This is a great way to up your veggie quotient in a day. I bet kids wouldn't even notice they are in there!
I have been making my tuna salad this way for years. I have to admit I can eat tuna over and over and over and I don't seem to get tired of it. I used to work in retail in Montreal and there was a sandwich shop next door. I fell in love with their version of tuna salad and I think I ate a tuna sandwich every Monday to Friday for a year at least!
I use tuna packed in water so it is lower in calories and milder in flavour. There are more fruit and vegetables by volume in this salad than there is tuna. You can choose the ingredients depending on what you have in your fridge but what I find makes this salad consistently appealing is the Granny Smith apple and the green relish. Don't like red pepper? Leave it out. Don't have cucumber? Substitute celery. I find the alfalfa lends a bit of a nutty note which I like as well.
This salad is quite moist so it is great over greens. You don't need any other dressing. If you want to use it in a sandwich it is fine if you are making it right before serving. If you are wanting to use it in a lunch I would either pack the bread and filling separately and assemble just before eating or reduce the amount of cucumber and relish to make it a bit drier. It is also great to stuff a pita with!
Tuna is recognized as one of the best sources of lean protein- weighing in at about 7 grams of protein per ounce for light tuna canned in water. Mercury can be a cause of concern in large fish like tuna. Health Canada has issued guidelines on consumption of fish vis a vis mercury. They distinguish between fresh or frozen tuna compared to canned tuna.
The following is an excerpt from Health Canada's current guidelines on tuna consumption:
Canned tuna, especially canned light tuna, is one of the most popular types of fish for many Canadians. The fish used in canned tuna products are generally younger and smaller and have significantly less mercury than fresh or frozen tuna, so that most Canadians don't need to be concerned about consuming canned tuna.
However, for those who consume large amounts of canned albacore tuna, there is some potential for exposure to higher levels of mercury than is considered acceptable.
Because of this, Health Canada has issued advice for children and some women on the consumption of canned albacore tuna. The advice does not apply to canned light tuna, nor does it apply to Canadians outside of the specified groups.
Canned albacore tuna is also often called canned white tuna, but it is not the same as canned light tuna. Canned light tuna contains other species of tuna such as skipjack, yellowfin, and tongol, which are relatively low in mercury. Canned light tuna also tends to be lower in cost relative to albacore tuna.
Canned Albacore (White) Tuna Advice (does not apply to canned light tuna)
Specified Women - 300 grams a week (4 Food Guide servings)
Children 5-11 years old - 150 grams a week (2 Food Guide servings)
Children 1-4 years old - 75 grams a week (1 Food Guide serving)
* Specified women are those who are or may become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
One Food Guide Serving is 75g, 2 ½ oz, 125 mL, or ½ cup and is equal to about half of a 170-g can (a very common can size).
So... go ahead and enjoy. Serve some carrot sticks and Bread and Butter Pickles on the side!
- 1 184 gram can of light tuna packed in water
- ¼ cup red pepper finely diced
- ¼ cup cucumber peeled and finely diced
- 1 Granny Smith apple peeled, cored and finely diced
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2-3 tablespoon green relish
- ⅓ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ teaspoon pepper
- alfalfa sprouts for garnish
- Mix all ingredients. Flake tuna with a fork to ensure even distribution throughout the salad.
- Garnish with alfalfa sprouts if using.