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Not Tuna – but close! – Sandwich

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Not Tuna – but close! – Sandwich

raw vegan rolling the Not Tuna - but close! - Sandwich served on a white plate with a salad

~ raw, vegan, gluten-free ~

Before you wrinkle your nose at the idea of eating a dish that tastes like it has seafood in but doesn’t.. give this recipe a try and allow me to help you “see food” in a different way!

Not Tuna (but close!) Sandwich… The title may seem like a hard sell, but I will admit that this is one of my favorites!  I had seen the recipe many times over prior to attending raw culinary school.  It just never caught the taste buds in my imagination.  How can something taste like tuna when it is all raw, made from nuts and no meat added?

While we were at school, we often ate downstairs in the Living Light Cafe.  They made Not Tuna Salad sandwiches.  I LOVED them, and so did Bob.  I even started to request the Not Tuna to be added on top of my green salads; the flavor was so delicious.

So, this week I ventured to make this Not Tuna.  I thought it would be a great staple for the week.  We have been serving it on the Almond Toast and also in the corn tortilla wraps.  My mother even said that she would love to have it as a dip for veggies.  So as you can see, it is pretty darn versatile.  In the pictures that I share here, I used my Raw Red Bell Pepper Wrap, which can be found (here).

So just what gives it that “fish of the sea” taste?  The secret is kelp powder.  Kelp is mostly taken for its naturally high iodine content, which helps the functioning of the thyroid gland. It is essential for the formation of thyroid hormones, which regulate the body’s energy production, promote growth and development, and help burn excess fat. There are many other excellent health benefits, but I will stop right there because we need to get busy in the kitchen! Blessings, amie sue

a close up of the raw vegan rolling the Not Tuna - but close! - Sandwich cut in half and platedIngredients:

Yields: 3/4 cup (3 servings)


  1. After the almonds and sunflower seeds are done soaking, drain, rinse and discard the soak water.
  2. There are several ways to proceed… you can use a blender, small-bowled food processor or Champion juicer.


  1. Place the soaked almonds, sunflower seeds and water in the blender.  Process until almost paste-like and put into a bowl.
    • If you have a Vitamix with the tamper, you will want to use this to make sure all the nuts and seeds get into the blade.
    • If you don’t have a Vitamix, you will need to stop the until several times to scrape down the sides and move the mixture towards the blades.
  2. Add the celery, onion, parsley, lemon juice, kelp powder, salt, and dill.   Mash everything together with a fork, making sure that the spices get evenly distributed.
  3. Enjoy.  Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-5 days.

Food processor:

  1. Only use a food processor if you have a small bowled one, the amount of nuts and seeds really isn’t enough to get processed in a large bowl.
  2. Place the soaked almonds, sunflower seeds and water in the processor.  Process until almost paste-like and put into a bowl.
  3. Add the celery, onion, parsley, lemon juice, kelp powder, salt, and dill.   Mash everything together with a fork, making sure that the spices get evenly distributed.
  4. Enjoy.  Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-5 days.

Champion juicer:

  1. Run the almonds and sunflower seeds through a Champion or Green juicer outfitted with the homogenizing plate.  Use very small amounts of water, in an alternating fashion with the nuts and seeds, to facilitate the homogenizing. See option below if you don’t own such a juicer.
  2. Add the celery, onion, parsley, lemon juice, kelp powder, salt, and dill.   Mash everything together with a fork, making sure that the spices get evenly distributed.
  3. Enjoy.  Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-5 days.


  1. Not Salmon; add 1/2 cup carrot pulp for color and dill weed to taste.
  2. Not Tuna Crackers; Put 3/4 cup of Not Tuna Salad on top of a nori sheet, and spread an even 1/8-inch layer right to the edges.  Place another nori sheet on top, press into place, and slice evenly into 12 squares.  Dehydrate at 105 degrees until crisp.

Amie Sue’s Notes:

  1. Kelp powder – you can find this at a health food store.  I looked at our local grocery stores and couldn’t find it.  You could use dulse flakes instead if you can’t find the kelp powder or if you want a stronger flavor.  We ended up using both.
  2. Crudités basically means veggie tray. Crudités are traditional French appetizers compromised of sliced or whole raw vegetables which are dipped in a vinaigrette or another dipping sauce. Crudités often include celery sticks, carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus spears.  I had never heard that word before school.  I figure I can’t be the only person out there who is unfamiliar with that word…am I? hehe
 rolling the Not Tuna - but close! - Sandwich up for lunch

45 thoughts on “Not Tuna – but close! – Sandwich

  1. Camille says:

    I just made this for lunch today, it is so delicious! I could eat that on salads also!

