I’m kind of a homebody, and I obviously love my kitchen. This means that Jason and I don’t go out to eat a lot, unless it’s with his parents or my mom.
Well, mama was in town last week. We drove her out to the North Market in Columbus, where she asked every vendor about every ware in their stalls. It would have been very tiring for me, but we’d stopped to get lunch beforehand at a Clintonville cafe called Portia’s.
Y’ALL. It was fantastic. They are all-vegan, all gluten-free, mostly soy-free, and all scrumptious. I got something called a savory patty, which is just another name for a veggie burger. Jas got a burrito, and my mom couldn’t decide. She finally got three things: a cup of soup, some green dip, and something called “notuna.”
I didn’t sample the soup or the green stuff, but she shared the notuna around and we all loved it. Jason especially. I think he still had his mouth full when he turned to me and requested that I recreate it and pack it in his lunch.
It turned out to be a relatively simple request. Pretty much all I had to do was throw some stuff in a blender and I was done.
Jason doesn’t like pickles, so whenever I’ve made him (real) tuna salad in the past, I always put apples in. It sounds weird, but it works. The sweetness of the apple replaces the sugary bread-and-butter pickles, and since apples are already crunchy, you don’t need to put in any celery. So instead of chopping up pickles and then chopping celery, you only have to chop an apple.
I also included the other ingredients that I used to put in his tuna salads: lemon juice, celery seed, seasoned salt, a little garlic, and jalapeños. I know those ingredients sound bizarre with an apple, but trust me, they work.
One thing I didn’t include in this salad was vegan mayo. First, it didn’t need it. And second, my mom thought it was expired and threw out an almost full jar.💁
- 2 1/2 cups of shelled sunflower seeds
- 1 1/2 cups pecans
- 1 scant tsp microplane grated garlic
- 5 olives, chopped
- 1 tbsp crumbled nori*
- 1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt, plus more to taste
- 1 tsp celery seed
- 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 gala apples, finely chopped
- 4-5 tbsp lemon juice
- totally optional -- a pinch or two of cinnamon
- Pulse the sunflower seeds and the pecans together until they become a coarse meal.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the nut meal. Stir till combined.
- Enjoy with chips, in wraps, on sandwiches, in lettuce wraps...whatever!
*i crumbled up about 3/4 sheet of nori