I love eating tuna! I eat it as often as possible. Tuna contains good-quality protein and nutrients, is low in saturated fat, and has the benefit of being low calorie as well. In addition, tuna is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and have been shown to aid in joint pain and skin ailments.Tuna is also naturally gluten-free. Since tuna also contains methylmercury*, which isn’t one of its glowing attributes and keeps my tuna consumption to a limit, I make sure my opportunities to eat tuna are a a real taste treat. By stepping out of the “typical” tuna salad mode, and including lots of flavor, color and texture embellishments, my tuna encounters are always something I look forward to. This recipe is one of my favorites. I hope it becomes one of yours as well. And, as always, we love new flavor ideas. Feel free to share your recipe suggestions, and let us know how you like this one.
Your personal favorite tuna salad, or:
2 cans tuna, 6 ounces each
Mayonnaise (gluten-free of course; amount depends on how dry or wet you prefer your tuna salad)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4-1/2 teaspoon celery salt
4 fresh nectarines, pitted and sliced into six sections each
4 fresh dates, pitted and sliced into four sections each
1 head romaine lettuce
Salad dressing of your choice, just enough to drizzle over lettuce (in this recipe I like Caesar Dressing)
1-2 teaspoons black sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
1-2 teaspoons gluten free soy sauce, for garnish (optional)
Wash lettuce, chop, and divide into four large bowls. Drizzle salad dressing over lettuce, just enough to add a hint of flavor.
Drain tuna, add to medium-size bowl, and break up large pieces with a fork. Add mayonnaise, onion powder, pepper, and celery salt. Mix until well combined. Dividing into four portions, scoop tuna mixture atop lettuce in bowls.
For each bowl, place six sections of nectarine and four sections of dates in a circular pattern. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and drizzle a few drops of soy sauce over the top. This adds a flavor punch, especially to the nectarine segments.
Enjoy your nutritious, and embellished, tuna salad. Serves four.
*Too much of anything can sometimes be harmful, even when it comes to delicious tuna. Tuna, as well as many other fish and shellfish, contains methylmercury. Methylmercury is an organic form of mercury, which is one of earth’s naturally occurring heavy metals. Mercury is also a by-product of an industrial society. When we consume fish, we are benefited by all of the nutritious aspects it has to offer but, by default, we also consume Methylmercury. For most people, moderate consumption of tuna does not pose a health risk but, for some, more caution should be heeded. Parents of young children, women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, and nursing mothers may want to refer to the guidelines suggested by the EPA, so you can be confident that you’re staying within your “safe eats” zone when incorporating tuna, and other fish, into your diet.
Per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
“By following these three recommendations for selecting and eating fish or shellfish, women and young children will receive the benefits of eating fish and shellfish and be confident that they have reduced their exposure to the harmful effects of mercury.
- Do not eat Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury.
- Eat up to 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury.
- Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish.
- Another commonly eaten fish, albacore ("white") tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna. So, when choosing your two meals of fish and shellfish, you may eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) of albacore tuna per week.
- Check local advisories about the safety of fish caught by family and friends in your local lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. If no advice is available, eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) per week of fish you catch from local waters, but don't consume any other fish during that week.
Follow these same recommendations when feeding fish and shellfish to your young child, but serve smaller portions.”
If you want more information on these guidelines, visit this website: Water.epa.gov