  2. joey says:

    I don’t exactly understand the directions for the nuts and seeds in the vita-mix. Can you explain please?
    Thank you!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Joey,

      What exactly don’t you understand? It makes sense to me, but then I live in my brain. haha Let me try to rephrase what I said about using a blender. The end result of this spread is to make the texture that resembles a pate’ If you have a high-speed blender it works just fine to grind the nuts, seeds and everything together. But if you don’t have a high powered blender you might have to do it in stages. The mixture is thick and can be taxing on a blender. You will have to stop your machine a few times to scrap the sides down. Oddly enough I just made 5 batches of it today for a catering job. haha Does this make sense?

  3. Sommer says:

    Amie Sue you’ve made me happy once again! I just made a batch this morning for my husband and I to have for lunch over the weekend and it is super! I am so impressed with your website. The site is very aesthetically pleasing including the fantastic images of the food. The detailed step by step instructions with plenty of photos of the process make the recipes easy to understand and follow. I absolutely love these recipes, thank you for taking your time to put them up for everyone to enjoy.

    • amie-sue says:


      If your happy, I am happy and when the husband is happy, everyone is happy! hehe Thank you for your kind words, they are very encouraging to me. :) The more a person eats a good healthy diet AND loves the visual as well as the taste…the more the body craves it. Have a wonderful weekend! amie sue

  4. Jeannie says:

    I just had me a not tuna stuffed tomato. Delicious!

  5. Ana says:

    Wow! This is great Amie-Sue! I’m eating it right now. I didn’t have time to soak anything, but at least it’s raw. I hope you have some pate recipes on your site? I didn’t find any. I always have to modify the ones I find, but this not tuna was good without changing it. Your site is great btw! Thanks for all the recipes. :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Morning Ana,
      Hmm, I don’t have much for pate’ recipes but I ought to! hehe I am glad to hear that you are enjoying this recipe. Are you looking for a particular pate flavor?

  6. Dawn says:

    Just has this for dinner with your swiss “cheese”. Can I say yumalicious!!!! Thank you for sharing. I love your website!

  7. Naomi says:

    Amie Sue, I can’t wait to try this and I found the picture to be scrumptous! Is that one of your bread or cracker recipes? I really miss sandwiches, even though they are not the most properly combined meal. Can you let us know which of your recipes holds up well to this spread?
    (I’m gettng my courage back after the almond meal fiasco, have you noticed?)
    All the best,

    • amie-sue says:

      Well I am thrilled to see that Naomi… :) That was a cracker that I used back then. Boy, that was from about 5 years ago. lol I don’t remember what recipe I used for the cracker. Mind you, I was just learning back then about building my site and sharing recipes. To be honest, you could use about any of the cracker or bread recipes… just find the flavor profile that you like to pair with the Nut Tuna. I would suggest a recipe that isn’t to strong in flavor so it doesn’t over-power the wonderful flavors in this recipe. So for example… I have served this on the Onion Crackers and their worked beautifully together. The Honey Oat Bread would be wonderful too…. I would be here all night going through every cracker and bread recipe that I have. haha If you use a cracker recipe, just spread the mix a bit more on the thicker side to give it more structure to hold up to a spread. That make sense? :) Good luck! amie sue



    • Naomi says:

      Thank you Amie Sue, I am menu planning for the week and if all goes well I hope to make your onion bread on Wednesday. My raw pantry is empty so I had to get myself in gear:) This will be a great day to make the tuna spread too. I was wondering if here the almonds are peeled because the pate has a lovely pale color?
      Have a restful evening.

      • amie-sue says:

        Oh ya just caught me. :) To be honest, you could make it either way. I have done it each way myself, sort of depending on what I was using it for. I have done a few catering jobs where I use it as a topping on the onion crackers, then put a pinch of alfalfa sprouts on top and then for a slash of color, 1/2 a cherry tomato on top. Just lovely! But if you were going to spread in between some raw bread like a sandwich, I wouldn’t worry about it. Unless, you find you digest the almonds better without the skins as I do.

        I hope this helps. keep me posted! amie sue

  8. Rebecca says:

    Out of all the raw food web sites out there, yours is the ONLY ONE that makes me drool on a regular basis :). Everything is do-able and gorgeous, and I truly appreciate your time and effort in sharing with us all your talents and knowledge. I’m so glad I found this site!

