Sunflower “Tuna” Tartine {Vegan}

July 20, 2016

Vegan Sunflower "Tuna" Tartine by Faring Well

It’s as if the bugs outside know when Scott goes out of town. They’re like “hey, lets go torture that wimp of a girl and make sure she get’s zero sleep.” Last time it was a few daddy long legs half the size of my hand, and before that a black spider that would make your lip quiver. This time I was greeted by a loud chirping when I entered my closet last night. Crickets are my nemesis, something about the way they hop, so evasive and spontaneous – with creepy bodies and spindly legs, it’s enough to make me hair stand on end when I see one. I’ll hike in bear country and garden with bees swarming around my head, but heaven forbid you put a cricket in my closet.

After shutting the door and stuffing a towel along the base so that it couldn’t infiltrate the bedroom as I slept, I embarked on a restless night filled with dreams about spiders and miniature mice crawling around the room. After waking to no more chirping, I valiantly opened the door and proceeded to get ready for my morning run. I retuned, still no chirping. I got in the shower, feeling relieved that it’s presence was no longer felt. Until I saw it swirling in a pool of water at my feet. The bathroom quickly got redecorated with bubbly suds as I jumped out of the shower, flailing about and feeling it’s tiny legs jumping all over me. It drowned, and settled by the drain. Which is where it remains, far too large for me to remove (it’s so big) so maybe I won’t shower till Scott gets home on Friday? I’m thinking about it. You can judge me, it’s okay, I am.

Is there a decent way to transition from a bug story to talking about a recipe? Let’s forget about my bug quarrels for a moment and let our minds fill with happy thoughts about life and summer and food. I was really touched by the open comments left by you all on this past Saturday’s post, and hope you are feeling encouraged to embrace your uniqueness today. I’ve been feeling incredibly free since letting go of comparisons and embracing all that I have been equipped with, such as these tasty tartines. I have strong memories from my childhood of being called to lunch on the patio while playing in the pool in the backyard. Tuna sandwiches on wheat, with lots of ruffled Lays chips. Something about a tuna sandwich will always remind me of summer.

After staring at the jar of sunflower seeds in the back of the fridge for so long I finally embarked on this simple recipe that is blowing my mind. Soaked sunflower seeds, when pulsed in the food processor, mimics the texture of tuna in such a way! With the right additions for flavor (such as the seaweed dulse) it’s hard to believe it isn’t the original. I first discovered this trick in Sarah’s cookbook, My New Roots, and have seen it popping up around the web for a while. This isn’t my first time making a sunflower tuna, nor will it be my last. I’m totally ga-ga over these tartines and hope you give them a try, you’ll be startled by their ease and richness in flavor. A perfect picnic pal? I think so, hugs you guys – xx

Ps. I did a mini interview over on Nom if you’d like to know little things like whether I prefer sweet or savory, and what my first food memory is – click here to read.

Vegan Sunflower "Tuna" Tartine by Faring WellVegan Sunflower "Tuna" Tartine by Faring WellVegan Sunflower "Tuna" Tartine by Faring WellVegan Sunflower "Tuna" Tartine by Faring WellVegan Sunflower "Tuna" Tartine by Faring WellVegan Sunflower "Tuna" Tartine by Faring WellVegan Sunflower "Tuna" Tartine by Faring WellVegan Sunflower "Tuna" Tartine by Faring Well

Makes 4 tartines. Serves 4 with a side, or 2 for lunch.

sunflower tuna
1 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked overnight
1 teaspoon dulse granules
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cold pressed flax oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 shallot, diced
1 tablespoon fresh, minced chives
1 stalk of celery, small dice
2 teaspoons capers
1/2 cup quartered red grapes
1/3 cup fresh, minced parsley

to serve
sprouted spelt bread, lightly toasted (or favorite bread of choice)
dijon mustard
thinly sliced cucumber rounds

Combine the ingredients for the sunflower tuna, minus the grapes and parsley, in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined and the sunflower seeds minced well. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Stir in the grapes and parsley, and set aside.

Spread a good teaspoon or two of dijon mustard on the toasted bread and top with four cucumber slices. Top with a heaping spoonful or two of the sunflower tuna mix, and serve right away. Leftover “tuna” can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Best if eaten within three days.

NOTE: If you choose to serve the sunflower tuna in another fashion without the toast, be sure to add two or three teaspoons of dijon to the mix when processing. The flavor really is crucial to it’s deliciousness!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag photos you post of my recipes with #FWmakers so I can see!


