May 12, 2011

recipe: faux tuna (chickpea) salad

I read about this recipe from a Craftser newsletter. Weird, I know. I've been wanting to make faux tuna salad basically since I obtained the student vegetarian cookbook and saw a recipe there. However, that recipe requires kelp powder, which I have found impossible to find. So when I saw this non-kelp powder recipe, I got really excited and decided to give it a try.

I have a policy of trying a recipe the way it's written before I make any of my own modifications, but I abandoned that policy with this one. I had a couple of flashes of inspiration that could only make it better. First, I added a dill pickle. I think I was inspired by my sandwich making days back at Laurier. Second, I added a bit of nori. I shied away from sushi for so long because I don't like the taste of nori... I think it tastes like fish. But now I like sushi, and Kyle and I bought some sushi making ingredients, including nori. I crumbled up a bit and threw it in there. It didn't take much before the nori became overwhelming though, so be careful. My third flash of insight was kind of random. I was making myself a sandwich at some point after the first day, and I decided to try mustard. Even though I only put three tiny dabs of mustard on a sandwich/wrap, I think it somehow pulled the recipe together and made it more tuna-y.

Some notes: When I ate the salad on the first day, I found the flavours hadn't mingled well enough yet, so I definitely recommend letting it sit overnight. Second, I found that the apple chunks were too big and distinctive, so I'd cut them small for my next try.

Faux Tuna (chickpea) Salad
Ease: 1 very easy
Time: 4 somewhat time consuming (lots of chopping + needs to sit over night)
Ingredients: pretty easy to get (except Nori, which is optional)
Source: I found it on Craftster, but googled and found it posted here. Turns out it's originally from a book called Vegan with a Vengeance, but the one I linked above is somewhat modified. I changed it once again.

  • 1 19 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup onion, diced
  • 2/3 stalk of celery, diced
  • 1/2 granny smith apple, finely diced
  • 1 dill pickle, diced
  • black pepper to taste
  • up to 1/4 tsp Nori, chopped/crumbled finely (optional)
  • bread or tortilla wraps
  • garnishes like lettuce and tomato
  • mustard (optional)

  1. Mash chickpeas with a fork.
  2. Add vinegar, salt, and mayo.
  3. Add veggies up to the pickle.
  4. Season with a bit of black pepper.
  5. Chill overnight (I tried it after about 1 hour and the flavours hadn't blended enough!)

May 2, 2011

recipe: spice cookies

I bought some molasses cookies from Dollarama the other day and was so addicted to them it hurt. They have iron, so that's a plus... but they also have sugar and of course preservatives. I decided to try baking some at home to see if it's possible to make yummy ones. Then I will try to make a healthier version.

I found a recipe off Allrecipes and modified it as per the comments/reviews and tried it out this past Sunday. It's not terribly original on my part since I'm just copying... but they turned out SO WELL that I am posting the recipe anyway. I'm also changing the name because "molasses cookies" just sounds lame.

Spice Cookies
Ease: 1 very easy
Time: 3 somewhat quick (all baking takes long!)
Ingredients: easy to get
Source: Inspiration from

  • 3/4 cup margarine, partially melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger (1/2 tsp + "some more")
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar extra

  1. Mix wet ingredients: Mix margarine, sugar, egg until smooth. Add molasses and stir.
  2. Mix dry ingredients: Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger.
  3. Blend dry mix into wet mix.
  4. Cover and chill at least 1/2 hour (original recipe recommended 1 hour).
  5. Preheat oven to 375 F. Roll dough into walnut sized balls and then roll in sugar (note that I only rolled one side of the balls to reduce sugar). Place cookies ~ 2" apart on ungreased cookie trays.
  6. Bake 7 minutes until tops are starting to crack. Watch closely because the longer they cook, the harder they get. 7 minutes yields a soft cookie that stays soft at least one day (speaking from experience)