    • amie-sue says:

      Awe, thank you Rebecca! I really appreciate that. I hope you continue to find inspiration in my site. Many blessings, amie sue

  9. Kris says:

    Starting out on a raw food lifestyle and I do say your website is AWESOME! I love all the photos and very well written directions. Not overwhelming for the newbies. I am so excited to start trying many of your wonderful recipes. I love tune, so I am so excited to try this recipe. Do you have a book yet? Thanks again for an awesome site and great recipes that I am so excited to try.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good day Kris…

      Thank you first of all for sharing this with me. It means a lot to me.

      I don’t have a cookbook YET! ;)

      I just made this last night, well I tweaked it some to make a Raw Vegan Fish Stick…. I will be releasing that recipe soon. I forgot how much I loved this recipe when I was licking the spoon.

      Have a blessed day, amie sue

  10. Rhonda says:

    if using a high power blender for the nuts, do I add some water? tysm amie sue ur site is my favorite : )

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Rhonda… yes, you may need to add a little water to get it moving, do a little at a time so it doesn’t get to thinned out. And watch your machine that you don’t over heat it. Good luck and let me know how it works. hugs, amie sue

  11. Nicole says:

    I’m trying this for dinner tonight and mouth is already expressing anticipation of its deliciousness!

    Have a beautiful weekend, I’ll definitely leave a taste post after:-)

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Nicole… I hope you too have a beautiful weekend. :) It is always good to hear from you. I can’t wait to hear what you think of this recipe. amie sue

  12. rhonda says:

    Amie-sue can you share the bread recipe used in this photo? I’d like to try it

  13. Linda says:

    Bonjour Amie-Sue, This pate is soo good. Really, it is the best. Thank you very much.

  14. deskjockie says:

    is there any reason I couldn’t use a food processor for this recipe? Thanks! I really like the idea of cutting roma tomatoes in half and using them to stuff with this!

    • amie-sue says:

      You can use a food processor deskjockie. I find that it leaves it too chunky but that may not be an issue for you. Enjoy! amie sue

  15. CD says:

    ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! I tried this on a lark since I needed a filling for the Red Bell Pepper wraps and I loved it! I had to make do a lot (pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower; sweet onion instead of red; dried parsley instead of fresh; dulse flakes instead of kelp powder). I also accidentally put in twice the amount of water. But I had just watched a video on dehydrating liquids ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uySvg_NRjQ ) so I decided to dehydrate my Not Tuna Spread a bit to get rid of some of that extra water and make it more spread-like. And it worked! It might have even concentrated the flavors a bit. I don’t know. But this with the Red Bell Pepper wraps and just a little grated carrot for a slight pop of color and texture variation was super yum! I was really astounded. I just recently bought a dehydrator and decided to try this recipe to go with the wraps since I had enough ingredients to fake it. I’m so glad I did. Thank you for all your inventive and creative and yummy recipes! I know I am not alone when I say we really appreciate you! God bless, ~C

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon CD,

      Thank you so much for letting me know how your experienced turned out. I loved the youtube link as well. It got my wheels turning and has inspired me to test a few things out. I appreciate that you took time out of your day to share all this. :) Mnay blessings! amie sue

  16. Cordelia says:

    Just wondering, did you share the recipe for the wrap? Or is this recipe just for the tuna? Asking because I would love to make this for lunch just as it appears in this picture. Thanks

  17. ChristinaG says:

    Do you ever add Dulce to this recipe?

  18. gracefulheather says:

    This is my favorite “not tuna” recipe yet! The others I’ve tried have usually turned out either too dry or too heavy or …gloppy with a thick mayonnaise-like dressing. This one is just right for me! I’m soaking more nuts and seeds to make a double batch right now. Great for school lunch for my son wrapped in collard leaves or with sliced veggies. Thanks, Amie Sue!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Gracefulheather,

      My goodness, that is so awesome to hear. This was a staple in our home for quite some time… and I still make it off and on. It can be used in so many wonderful ways. I just love that you make your son such healthy and delicious foods for his school lunch. You are amazing! thanks for sharing. Blessings, amie sue

  19. Victoria allen says:

    Good day
    I would like to know if there is a way to learn more about the cooking. Do you happen to give classes or do work exchange programs. I am from Canada but taking a year off, after crazy years of work, with the challenge of a single mom life style. I would like to be not only in shape but spread the good health as much as I can around me. Blessings with grace

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Victoria,

      When say cooking… do you mean actual cooking or raw food or both? Just making sure we are on the same page :) Right now, I share and teach everything through my site. Is there something more that I can teach or share with you on the site? Blessings, amie sue

  20. Georgia LaMantia says:

    This recipe is delicious! This is the first recipe I have used from the website but I will be looking for more. I’m sending a copy to my whole family.

  21. Gabi says:

    Koszonom z szuper receptet!

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