Yep, you read that right. There is no tuna in this tuna salad sandwich.

School food: A not so fishy, no tuna salad sandwich vegetarian vegan recipe mock tuna salad lunchbox kid food food chickpeas

This stuff tastes so much like the real thing its kinda scary. Its totally vegan too.

There was a time when a tuna salad sandwich was the best lunch of the week. It was a treat. For a while, earlier in my vegetarianism I would happily order the tuna at the deli or subshop when I got tired of just lettuce and tomato on a bun. Today, I won’t touch it. But it doesn’t mean I don’t miss it sometimes.

Tuna was an easy, protein filled option. And I miss it for this reason. Protein is a tricky thing to pack in a kid’s lunch when you are vegetarian. Kids don’t like other kids poking around their lunches and asking questions. It’s hard to squeeze protein in there and be creative about it. Enter no-tuna tuna salad made from chickpeas and seeds. And before you accuse me of lying, my kids help me make it. My eight-year old generally begins a little dialogue about why not to eat tuna while we make it. But I won’t go into those details here. Just the recipe.

Of course you can change this however you want. This is the way I like it best. You can skip the onions if your kids don’t like them. Add shredded carrot, green onions or finely diced dill pickles. Fresh herbs are good too.

Mock Tuna Salad

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon herbamare, or a pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of finely diced red onion, or less
  • 1-2 stalks of celery finely diced
  • 1/4-1/2 cup mayo, Veganaise is good here
  • A good pinch of black pepper

In a blender or food processor add seeds, chickpeas, soy sauce, lemon juice, olive oil and herbamare. Add a tablespoon or 2 of water if you need to get the mixture to move a bit, but only if necessary. Blend until sorta smooth, but not pasty. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and add celery, onion and mayo. Let sit in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes or over night. Makes enough filling for about 4 sandwiches.