Posted by: hoppybottoms | June 6, 2011

The “Skinny” on Vegan Tuna Salad and Muffins

Sunday, I spent so many hours at the grocery store and in the kitchen that my body is aching right now.

I had been dying to try this “Tuna” Salad from the Skinny Bitch in the Kitch Cookbook. Last week, I couldn’t find half of the ingredients at the grocery store, so I couldn’t make it. Yesterday, I had such a great experience finding things at Whole Foods (God, I love it there.) I was barely able to steer my cart without knocking small children over.

One thing that this recipe called for was Kelp Powder. I had found all of the other essential ingredients, but I had to ask for help with this one. Another thing that is great about Whole Foods, someone is always knowledgable about the item you are in search of, and they will lead you there, not just point and mumble. So, I asked someone about Kelp Powder, he walked me to an aisle that had all of the items that were related including Kelp, just not Kelp Powder. He said ” I know in my section we have it in droplets, but not powder, so if we had it, it would be here.”  It wasn’t. They didn’t have it. I wanted this damn Tuna so I thought, “Could it really make that much of a difference?” Knowing that it could, because Kelp is an underwater plant and it is supposed to give the tuna a “fishy” taste, without the fish.

A couple of firsts occurred for me in the making of this recipe:

1) It was the first time I used Parsnips – They’re cute, they look like carrots that someone stole the color from.

2) It was the first time I used Nutritional Yeast – I had a heck of a time trying to find this at Stop and Shop last week, (they probably don’t have it) and I am fairly certain I exclaimed “Yay!” out loud, when I found it at Whole Foods yesterday. It seems that Nutritional Yeast is a component in a good amount of the recipes in the Skinny Bitch in the Kitch book and is a great source of B12 which is the ONLY vitamin that vegan’s lack by not eating meat or dairy. So, let’s just say, I was happy to find it.


First problem: Finely shredded parsnips. I did my best, and it wasn’t very good. They were shredded, I just don’t know how “fine” they were. I think this made the “Tuna” difficult to eat.

Second problem: Yea, it needed the Kelp Powder.

It tasted like I put parsnip, vegan mayo, onions, and celery on bread; which was fine. It just didn’t taste like tuna, not even remotely close. I am eating the left overs for lunch but if I could give any advice…get Kelp Powder and finely shred those parsnips!

“Tuna” Sandwich
Basic Fruit and Nut Muffins- Skinny Bitch in the Kitch
The first vegan friendly item I ever made, was raisin bran muffins. I made this recipe before I decided to go vegan. I kept having these strange cravings for bran muffins, but I didn’t want to use egg or milk, so I googled it. They were delicious! The recipe made 30 muffins, I actually froze them and defrosted a couple each week for a month. It was great. That recipe was also the first time I ever used Flax Seed (Gettin’ that Omega 3 and fiber in); I used it is a substitute for eggs. This recipe can be found here:
I decided yesterday to try the muffin recipe in the Skinny Bitch cookbook, they sounded yummy.
I made a couple of substitutions:
1) I made banana muffins because I didn’t want to waste the bananas that were just a day a way from being thrown in the garbage. The recipe gives options for several fruit muffins, banana is not one of those options.
2) The recipe calls for Ener-G Egg replacer. I didn’t have that, and I didn’t buy it because I knew I could use flax seed.

 To use flax seed as a replacement for eggs:

If you google it you will find several different options but the one I used the first time was found here

and it calls for 1 1/2 cups of water for 1/2 cup of flaxseed. Which is equivalent to approximately 2 eggs. I used the equivalent for one egg in my muffin recipe yesterday. Put the water and flax-seed in a coffee grinder and it will become gelatinous. It is a pain to clean the grinder, but it is totally worth it.


Flax Seed in the Coffee Grinder

 As I mentioned I decided to use bananas. I mashed 2 1/2 bananas in the mixture for this 12 muffin recipe (That actually ended up making 16 muffins). I was afraid it would have an overwhelming banana flavor…it didn’t. The muffins taste ok, they just don’t have much banana flavor. However, the consistency and texture are good, which leads me to believe that had I used the suggested fruits and nuts, they would taste great.

Banana Muffins

I also made the chocolate chip cookies again, and I think they came out even better!

The rest of my day/evening was spent making non-vegan lasagna for my Husband and Father-in-Law. Lots of cheese and meat involved. Yuck.

That was my weekend in vegan cooking and baking!



  1. ooh ooh *Raises Hand*
    I did a vegan thing this weekend too, and thought of you… Watermelon Gazpacho.
    The recipe is below, I ended up pureeing everything because I don’t like chunky gazpacho. Topped it with some avocado slices and homemade croutons. The batch is huge, enough for a party or several lunches/dinners. Probably freezes well but I’ve never tried. Of course I wasn’t being so vegan because I followed this up with filet mignon, but it was from my local butcher so I get some bonus points, right?

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