Friday, January 13, 2012

My Raw Not-Tuna Pate

Having a sturdy and reliable not-tuna pate or spread seems to be of utmost importance to raw foodies.  It's a versatile pate (pronounced pah-tay, but I don't know how to put an accent above the "e"), since it can be spread on flatbread, enjoyed with veggies, or scooped atop a salad, but it's also got that nostalgic, comforty goodness going for it, which is why I think it's so appealing.  It's also one of those raw food dishes that tastes just as good - if not better - than the original.

Ready for wrap assembly, DIY-style

Actually, I think it's leaps and bounds above the original - it's more textured, doesn't have that dryness that tuna has, and it doesn't use a cup of mayo or a generous dose of white vinegar at any point in time.  Instead, sunflower seeds and almonds stand in for the tuna and mayo, contributing healthy fats and a pleasantly mellow flavor.  These make a perfect template for all kinds of goodies and seasonings like lemon juice (completely superior to white vinegar in every way), kelp powder (adds a slight "fishy" flavor), and fresh herbs.

To balance out the heft of the nuts and seeds in this recipe, I added 1 cup of peeled and chopped zucchini, which hides in the background while adding moisture and bulk to the recipe, and a cup of shredded carrot, which give the pate a beautiful color and a gentle sweetness.  Other than a few simple changes, this is a recipe I learned while I was at Living Light Culinary School, and I love it just as much now as I did then.

Raw Not-Tuna Pate
Makes 1 generous cup


1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup peeled and chopped zucchini (please peel it, unless you want a green-tinged pate)
1 cup grated carrot
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup minced red onion
3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon kelp powder (or crumble in a nori sheet)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
2-4 tablespoons water, or as needed


1.  In a food processor, process the almonds and sunflower seeds until broken into pieces, about 30 seconds.  Add all of the other ingredients to the food processor except the water, and process until the mixture is combined and a little soft but still has texture, adding water as necessary.  The texture of your pate, though, is completely to personal taste.

Eat in "wraps" with romaine leaves and veggies, on toast or sandwiches (raw or otherwise), rolled up in a nori sheet with julienned cucumber for yummy sushi bites, or use it as a hearty dip for veggies.

During the next four weeks of recording, I'll be relying on simple and affordable dishes like this, stuff that's easy to transport and eat on the go.  Setup is tonight, and I'm a little nervous about the whole project but mostly just excited.  Really, really excited.  In addition to keeping my voice in tip-top shape, I've got some ideas to make this recording session really rewarding and meaningful, which you'll hear more about in the next blog post.

Take care, and happy eats!


  1. This recipe sounds great! I love the fact that there is no mayo to be found. Mayo has always kind of grossed me out, even in my pre-vegan days so I tend to stay away from recipes that require Veganaise. Your wraps look delicious!

    Have a great time in the studio! I hope that the session is a wonderful experience for you :)

  2. Mmmmm, yes, those wraps certainly do look delicious. Can't wait to try this! : )

  3. I haven't had a raw tu-not pate in a long time, but this makes me want to whip one up. Yum!

  4. I have only had meat pate, and it was NASTY! This looks and sounds MUCH better!!!

  5. Awesome recipe chick, thank you. I've got everything in my cupboard to so I'll tackle this real soon. Have fun you rockstar!

  6. Love this because it is so simple. Blows aways the myth that raw or healthy has to take more time, or really more money.

  7. Ha ha, xvavaveganx, it's funny you say that because Logan has this weird habit of eating a spoonful of vegennaise as dessert. Jolene, meat pates are definitely traditional, but I never knew they existed until I was vegan. Oh well, I'm not too sad about not getting to try one. :) And GSGV, I pretty much live for simple recipes!

  8. As you know I've been eating a lot of raw not-tuna lately but I love your addition of dill and cayenne! What do you think the zucchini does for it? Good look with recording! I hope set up goes well :)

  9. I'm so into raw dishes, but in winter they're not suitable for me (too cold :P). But I'd like to try this non-tuna pate anyway, for example on bread.

  10. Zucchini adds bulk to the recipe without adding fat or changing the flavor, which is nice because sometimes nut pates are a little too heavy for me. Leaf, it tastes delicious on bread, especially a good hearty loaf. :)

  11. For me it's not "tuna" without the inclusion of sweet relish, but I like your addition of zucchini too, especially to cut the heaviness of the nuts and seeds.

  12. I know people like to add chopped dill pickles to their tuna as well, and neither way is traditional for me, but it's tasty! Haven't tried it with sweet relish but it sounds yum.

  13. No matter how many not-tuna pates I make, I love to get new inspiration. This is inspiration indeed! Thanks for the recipe.