit of Raw Food. New York: Avery, 2003. Print.
This post was in collaboration with RawFoodz and the products used in this recipe were kindly gifted for the development of this recipe. This is an unpaid endorsement. I only share products that I personally use and that are made with the highest integrity.
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