A Bare Larder and A Faux Tuna Salad!

The minute I typed that title, I wondered at the difference between a “larder” and a “pantry,” and soon learned the following via my good friend, Dr. Internet:

Etymologically, and when the terms were used in mediaeval France, you kept lard (bacon) in a larder and pain (bread) in a pantry. So larders were more likely to be underground, because meat keeps better in a cooler place. – Peter Shor 

Well, thank you, Dr. Shor! I guess my larder…or pantry would more properly be called a beanery or a granary though since I use it to store mainly dry beans and grains!

In any event, as I’ve mentioned a number of times, I love nothing better than a bare(ish) pantry in order to challenge myself to make healthy (and delicious) meals from what little I have on hand.

Well…today, the pickings are pretty slim at Sideways Cottage: we haven’t been into town in almost two weeks, and our produce fridge contains very little. Indeed, a quick inventory revealed only a small zucchini, a cauliflower, one portobello mushroom and a bunch of criminis, a few stalks of celery, a quarter of a cabbage, and some apples. I also still have quite a bit of chard growing on the deck and a little kale. Oh, and half an onion and a bunch of potatoes. That’s it for fresh stuff.

I don’t even have canned chickpeas…only dried!

So, first off, I made a big pot of cooked chickpeas. I hadn’t soaked them overnight, so I did a quick soak in the Instant Pot: 2 cups of dry chickpeas, 8 cups of water, 1 tsp salt for 2 minutes in the Instant Pot.

To cook the now soaked chickpeas, drain them and put them back in the IP for 15 minutes with 3 cups of water. Allow a natural pressure release and you’re good to go! I’m going to use 2 cups for my faux tuna salad and the rest for hummus!

Faux Tuna Salad

I adapted this recipe for Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing because it has a slightly “fishy” taste. My adaptation includes replacing the dulse flakes with a couple of these little snack sheets of nori.


I also included a TBS of capers and a tsp of Knorr Vegetable Broth powder.

Faux Tuna Salad Dressing

Blend until smooth in the Vitamix:

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon capers (with juice)
  • 2 sheets snack-sized nori sheets
  • 1 tsp vegetable broth powder
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water


And then I made the salad with…

  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 a finely chopped onion
  • 10 diced green olives
  • 1.5 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped


Then I added….

  • 2 cups of cooked, mashed chickpeas


Next, I added the dressing and mixed it all up…


I needed some leafy greens to serve it on, so I harvested a nice big handful of Swiss chard from the deck…


…and I chopped some cabbage and served the faux tuna atop the chopped chard/cabbage mixture.


This is SO freakin’ good!

I also made some two-ingredient quinoa flatbread, so I could have it again for dinner…in a slightly different form! That drizzle of red on top is, of course, a smear of my beloved sriracha!


And the song of the day is Vance Joy’s “Fire in the Flood”–an amazing song, but entirely appropriate today because it’s a miserable rainy day, but I’m sitting all cozy in front of a well-built (if I do say so!) fire, with a pup on either side and my new Fitflop boots on my feet:


Are they a slipper…a boot?


Anyway, here’s the song!





2 thoughts on “A Bare Larder and A Faux Tuna Salad!

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