Growing up, I remember long, hot summer days, eating tuna salad sandwiches with chips for lunch – one of my favorite childhood meals! The tuna salad was the kind mixed with mayonnaise and sweet pickle relish, nothing that exciting or special but it tasted good. Besides, it was about the only way my mom could get me to eat fish.  But over the years, my taste buds changed (“hello” salmon and trout!) and so has my type of tuna salad.

If you’ve moved beyond your childhood tuna salad and are ready to take it up a notch, this is your recipe. Get ready for this tuna salad sandwich to ‘wow’ and impress your friends, family, and yourself. Brimming with incredible flavors blended into a symphony of tantalizing textures and tastes, you’ll make it again and again.

Full of veggies, fruit, nuts, and chickpeas, this tuna salad IS special.  For this recipe I used white albacore tuna. Of course, you can always use regular light tuna if you prefer but albacore, just like light tuna, is a great source of many nutrients, including protein, selenium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. Plus, it’s biggest selling factor is that it contains the all-important omega-3s, especially EPA and DHA, important for heart, brain, and eye health.

However, some of you may have concerns regarding albacore tuna’s mercury content. Mercury is a heavy metal found naturally in air, soil, and water. Because of water pollution, fish absorb low concentrations of mercury.  Larger and longer-lived fish tend to have the most mercury in them. Because mercury is found in ocean waters due to pollution, all fish will contain varying amounts of this heavy metal.  But overall, fish and shellfish are still healthy foods to be eating. If you’d like to know more information on mercury and fish, visit https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/tn6745spec

In regards to canned or pouched albacore tuna, it has ‘safe’ levels of mercury. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a safety level of 1 part per million mercury in fish. Canned albacore tuna contains 0.3 parts per million mercury, three times lower than the level of concern. However, pregnant women are advised to limit their intake of certain fish with high mercury levels such as shark, King Mackerel, swordfish and tilefish.  For albacore tuna, the FDA has stated that up to 6 ounces per week is considered safe for pregnant women.

Besides the nutritional power of tuna, the other ingredients in this salad provide a significant boost to your fiber intake, antioxidants, and offer plenty of valuable vitamins and minerals.

The sweet and savory part of this tuna salad comes from the combo of delicately sweet red grapes and apples blended with savory Dijon mustard. No mayo? No problem. This healthy tuna salad uses probiotic-rich Greek yogurt as its creamy and tangy base. If you like some ‘crunch’ in your tuna salad, you’re in for a treat. From coarsely chopped almonds to crunchy celery, this salad is a tuna lover’s delight.  And whether you prefer it paired with thinly sliced 100% whole-wheat sandwich bread or simply eaten on its own, one thing for sure is there’s a lot to enjoy about this captivating tuna salad.

Photo taken by Cheryl Mussatto

Sweet and Savory Tuna Salad – 6 servings (serving size ½ cup)

Nutrition per serving: Calories – 245; Total Fat – 8 grams; Protein – 25 grams; Carbohydrates – 38 grams (this includes the sandwich bread; without bread, it would be about 10 grams); Fiber – 5 grams; Sodium – 312 milligrams.

Ingredients:

2 pouches (6.4 ounces each) albacore tuna

1 small Granny Smith apple, cored and finely chopped

2 stalks celery, diced

¼ cup red onion, diced

1 cup red seedless grapes, quartered

½ cup whole almonds, coarsely chopped

½ can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and skins removed

¼ red pepper, chopped

For the dressing:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Juice from one small lemon

¼ teaspoon of both salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Whisk Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl until smooth and set aside.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add in Greek yogurt dressing and stir until well mixed
  4. Eat on 100% sandwich thins (I used Oroweat), in a lettuce wrap or by itself. Store sealed in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Categories: Recipes

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Cheryl Mussatto

Cheryl Mussatto MS, RD, LD is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and Institutional Management from Kansas State University. She is a clinical dietitian for Cotton O’Neil Clinics in Topeka and Osage City; an adjunct professor for Allen Community College, Burlingame, KS where she teaches Basic Nutrition; and is a freelance writer and blog contributor for Dr. David Samadi, Urologic Oncologist Expert and World Renowned Robotic Surgeon in New York City. Cheryl is also the author of The Nourished Brain, The Latest Science on Food’s Power for Protecting the Brain from Alzheimers and Dementia and The Prediabetes Action Plan and Cookbook, both available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions.

2 Comments

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Chàrles Byrd · August 8, 2019 at 1:38 am

Love this type of diet

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    Cheryl Mussatto · August 21, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    Hi Charles! So glad to hear this and thanks for letting me know!!

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