Sunflower Walnut Pate – TuNo

Sunflower Walnut Pate (TuNo) on a bed of sprouts

Sunflower Walnut Pate (TuNo) on a bed of sprouts

I love this pate, it's so tasty, nutritious and versatile. It can be used in sandwiches and wraps, as a spread or dip or simply drop a scoop on top of a green salad. It's also called TuNo because it tastes and looks very similar to tuna salad, but it's vegan, in fact it's a super-healthy raw vegan dish. Now if you're one of those vegetarians or vegans who hates the taste and smell of tuna, you'll still love this no fishy taste or smell. I suspect what most people really love about tuna salad is more to do with the added ingredients than with the tuna itself. But the tuna provides a vehicle and texture that holds it all together and gives you that high-protein full feeling. Well, the walnuts and sunflower seeds do the same in this case, and the taste really comes from the spices and other added ingredients.

Great dish to serve to your non-vegan friends – see how many of them can guess that it's not actually tuna.


1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked
1 cup walnuts, broken into pieces, soaked
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup sauerkraut, finely chopped and juice to taste (can substitute pickles instead)
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teas kelp or wakame flakes
2 tbsp tamari
1 teas apple cider vinegar (ACV) or kombucha vinegar
2 teas ground cumin
1 teas paprika


Soak the sunflower seeds and walnuts for 4-8 hours. Drain and throw away the soak water. The soaking neutralizes the natural enzyme inhibitors in nuts and seeds making them more nutritious and easily digestible.

Add the sunflower seeds, walnuts, lemon juice, garlic, kelp, tamari, cumin, paprika and apple cider vinegar to the blender. Blend until smooth. If you have trouble blending it, add some of the sauerkraut or pickle juice. You don't want it too runny, aim for the consistency of tuna salad.

Transfer to a bowl and mix in the chopped celery, parsley and sauerkraut (or pickle) by hand.

This will keep for several days in the fridge stored in an airtight container.

Sunflower Walnut Pate on flax crackers with sprouts and arugula

Sunflower Walnut Pate on flax crackers with sprouts and arugula

Serving suggestions:

  • Eat by the spoonful
  • Add a scoop to top off a salad
  • Use as a dip with crudites
  • Eat with flax crackers and sprouts
  • Use in place of the rice, and add other raw vegetables for raw sushi
  • Serve a as a spread on bread, in a pita pocket, or wrap with lots of salad vegetables

Let me know how you like it, and what other creative ways you invent to serve it.

DISCLAIMER: The statements enclosed herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products and information mentioned on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information and statements found here are for education purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of your medical professional.

3 Responses to “Sunflower Walnut Pate – TuNo”

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  1. Julie says:

    Hi! I was wondering what I could use instead of kelp flakes, seeing as I don’t have any. Is it a substitute for salt?

    Oh! And by the way, this recipe looks really good, I can’t wait to try it out! And I’m just discovering your site, who knows what else I’l find?

    😉 cheers!

    • Hi Julie, I’m glad you found my site, and thanks for the question. You can substitute salt, the kelp flakes (or powder) do add a bit of saltiness. You could also substitute with some miso paste if you have that. In both cases just use an amount that suits your taste.

      The kelp (and in fact any seaweed) also adds that ‘from the sea’ taste that real tuna fish has (it’s awesomely nutritious too, all seaweeds are). If you can get hold of any other kind of seaweed that will work too. I think you could use dulse or karengo flakes, or a sheet of nori cut into small pieces without soaking, but for all the other seaweeds it may be a good idea to soak them in just a bit of water first, and add the water to the pate as well. I have had a hard time getting kelp here too, only just found some again, every body seemed to be out of it for a while. Most Asian markets will have a wide range of seaweed, they often don’t have kelp but I’ve also used wakame, which is commonly found in Asian food stores and that works great too. Even without the ‘from the sea’ taste of the seaweed, this pate will still be yummy.

      I hope you enjoy the rest of the site, and recipes! Let me know how your tuno turns out!

  2. Donna says:

    Hi Action Man, I’m not sure where you would find the sunflower seeds and walnuts in India. Maybe try a web search. Or if there is a shop that caters to Westerners they might have them. You may be able to order them online from someplace else.