Raw Vegan Tuna Salad
So we are on day 5 of our full body detox, by Dherbs, which is a 21-day raw program with an herbal regimen that cleanses all the systems in the body. I do this cleanse at least once every year. My husband finally got on board to try it last year and was committed to doing it again this year. (Proud wife moment!) It definitely can be intense and challenging your first few times. But as a veteran to this detox and being someone who is very seasoned to preparing raw food dishes, I always look forward to carving out this time each year to restore my body back to balance, give my digestive system a break and a boost, and doing some awesome kitchen experiments to develop new raw food creations to prevent boredom, and of course for fun because I’m a culinary nutrition foodie.
A little background, for those of you who may not be familiar with raw food, let me explain why raw food, and what exactly that means. Raw food is food that has not been cooked or heated any higher than 118 degrees and is generally focused on plant foods (although some include raw meet and fish). For detoxification purposes, it is most beneficial to only eat plant-based foods – a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and real dry fruit with no additives or preservatives (basically straight out the dehydrator). We know that raw plant foods offer the most nutrition to our bodies, from macro-nutrients—like healthy carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats—to an array of micro-nutrients—like vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients, amino acids, and others. When food is cooked, the nutrients are killed, making the food less nutrient dense. When food is raw, it is a living food with all its nutrition and healing qualities in tact. We simply get the most from our food when it is raw and in it’s whole form. The purpose of eating only or mostly raw plant foods while cleansing is to offer the body the highest amount of nutrition possible to aid the body’s natural detoxification process while supporting the body’s healing and restoration.
Ok, ok…enough talking (I can go on and on about this)! Let’s get to the good stuff. This recipe is so awesome! I started developing it last year while on this detox simply to add more substance and create a mock protein for my husband who was struggling from “animal protein withdrawals”. It’s really delicious and actually so spot on to how real tuna salad looks and tastes. It will fool you.
This is a 2-part recipe.
The first part is making the raw vegan mayo. This recipe has been adapted from Mimi Kirk’s Live Raw cookbook. Mimi is very close family friend, and I attribute so much of what I know about living foods and raw cooking to her. She is so awesome. Please look her up. She has lived a plant-based lifestyle for most of her adult life before taking on a raw lifestyle. She is in her late 70’s now and looks and feels incredible, so young and of course lives free of disease, aches and pains. Live Raw is the first of her raw cookbook series, and you can catch her traveling the world teaching about raw foods, plant-based lifestyle and raw cooking.
The second part is the tuna recipe, which calls for the mayo. This is an original recipe that I’ve crafted to mock the taste of real tuna salad and of course is developed to my taste. I do encourage you to make adjustments so it pleases your palate.
A little reminder, in case you’re wondering…this recipe is gluten free, dairy free, egg free, peanut free, soy free, vegetarian, vegan, raw (or high raw depending on your ingredients), low carb, weight loss friendly, and detox friendly. In short, it’s free of all the crap we don’t need, and real nutrition that we do need. Enjoy!
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1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 3-4 hours
½ tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp. lemon fresh squeezed juice
½ tbsp. raw agave
¼ tsp. dry mustard, homemade mustard or all natural store-bought mustard (look for one with all real food ingredients – may or may not be raw)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil (aka. EVOO)
Place all ingredients except the EVOO in your food processor or high-speed blender.
Blend until smooth. While blending, slowly pour in the EVOO and continue blending until very smooth and creamy. Add water if needed.
Taste and adjust seasonings to taste. Continue blending until very smooth if needed. Depending on the power of your food processor or blender, this may take 2-5 minutes or longer.
Store in a jar in the refrigerator. The mayo will thicken as it chills.
*This will last for about a week in the fridge.
*Use as a replacement to store-bought mayo on sandwiches, wraps, or even as a dip.
RAW VEGAN TUNA SALAD
1 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked in water for at least 3-4 hours
5 celery stalks, diced
½ red onion, diced
4 tbsp. raw vegan mayo
3-4 tbsp. all natural relish (look for all real food ingredients) or chopped pickles to taste
2 tbsp. fresh dill, rough chopped
1.5 tbsp. organic capers (look for all real food ingredients)
1-2 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice (adjust to taste)
¼ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. cayenne (optional if you like a kick)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Drain excess water from sunflower seeds (after soaking, they should plump up and be soft), place in food processor and pulse until they are roughly chopped.
Add all ingredients and blend on low or pulse for 10-15 seconds, then taste and adjust ingredients to taste
Blend or pulse a little longer if needed until it is the consistency of tuna salad, all the ingredients are well mixed together, and there are no large chunks of sunflower seeds.
Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving (it just tastes better chilled).
Serve on top of a bed of raw greens, your favorite salad, or in place of real tuna on a sandwich, with crackers or with veggie sticks.
*Makes about 4 cups, or around 8 servings (I generally do ½ cup serving sizes)
*Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator. This will last for about 5 days in the fridge…but my guess is you will eat it all up before then!