… Let the Salad Season Begin!
With the warm weather months gaining momentum, my desire to prepare hot meals declines dramatically. I like to serve lighter meals when it is hot outside. Playing with my salad recipes and mixing things up a bit gives them a new springtime twist. And using albacore tuna packed in water as a base is one of my favorite salad platforms. Since it is important to not consume too much tuna*, I like creating a tuna salad that is packed full of as many good-tasting and good-for-me extras as possible. This salad fulfills those requirements nicely while staying within my gluten free, dairy free lifestyle. Each serving of this tuna salad provides about 18g of protein from the tuna and cashews (both also contain healthy fats), rich antioxidants provided by the sweet and colorful blueberries, and great fiber from the crunchy cabbage. And let’s not forget about the lycopene contained in these rich and vibrant tomatoes. Your tastebuds, and your body, will be thanking you.
Cook time: None
1 5oz. can albacore tuna packed in water
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup lightly salted cashews, chopped
1 1/2 cups pre-sliced cabbage
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon white or freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
2 Tablespoons (or according to taste) gluten-free, dairy-free mayonnaise
15 (approximately) cherry or grape tomatoes, washed and sliced in half
Cilantro, for garnish
Open can of tuna, drain all liquid, then put into a medium size bowl. Break tuna apart with a fork so no large pieces remain. Add blueberries, cashews, cabbage, onion powder, pepper, and celery salt. Stir. Add mayonnaise. Stir to distribute mayo and all ingredients. Divide into two serving bowls. Place tomatoes as a colorful edging. Garnish, if desired, with cilantro. Serve and enjoy … preferably on an outdoor patio with a glass of limeade. What’s your favorite salad to welcome in the warm weather? Be sure to let us know below in our Comments section!
*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
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™