When I first started down this whole food plant-based (WFPB) path you know what I missed? Not bacon. Not Popeye’s chicken sandwiches. Not cheeseboards. Nope.
I missed mayonnaise! In all its greasy glory I missed slathering that on a tomato sandwich and whipping it up in a mean tuna salad.
I know some of y’all don’t like mayonnaise (weirdos) but I take comfort in that for every one of youse that don’t like it, there are thousands of Belgians dipping their french fries in that shite right this very minute. And they are doing it with reckless abandon because they KNOW that mayonnaise is the bomb!
That may be my southern heritage speaking, but I digress.
I thought my tuna salad days might be over once I embraced this WFPB lifestyle. But, nay, I was so wrong. Tuna and mayo are no longer on the menu, but shit-damn I found some equally tasty replacements!
This recipe may look daunting with its long list of ingredients. Trust me, it goes very fast, especially when you put on your fave high-energy playlist in the kitchen!
I like to make a big batch of this salad and eat it for lunch every dang day for a week. It also travels pretty well for a pack-and-go. If you need to keep it longer than an hour or so, I’d pack it in an insulated bag with an ice pack.
There’s a bit of chopping here, just as if you were making tuna salad. Definitely keep your boobs covered lest your knife slip. I refrain from naked prepping, only because my teenagers bring home random humans and that might scare the youngest ones into a heart attack Heh.
You can definitely prep the “solids” or the “mayo plus” the day before to shorten your kitchen time at any one session, just FYI.
All of the solids get mashed, chopped, grated, or minced together and go in one bowl. Easy peasy. I included chickpeas (they are a must!), grated carrot, chopped onion, chopped celery, minced parsley and dill pickles diced fine.
Aside from the mandatory chickpeas, the “solids” in this recipe are completely up to you. If you like pecans, throw them in. If you hate celery, leave it out. Catch my drift?
So, see? It looks daunting, but you’re only using a couple of containers so cleanup is easy. And you can really move to your grooves while your brain zones out to beach vacations and fruity cocktails.
What’s in the Badass Mayo Plus Dressing?
The bulk of this dressing is made up of cashews. The cashews provide the fat content in this dish which contributes to its ability to satisfy the hungriest eaters.
Lemon juice and dijon mustard provide zing and acidic counterpoint. Dried dates makes this dressing just sweet enough.
There are a few uncommon ingredients that add so much to this dish that purchasing them is most definitely worth it! Ready?
- Nutritional Yeast — also known as “nooch.”
- Black Salt.
- Dulse Flakes.
What Is Nutritional Yeast?
Nutritional yeast is yeast, but it’s no longer alive and producing.
Adding nutritional yeast to food with no dairy adds just a bit of cheesy funk, in the best way possible, to many vegan recipes. It’s inexpensive and, in most recipes, you’ll use it in small quantities.
Serving No-Tuna Salad
Like tuna salad, this no-tuna salad is gorgeous piled on grainy toast with some frilly lettuce and thinly sliced rings of purple onion. Tomato is a tasty addition as are dill pickle slices.
Craving green salad? Add a scoop of no-tuna salad and you’ll bump up the nutritional value with protein-rich chickpeas. A half-cup of chickpeas contains about 8 grams of protein — about 15% of your daily required intake of protein! You won’t need additional salad dressing since the no-tuna salad carries both plenty of flavor and is just juicy enough to deliciously mix with greens.
Do You Love the Stoneware?
Are you digging the ceramic plates in this post? Check out Red Barn Pottery on Etsy! Nancy Nardone is the artist behind these stoneware pieces, and she makes each piece in her studio barn in Vermont. I have plates, big cereal bowls, and small mise-en-place bowls. Nancy included a tapa plate as a surprise gift in my last order! I have my eye on a few more pieces from her shop. In addition to the dinnerware, Nancy also has a wonderful assortment of ceramic art pieces on her Etsy page.
I love these little botanical soap dishes on the left. The small bowls are perfect for incense, votive candles, or spent teabags. The trivet on the right is one of my favorites, and it can also be used as wall art.
This post is not sponsored and I don’t have an affiliate relationship with Red Barn Pottery. I just love Nancy’s work and I want everyone to experience the joy of it!Print
I like to make this No-Tuna Salad just about every other week. It makes for a quick lunch sandwich for on-the-go, and it’s easy to add to green salads and grain bowls for a shot of chickpea protein. You’d be proud to serve this to all eaters. It’s that good!
1 28-ounce can cooked chickpeas
3 ribs of celery, sliced thinly
1/2 cup of diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped dill pickle
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 teaspoons dillweed (optional)
3/4 cup grape halves (optional)
1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
Badass Mayo Plus Salad Dressing
1 cup cashews, soaked in water (see Notes)
1 tablespoon dulse flakes, soaked in water with cashews
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon dill pickle juice (from a jar of dill pickles)
1 teaspoon of ume plum vinegar or vinegar of choice
1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon black salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
salt to taste (go easy and add more if you need to, since we already have salty tamari and pickle juice added)
1 cup water (depending on how long the cashews soaked, you may need more water)
- Drain the cashew and dulse flakes and add to blender.
- Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT THE WATER!
- Add only 3/4 cups of the water and begin to blend. Add water to get the desired consistency (for me, that is like thick commercial salad dressing, but not as thick as mayo).
- Blend very well to achieve desired creaminess.
- Taste for any additions — salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc.
- Store in a jar in the refrigerator while you pull together the salad ingredients.
- Drain the can of chickpeas and rinse them lightly and add them to a medium sized mixing bowl.
- With a fork or potato masher, smash the chickpeas to a tuna-like consistency. You can leave some beans whole for texture. Basically, the amount of smashing is up to you.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and gently mix.
- Add the dressing, a little at a time, and mix between additions. If you like your salads sloppy you will use all or most of the dressing. If you prefer your salad on the drier side, you will use about 3/4 of the recipe.
- If you have leftover dressing, use it to smear on the toasted bread for sandwiches.
- To serve, add this dressed salad to a green salad. Or serve between 2 slices of grainy toast with lettuce, tomato, onion and dill pickles.
Soaking Cashews: If you have a high speed blender you do not need to soak your nuts for longer than 15 minutes (if at all!). If you are using a regular blender, soaking the nuts overnight makes them more pliable and results in a creamier dressing.
Both the salad and dressing ingredients can be made ahead for quicker assembly the day of. Stored dressing may require additional water shaken into the jar, since the dressing mixture thickens over time.
The dressing will last about 5 days refrigerated in a sealed jar.
The dressed salad will also last about 5 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
- Category: Mains, Salads, Dressings
- Method: Ish
Keywords: chickpeas, salad, ish,