Mock Tuna – vegan, gluten free

“That’s a nice piece of arse; No really, it is a lovely piece of arse”

Sexism is still live and kicking in my neck of the woods!  Ben’s been away this weekend, so I thought I would take myself to the cinema to see the new Will Smith film on Saturday.  As I left I walked through an alleyway to see two men and a lady stood chatting.  It was still light, and although there weren’t a lot of people around, I was in the centre of town, so I just put my head down and didn’t think anything of it.  The quote above is what followed me.  Just in case I didn’t realise they were talking about me they then proceeded to describe the “lovely colours” I was wearing.  I just carried on walking – towards the main street – and tried not to let it bother me.  I didn’t feel threatened, and I’m sure anyone passing would have received an abusive/offensive comment, but it did niggle that I should be able to walk alone through my hometown at 7.45 without being bothered by strangers.  Should I have been more offended – or is it just par for the course?  What would you have done in that situation?

Anyway on to lighter things.  Another thing I’ve noticed being on my own for a weekend: I can’t believe how much less I have eaten.  I’m very much a ‘taste and tweak’ cook, so with only one person to please – and no desserts, I’m not really a dessert person – it’s so much easier.  I really don’t miss the desserts at all, but I do miss my-partner-in-crime.  Don’t tell him though!  We tend to go for a Sunday afternoon walk so I walked to the local nature reserve, I’ve not been this way before and it was nice to go somewhere different.

Hackney marshes devon

nature reserve

While I’ve been on my own I thought I would try a recipe I’ve been intrigued by.  I’ve seen a couple of old posts about mock tuna recently.  I was sceptical that chickpeas/nuts/sunflower seeds could be used to recreate the taste and texture of tuna.  For my version I didn’t want to use nuts or sunflower seeds, looking for a lower fat option that I could pair with whatever I wanted. I particularly like seafood with avocado, for example.

cannellini beans, nori, lemon, herbamare, olives

mock tuna ingredients

I read that, according to the Archives of Internal Medicine eating 190g of beans four times a week cuts your risk of heart disease, so I took the lead from Healthy. Happy. Life. which used chickpeas, I had some cannellini beans in the cupboard so I used them.

I had some nori in the cupboard and thought this would add a nice fishy flavour.  Nori is actually really good for you. It is high in iron (whoop whoop)

Being a plant which is high in iron also makes it an appropriate replacement for seafood and red meat in your healthy diet.

Nori is high in a number of vitamins:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C (more than oranges)

Noriis a good source iodine, said to stimulate the thyroid to boost metabolism and supports the health of fingernails, pores, skin and hair.

Mock tuna
Inspired by Healthy. Happy. Life. and Oh She Glows


  • 1 tin cannellini beans
  • 2 large green olives
  • 1 tbsp made up of the brine from the olives and apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 nori sheet
  • 1/2 tsp Herbamare
  • Cucumber or celery, chopped
  1. Reserve half of the cannellini beans and put the rest, along with all the other ingredients (except the celery/cucumber) in a food processor, pulse until broken up, but still with some texture.  You want to give the nori chance to get spread through the mixture
  2. Add in the rest of the beans and give another couple of pulses
  3. Stir in the cucumber/celery
cannellini beans, nori, lemon, herbamare, olives

mock tuna

I turned my mock tuna into quinoa sushi rolls with the other half of the nori sheet from the recipe above.

making mock tuna sushi, quinoa, cannelini beans, nori

The stages of mock tuna sushi

I used quinoa, just as a break from rice, for a change.  I outlined the nutritional benefits of quinoa in my quinoa granola post.  I put the quinoa on first, but I think it would have been better done the other way, thus my recommendations, not my method:

  1. Lay the nori sheet, shiny side down.  Spread with mock tuna.
  2. Press cooked quinoa into the mock tuna.  Sprinkle with tamari sauce.
  3. Roll up, keeping it tight.  Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge.  Chop into pieces to serve.

Back to my earlier questions: Should I have been more offended by the comment in the alleyway – or is it to be expected?  What would you have done in that situation?

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5 thoughts on “Mock Tuna – vegan, gluten free

  1. Jenny June 10, 2013 at 6:09 pm Reply

    I’ve never made anything with nori sheets .. Might have to give this a go! Cannelini beans are a bit tastier than chickpeas too. Shame about the comment you got – I don’t people can get away with it as much as they used to! (Mad Men comes to mind)

    • Emily Hawkes June 11, 2013 at 7:34 am Reply

      Ahh, I’m over it now. Keep tuned on the blog – there will be plenty of new ideas and ingredients to try 🙂

  2. […] used this cheese sauce as a topping for vegan moussaka as seen below. I also stirred some into my mock tuna and added to pasta for a vegan-tuna-pasta […]

  3. […] made mock tuna with chickpeas before, but this time i was inspired by Sonnet at For the Love of […]

  4. […] made mock tuna before – ok, it’s not exactly like the real thing – but by the time I stirred in […]

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