  • Reply Rita July 20, 2016 at 3:01 am

    This is so inventive! It looks really delicious, I’ll give it a go soon. :) xo
    Oh, and these photos… GORGEOUS!

    • Reply Faring Well July 25, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      Goodness thank you Rita! So sweet of you to say. I hope you make and enjoy it soon too!

  • Reply La petite poire July 20, 2016 at 4:35 am

    What a wonderfully original recipe. Looks amazing, thanks for sharing :) 🍐

  • Reply Sarah B July 20, 2016 at 5:35 am

    Looks YUMMMMM! I made this recipe recently for a picnic and had forgotten how rad it is.
    I LOVE what you do, Jessie!

    big smiles,
    Sarah B

    • Reply Faring Well July 25, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      Sarah! Sheesh, thank you! That means the world coming from you. And your recipe is so incredible, I’m crazy grateful for all of the inspiration that you are – thank you for stopping by here girl! Hugs! xx

  • Reply Shelley July 20, 2016 at 5:50 am

    Girl — this is pure genius! Your (/Jodi’s) sunflower aioli is one of my favourites for sandwiches, so I love that you’re offering up a new, mega creative way, to use sunflower seeds. Now if only I had a picnic coming up!

    • Reply Faring Well July 25, 2016 at 6:46 pm

      Ah that Aioli! I will forever be in debt to Jodi for introducing me to that magic. So glad you’re loving this idea too Shelley! And I say you throw an impromptu picnic in your kitchen… Now ;)

  • Reply Amanda | Pickles & Honey July 20, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Beautiful, Jessie! Loving your additions of capers, chives, grapes, etc —texture perfection! Also, crickets. Do. Not. Like. For the same reasons you mentioned too (which is similar to my ridiculous moth phobia with their erratic flying). Must be something about Orange County because we constantly had crickets at our house in Laguna Niguel. I would hear them in the walls chirping and every night at least one would run across the living room. Gah! We saw some crazy big spiders on our walks too. Sometimes I would even cross the street. haha But no mosquitoes! At least there’s that. :)

    • Reply Faring Well July 25, 2016 at 6:47 pm

      Thank you so much Amanda! You are too sweet. And I am so glad to hear I’m not the only one with this crazy fear. Scott thinks I’m bananas. The spiders here are pretty nuts too and it sound like you know ;). But yes, thank goodness for no mosquitos. I’ll take crickets over those any day! Hope you are having a beautiful start to your week friend, hugs <3

  • Reply Maya | Spice + Sprout July 20, 2016 at 7:11 am

    Mmm! I have been craving something like this for the past few days, now I know exactly what I am going to make! Love your bug story LOL, we definitely don’t have crickets in the house around here, but we do have some pretty gnarly drain creatures that look like the giantest centipedes you have ever seen!

    • Reply Faring Well July 25, 2016 at 6:49 pm

      Oh. My. Goodness. Those creatures sound super scary! I’m such a wimp ;). But onto yummier things, I’m so glad you are loving/craving this recipe Maya! I think you would love it. Let me know if you give it a try! xx

  • Reply Sarah | Well and Full July 20, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Crickets I can handle, but put a spider in my room and I am OUT. I’ll definitely be checking my bed for creepy crawlies tonight. I hope you can get some peace at home soon, girl! <3 Also I LOVE these vegan tuna tartine vibes you have going on here today. So genius to make it with dulse, I bet that adds such a nice ocean-y flavor! :D

    • Reply Faring Well July 25, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      I hope your bed checked out Sarah! ;) And thank you about this recipe, girl, you are so great. The dulse is my favorite part by far! xx

  • Reply valentina | sweet kabocha July 20, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Lol Jessie :D I hate insects, but my boyfriend is terrified by them, so if we have one in the house, I have to catch it :P
    Btw, I have never tried sunflowers seed tuna – even if every time I see it on the web, I get interested – maybe it’s time to make it! ^_^

    • Reply Faring Well July 25, 2016 at 6:51 pm

      Valentina, it is so time for you to take the plunge and try this discovery! It’s magical ;). And I laughed at your boyfriend being terrified too, oh no! You have guts girl ;)

  • Reply Joyce @ Sun Diego Eats July 20, 2016 at 10:34 am

    So cool, I had vegan ‘crab cake’ at Gracias Madre in LA (you should go!!) that was made with palm heart and it resembled real crab cake so much, it was uncanny. Can’t wait to try this with sunflower seeds.

