Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Stuffed Avocados
Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Stuffed Avocados- finely chopped chickpeas, toasted sunflower seeds and crunchy bell pepper make for a delicious vegetarian version of tuna salad. Stuffed inside of a creamy avocado, it’s a quick and easy meal that’s healthy and satisfying! (vegan, gluten-free & grain-free)
The first time I tried chickpea tuna (or mock tuna) was at a vegan place called Nature’s Express in Berkeley. Brandon and I were sitting at a table outside eating our sandwiches and enjoying the beautiful weather when we heard a couple of girls walk out of the restaurant laughing about how ridiculous mock tuna salad sounded.
Being a vegetarian for almost ten years has made me forget how foreign some plant-based foods sound to the average omnivore. At this point I’m so used to this lifestyle that it feels like it’s just the norm. But when I hear things like that, especially in a hippie-friendly city like Berkeley, it makes me realize that it’s not as common as I thought.
Moments like that make me feel even more fortunate to have this space to connect with you, my precious veggie-loving readers. I’m grateful that so many of you are open-minded enough to try things that might sound a little weird to most people. Because you don’t know what you could be missing out on unless you give it a chance, right?
Sadly the vegan restaurant is now closed but their chickpea tuna melt left an everlasting impression on me. This recipe is a similar spin on their version but instead I served it stuffed inside of an avocado to spare a few carbs.
The base is made from finely chopped chickpeas and toasted sunflower seeds which together give it a pleasant, slightly chewy texture. Diced red bell pepper and green onion give it a little crunch. Then a combination of dairy-free mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, garlic powder and lemon juice offer a creamy, tangy flavor that is hard to resist.
I love serving it stuffed inside of an avocado but if you find that to be too cumbersome you can always serve it in a bowl (or on a sandwich) with diced (or sliced) avocado on top.
Chickpea 'Tuna' Stuffed Avocados
Yield: 6 avocado halves
Prep Time: 20
Cook Time: 5
Total Time: 25
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 small red bell pepper, cored and diced
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons non-dairy mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch salt & pepper
3 ripe avocados
In a large pan, add the sunflower seeds and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, until light golden brown. Shake the pan intermittently as they’re cooking to allow them to toast evenly on each side. Set aside to cool.
Next add the drained garbanzo beans and sunflower seeds to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. See picture in post as an example.
Scoop the chickpea mixture from the processor to a medium size bowl then add the diced bell pepper and green onion. Stir-in 2 tablespoons non-dairy mayo, 1 teaspoon mustard, juice of 1 lemon, garlic powder and a pinch of salt & pepper. Mix until well-combined. Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Stuff each side with the chickpea mixture, serve and enjoy!
If you want to prepare them ahead of time, store the chickpea mixture sealed in a airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Wait to cut ad stuff the avocado until ready to serve. Alternatively, if you find it too difficult to eat out of the avocados, you can dice the avocado and serve it with the chickpea ‘tuna’ in a bowl.
Nutrition Facts are for one half stuffed avocado