I used to have a thing for tuna salad. Or I thought I did. In reality, I had a thing for the flavor comb of the salad, which, in our house, was mustard, dill pickles, and celery. Turns out, when I add mustard, pickles, and celery to just about any base, my brain thinks my mouth is eating tuna salad, and that makes them both happy. (Ah, the memories.)
I’ve made not-tuna salad with a variety of fillers in the past couple of years, and I’ve loved them all: chickpeas, tofu, lentils, nut meal, and the list goes on. But, since I’ve been eating at least 80% raw (about one cooked meal per week) and shying away from beans, grains, and lentils, I went down a different avenue this time. Enter, the ever-present garden staple…zucchini!
Almost Raw Not-Tuna Salad
1 c shredded or finely shopped zucchini (no need to peel unless you want to)
1 T prepared mustard OR 1 tsp mustard seed, ground (or more to taste)
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1/4 c chopped dill pickle OR cucumber (peeled unless skins are soft) plus 1t (or more) apple cider vinegar (Braggs is my fav)
2 green onions/scallions, finely diced
Dulse flakes, Kelp granuals, or crumbled nori – optional
Shred/chop zucchini and set aside in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl to drain. In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Add strained or squeezed zucchini and combine. Serve over a bed of lettuce, stuffed in a tomato, with a side of tomatoes, wrapped in your favorite raw wrap (Romain leaf, anyone?), between two pieces of raw bread, or scooped with raw crackers.
The first time I made this salad, I didn’t drain or squeeze the zucchini, and although it was a bit wet, the taste wasn’t affected by the extra liquid. So, if you’re not into squeezing your zucs, no biggie. But, you might want to eat your meal with a fork to encourage drainage 😉 I also don’t add the seaweed, but if you’re looking for that ‘from the sea’ flavor, give it a try.
I use raw dill pickles in my salad. I’m able to find a local brand at my townie grocery store, but if you don’t care about the raw-ness of your pickles, try a commercial brand. Or, just dice some cucs and add a spash of ACV. Additionally, grind up some mustard seed if you don’t want to use prepared mustard (I really need to try making my own raw mustard!). With these simple swaps, your not-tuna salad can be 80-10-10 approved!