    P.S. When I read the part about the spider showing up in your shower I literally got chills! My nightmare. I always used to do the stuffing-the-towel-under-the-door thing too when I had spiders in my bathroom. Like ok spider, I concede. You can have the bathroom. (And then I moved to San Diego and there are literally no spiders here! Highly recommend)

    • Reply Faring Well July 25, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      Aw thanks Joyce! Usually I don’t like thinks that emulate meat products, but this is just different enough to make my taste buds swoon! I actually just went to Gracias Madre’s sister restaurant here in Newport Beach last weekend, Cafe Gratitude – it was magical! So wonderful we have these neat places. And OMG yes to stuffing the towel under the door, I laughed at your “I concede” comment, but it is so true! I do the same. Wonderful about the lack of spiders in SD, what a dream! xx

  • Reply Lisa Bryan | Downshiftology July 20, 2016 at 11:57 am

    I’m sure the cricket was quite traumatic for you, but I was laughing out loud as I read your post (apologies!). Crickets I’m okay with, but worms…ugh, I freak out! Ironically, I’m totally cool with snakes, amphibians and anything else….but worms make me do some wiggly jiggly dance. Anywho, this sunflower tuna….so creative and brilliant. Hope all is well and you enjoyed the visit with your mom! :) x

    • Reply Faring Well July 25, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      Haha tis okay! You may laugh! It was ridiculous ;). We all have our ‘things’ right?! And thank you about this recipe + my mom visiting! It was the greatest treat to have her. Hope you are doing stellar, lady – xx

  • Reply Lisa Chase July 20, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Your photos are seriously the most lovely food photography out there!!

    • Reply Faring Well July 25, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      Lisa, you are TOO kind – totally blushing over here. xx

  • Reply Chelsey Crafts July 20, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    I never would have thought of that! Officially inspired.
    I can totally relate with the bug story..yesterday I walked out into the loungeroom to find the BIGGEST huntsman I’ve ever seen in my life and it was blocking the way to the backdoor which I needed to go through to let my dogs outside. Let’s just say I was really late to work yesterday.

    • Reply Faring Well July 25, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      Chelsea, thank you, I needed that laugh! ;)

  • Reply June July 20, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    YUM! can’t wait to make this one…thx!

  • Reply Aurélie July 21, 2016 at 12:32 am

    You describe my phobia for grasshoppers so well. Those spindly swift legs… brrr…. I once put a ski suit (visor included) just so I could let the cat in as one had entered the living room and had to remain upstairs, all doors closed for the rest of the day…

    The recipe looks so refreshing, those tartines would make a great addition to any apéro. Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply Faring Well July 25, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      Isn’t it just the funniest thing how something so small can make us act so ridiculous?! I got a good smile out of your story, thanks for sharing Aurelie ;). And I am so glad you love the recipe too! Appreciate your sweet comment <3

  • Reply Jodi July 22, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Pretty much lived off of tuna sandwiches for many years of my life – especially in summer! Always with celery – but with grapes? OH hello goodness! love what you do Jessie, keep the smiles coming :) I propably would have taken down the shower curtain – how is it that such a small creature can instill so much fear? Happy to hear your safe and clean :) x

    • Reply Faring Well July 25, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      Right! Me too. And I am a newbie to the grapes as well, and let me tell you girl, you’re going to love this addition! Thank you for your sweet, sweet comment friend. Gosh I adore you. Thank YOU for the smiles you bring me each week! And as for the shower curtain – we have a sliding glass door, otherwise you know that baby would have been torn right down ;)! So. Much. Fear. As for your last sentence, laughing out loud – xx

  • Reply Gena July 28, 2016 at 4:55 am

    I laughed when I read this post, Jessie. I had a major cricket problem when I lived in DC — they were all over my little apartment (which was a basement in a very suburban part of Georgetown, right near the river), humping in the shower, hopping around my bedroom, you name it. It drove me crazy, but when finally I found a snake in my kitchen the crickets seemed innocent by comparison (also, I moved).

    These tartines look amazing! I love sunflower “tu-no” salads :)

    • Reply Faring Well July 28, 2016 at 2:32 pm

      OMG. Totally laughed out loud at your story here, Gena ;) thank you for that. And for the recipe love too! Sunflower seeds are so magical in all of their forms, aren’t they? Hope you are having a stellar day friend! <3

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