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Tuna-safe salad for a lunchtime staple on Meatless Monday

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No one's saying you have to go meatless just because it's Monday -- but as incentive to join the growing movement, every week we're offering an animal-free recipe.

This is a fast, easy substitute for tuna salad that requires no cooking and harms no fish. We served it up on rye bread with arugula for a tasty, filling lunch.

You will need:

1 15-ounce can chickpeas/garbanzo beans 2 celery stalks 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise (or regular, but you won't be able to tell the difference in this recipe, so why not go plant-based?) 2 tablespoons relish 1 tablespoon soy sauce 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon kelp granules/kelp powder (available at natural-food stores; it gives a deliciously briny taste) 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice fresh-cracked black pepper

1. Rinse and drain the chickpeas in a colander. Place in a medium-sized bowl and use a fork to mash the chickpeas. Mash until all the whole beans are broken up; the consistency should still be coarse, not pureed. 2. Wash the celery and cut into long pieces; place in a small food processor. Process until the celery is minced. 3. Scrape the celery into the bowl with the mashed chickpeas. Add the mayonnaise, relish, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, kelp granules or powder, lemon juice and plenty of fresh-cracked black pepper. Mix until everything is thoroughly combined. This recipe makes enough for four or five generous sandwiches.

You can also add red onions, bell peppers or anything else you'd like. Taste and adjust for personal preference; you might like more mayo or relish or -- you never know -- kelp.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.