The healthy whole food plant-based ingredients in this yummy tuna salad!

Meet two of San Diego’s most passionate and dedicated animal activists, while learning how to make vegan tuna melt sandwiches from Tracy Childs, health and wellness expert and cooking coach at Veg-Appeal, PlantDiego and nutritarian chef at Eat to Live Retreat in San Diego, California. Watch today’s #LunchBreakLIVE with Staci Plikaytis and Melanie Arce, founders of the new Direct Action Everywhere – DxE chapter in San Diego! Daiya Foods Vegan Cheese & Miyoko’s vegan butter were used make this amazing tuna melt! 

If you want a great comfort food sandwich make this tuna into a melt!

Melanie and Staci transitioned from ovo-lacto vegetarians to vegans many years ago. They decided to step up their veganism and get active as leaders of the DxE chapter in San Diego. Their group conducts disruptions, open rescues, and they also spend a lot of time with their activist community doing fun events. Melanie explains that they do not have traditional slaughterhouses in San Diego, but they do have several fish markets and a service called mobile slaughter. A van will come to your house with the animals as part of the mobile slaughter service, kill the animals on site, and bring the meat to your home. Melanie also explains that there are several dairy and egg facilities in San Diego as well. Staci describes the animal testing facilities that are also in the area. There is still plenty of need for animal activism in this city, so please get active if you are in San Diego!

You can make wraps with this sunflower tuna salad too!

This recipe is raw until you cook into a melt. Tracy uses a food processor to make the tuna salad portion of the tuna melt. Melanie, Staci, and Tracy use lemon juice to soften the sunflower seeds. Melanie chops up the veggies while Staci juices the lemons. Tracy uses the food processor to chop off the veggies finely. She warns not to try to make smoothies in a food processor because they are not meant for liquids. Next, Tracy takes the pre-soaked sunflower seeds and places it in the food processor with tahini, lemon juice, dulse (powdered sea vegetables), a little water, and spices to make the tuna-like texture. The ladies fry the sandwich in Miyoko’s brand vegan butter. You can also pair this salad with crackers or make it into a wrap. Now the ladies enjoy the fruits of their hard work and the sandwich is delicious! Try making your own sunflower seed tuna salad at home with the recipe below! 

Staci, Melanie, and Tracy pose for a pic with all of their sunflower tuna creations!

Get involved by following DxE San Diego on Facebook and Instagram!

Go to to sign up for the “How Foods Fight Cancer” Nutrition and Cooking Series starting Sept. 20th!

Tracy Childs reporting for JaneUnchained News Network.

Photos courtesy of Tracy Childs .

Report edited by Ellen Dent.

Tuna on crackers anyone? Talk about versatility.

This salad is raw if you don’t put it on bread or turn it into a melt.

Sunflower “Tuna”

The recipe is adapted from the famous Tuna Collard Wraps at Peace Pies & Peace Pies Restaurant in Encinitas.

This delicious pate is versatile and a great snack to have on hand to have with crackers or stuffed into celery sticks! The dulse provides a great source of iodine, a nutrient that is necessary for thyroid function. For a gourmet treat, serve it with nori and collards leaves as described below.

2 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked for 2-4 hours or overnight

Juice from 2-3 lemons (or about 1/2 cup)

1 scant tablespoon tahini

2-3 cloves garlic

Water (by the tablespoon)

2 stalks celery

½ red bell pepper (or one small carrot)

2 scallions and/or ¼ large onion

1 cup Italian parsley or kale, loosely packed

1 cup fresh dill, loosely packed

1-2 tablespoons dulse powder (a sea vegetable)

Salt to taste (optional)


  1. Placed the roughly chopped vegetables (celery, red pepper or carrot, scallions or onion, and parsley and dill) in a food processor or high-speed blender and pulse to chop them finely. Remove them to a mixing bowl.
  2. Rinse the soaked seeds and drain well. Place in a processor or high-speed blender with tahini and garlic and start to process. Keep the motor running and slowly add the lemon juice from the top. Then add only enough water to make the blades turn easily, and create a smooth consistency (like hummus). Stop to scrape the sides as needed.
  3. Stir the seed/lemon combo into the veggies and add the rest of the ingredients. Chill. You can use this either in a sandwich, or stuffed in lettuce leaves, or wrapped in nori, with ½ of a (destemmed) collard leaf and sunflower (or other) sprouts, slivered red pepper and avocado/tomato slices.