Sunday, April 28, 2013

Meet Grace, and a new recipe for mock-tuna salad



Meet Grace!

Hi!  My name is Grace.  Kerry and I have been friends since college and recently Beth and I have gotten to know each other as well.  It's wonderful to develop relationships with people who share similar passions and values.  Since I moved to Washington, DC about 6 months ago, I have been following "The Split Plate" and I love the premise of the blog.  Many people in different places in life adopt a whole foods, plant based mindset.  However, the way this mindset is expressed in individuals' lifestyles can look very different from one person to the next, and it should!  This idea of how people express variations of a vegan lifestyle is the basis for "The Split Plate," and I'm excited to be a part of it!

I'd like to give a brief background on how my diet has evolved over the years.  As a child, I never cared for meat, but was required to eat what was on my plate.  When I moved out of the house I gradually began to get rid of meats in my diet.  Even when I lived with my parents I barely ate red meat and that was the first to go.  Red meat consumption has been shown to raise the risk of cancer, and also atherosclerosis and related diseases such as heart disease and stroke so it was easy as a teenager to justify to my family my desire to remove it from my diet.  When I graduated from college and began cooking for myself, I found that since I no longer cooked chicken at home, when I would eat it with others it became more and more unpalatable.  Fish left my diet only last year.  I still eat dairy and eggs occasionally, especially when they are the only option on restaurant menus.  However in my own house I have been making vegan dishes.

Currently i am progressing toward a whole foods, plant based diet.  My current diet still includes preservatives and occasional eggs and dairy, but I am learning, step by step, how to substitute natural, plant based ingredients for these items.  Healthy eating is a journey and I continue to learn more each day!  



Jackfruit and Chickpea Mock Tuna Salad Recipe

Mock Tuna Melt with Daiya

One of the things I love about a plant based diet are the new and exotic ingredients to which I am introduced.  Beth and I learned about jackfruit at the Cookology class we recently attended and I have been obsessed with the ingredient ever since.  A few months ago, I tried Sticky Fingers Bakery's mind-blowing chickpea mock tuna salad (I still dream about it!) Ever since, I've been trying to replicate their recipe. The final recipe I came up with is different (Sticky Fingers' recipe does not include jackfruit) but just as addictively delicious.



Ingredients
  • 1 can jackfruit in brine or salt (not syrup)
  • 1 sheet nonstick foil
  • 1/8 sheet of nori
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 4 spring onions (or equal amount of alternate onion)
  • 1 shallot (or equal amount of alternate onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 strip celery
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1/4 cup dill relish
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 handful parsley or other fresh herbs you have around (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • Bread
  • Daiya jalapeno garlic havarti wedge, sliced (or alternative flavor)
  • Toppings: sprouts, tomato, watercress, avocado or any other as you prefer.

Method
Jackfruit shredded and broiled
1) Jackfruit from a can has a soft consistency and briny flavor. To get rid of the brine, rinse multiple times, soak in water for about 1 hour, then rinse again and drain. To toughen the consistency, broil on non-stick foil at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until jackfruit is dried out and starting to brown around the edges. Mid way through, remove from oven and pull jackfruit apart with 2 forks to attain desired appearance, then return to oven.
2) While jackfruit is browning: crumple nori and add to food processor or blender and blend. Add boiling water and blend.
3) Add spring onion, shallot, garlic, celery and pulse until ingredients are chopped.
4) Add mayonnaise, capers, relish, miso, nutritional yeast, parsley and blend.
5) Add chickpeas and pulse until chickpeas are chopped but not blended.
6) Remove jackfruit from oven, transfer to large bowl and allow to cool. In the meantime, place 2 slices of bread on hot foil, add 1 slice of Daiya on on piece of bread and return to oven just until Daiya melts and browns a bit.
7) Mix chickpea mixture into jackfruit by hand.  Spread 1/2 cup of the mock tuna salad on hot toast with melted Daiya, add preferred toppings, and enjoy!

Mock Tuna Salad
Nutrition Facts for Mock Tuna Salad

 
~Grace