My husband and I are both fans of tuna salad! There is only a few minor things that keep us from eating it: 1. Fish and 2. Mayo --two things we don't eat! While we will occasionally eat fish, we try to limit our intake because of various reasons! So, when I came across this recipe I just knew we had to try it!! This is inspired by a Kimberly Snyder recipe called "Raw Fishless Tuna Fish Salad." Now I'm not sure about you, but the name kind of made me nervous. But knowing that every recipe of Kimberly Snyder's that we tried has been a hit gave me the courage to test it out!
My husband's reaction to this recipe was simple: "Wow!" I was shocked---you see, he is our biggest and best critic! He always has constructive criticism for our recipes and I couldn't believe my ears when he tasted the Sunflower Salad. I was so excited to have something to satisfy his tuna salad cravings that is tasty and good for his body! ...And he is happy to partake in this dish any and every time we make it!
The first task was finding raw, unsalted, shelled sunflower seeds! They are your base and you won't believe your eyes when you see what they can do! We were all impressed. Once you find your sunflower seeds everything else is a breeze.
3 cups of Raw Unsalted Shelled Sunflower Seeds
5 tbsp of Lemon Juice
1 tbsp of Dill
1 tsp of Sea Salt
1 cup of Celery
2/3 cup of Green Onions (white part only)
1. Start by soaking your seeds overnight in a large bowl (when you soak any seed or nut in water over night it will swell! Make sure the water completely covers all of the seeds!). When you are ready to complete the recipe, rinse them thoroughly. You will notice that a lot of the skin on the sunflower seeds separate and float in the water. You may remove the skin or leave it, it won't change the taste or texture!
2. Once you rinse the seeds well (3-4 times) put them in the food processor. Blend them until they are a chunky consistency. You will be surprised to see that when blended the sunflower seeds give a creamy texture. I was impressed and it was so unexpected but it helped me understand the "fishless tuna salad" idea.
3. Add your dill, sea salt, and lemon! Blend until you have the consistency you prefer.
4. Taste and see! Add any of the ingredients to taste. Whenever I follow a recipe I have no qualms about adding more seasoning so I get the burst of flavor I am looking for. But remember, slow and steady wins the race! Don't add double of the recommended, it could ruin the batch. Just add a bit at a time until it is just right.
5. Chop your celery and green onions. Chop finely so you aren't spending five minutes chewing on celery chunks or getting too much onion taste. Just like the seasoning, add or lessen as you prefer. You know what your taste buds like so follow what they are telling you---I like quite a bit of veggies in my salad, I think it adds a crisp freshness!
6. Mix your sunflower blend, celery, and green onions with a large mixing spoon in a bowl.
7. Take your final sample and decide if you need to add anything!
8. Make it look pretty, or devour it straight from the mixing bowl! You can serve this on crackers, lettuce wraps, halved sweet peppers, toast, or anything you can imagine (I could think of several more!) I think the Sunflower Salad tastes best chilled and even better after a day when the sunflower seeds have time to marinate in the seasoning!