Pre-vegan days, I loved a tuna-salad sandwich. It was such a great comfort food. I tried making vegan tuna-salad using chickpeas to replace the tuna. It was good. But it was nothing like tuna salad. I recently discovered a recipe that uses nuts and seeds to replace the tuna. And you know what? It’s amazing! This is my version of that recipe. This tuna salad is:
- Gluten free
- Soy free
- Spreadable yet pile-high-able
- Nutrient dense
- Tuna-y without any actual marine life being hurt. Yay!
You will want to presoak the nuts and seeds for at least 30 minutes so you need to plan ahead a bit. You also need a food processor or good blender for this recipe or super cheffy knife skills.
This recipe makes enough for about 4 very full sandwiches.
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (a/k/a pepitas)
1/2 tablespoon dried seaweed (I used sea oak, also called arame)
The juice of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon brine from dill pickles
1 stalk celery chopped
1 green onion chopped
1 dill pickle chopped
½ cup vegan mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s)
1 generous teaspoon prepared horseradish (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Soak the walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds in water. You want to soak them for 30 minutes to an hour. I find longer soaking makes everything too mushy. I soaked the nuts and seeds right in the food processor, then just drained off the water.
Once the nuts and seeds have soaked, drain off the soaking water. Add the dried seaweed and pulse the nuts, seeds and seaweed until you have a grainy mix. Don’t overmix or you’ll end up with a paste. You want to keep some texture.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix the lemon juice, mayonnaise, pickle brine, horseradish, and chopped celery, green onion and dill pickles. Mix everything together and then stir in the ground walnut, sunflower seed, and pumpkin seed mixture and blend together.
Taste and add salt and pepper if you prefer. I find the pickles and brine make everything sufficiently salty.
Pile the mixture high, higher, higher on bread, toast or even cucumber slices and enjoy!