A couple of weeks ago I was in the Denver area. I love to travel and one of the best parts about going to a new place is seeing what food they have to offer. I found this salad from a place called Vert Kitchen that was so delicious, simple, and refreshing that I knew I wanted to recreate it at home.
This tuna power salad with peanut dressing is so simple yet so full of flavor which shows you that eating health doesn’t have to be boring or complicated. Salads are one of my staples for lunch since they are a great way to make sure that I am getting my daily intake of vegetables. I keep from getting bored by having a variety of salad recipes in my rotation.
When it comes to buying canned tuna it is very important that you get a brand that is sustainable and ethical. Green Peace has a list of the 14 well known brands and ranked them based on how ethical, sustainable, and fair their canned tuna is for our oceans. According to Green Peace, “over 80 percent of the tuna sold in stores in the US comes from unsustainable, destructive sources.” Quality is key as always.
If you are worried about the mercury content of tuna then you need not be as including cold water seafood in the diet is very healthful. There is no evidence that eating 12 ounces of most fish causes harm and in fact the opposite may be true. Limiting fish full of healthy omega 3 fatty acids may actually cause harm especially if you are not supplementing properly. As long as you are eating fish where the amount of selenium outweighs the mercury content as selenium helps remove mercury from the body. You can read this article to learn more. If you are concerned about the mercury level in tuna you can feel free to switch out the tuna in this recipe for canned sardines, salmon or even mashed chickpeas for a vegan version. A quick note about canned fish is to also look for a brand that uses BPA free cans.
This may all sound scary but please don’t be fearful as tuna does have great health benefits. It is high is omega 3 fats like EPA and DHA that are critical to regulate the bodies inflammatory system and prevent excess inflammation which is found to be at the heart of many diseases. Tuna is also high is selenium, B vitamins, protein, vitamin D, and phosphorus.
I do enjoy some tuna from time to time and having a few cans of canned tuna in my pantry can make for a quick meal in a pinch. Variety in the diet is key when it comes to any food. It is important to rotate all foods to make sure that you are getting the most nutrition out of your diet. I hope you enjoy this salad in your rotation as much as I do!
- 1 can sustainable canned tuna, drained (canned salmon, sardines, or mashed chickpeas would work too)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or use from the tuna if packed in oil)
- juice from ½ lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
- pinch salt and pepper
- 1 head romaine lettuce, washed and chopped (any greens would work)
- 1 cup chopped cabbage
- 1 green onion, chopped
- ½ large cucumber, sliced or chopped
- ¼ cup jungle peanuts or raw peanuts
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- Peanut Dressing
- ¼ cup peanut butter (use almond butter or sunflower butter too)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 small clove garlic, peeled
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons water
- In a small bowl mix the tuna, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Set aside.
- In two salad bowls divide the lettuce, cabbage, onion, cucumber, peanuts, and sesame seeds.
- To make the dressing add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Add more water as needed to get your desired consistency.
- Top each salad with ½ the tuna and drizzle with salad dressing.
- Serve immediately.