Finding the perfect no-mayo Mediterranean tuna salad is a must, especially if you monitor your intake. It might be time to start eating healthy, which will surely benefit your overall health in the long run.
I will share my no-mayo Mediterranean tuna salad recipe, which is light and packed with flavor with the addition of fresh basil and roasted red peppers. As an alternative to the traditional mayo, dress it in extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.
What are the health benefits of tuna?
Tuna is a popular saltwater fish that is widely used in Asian dishes and in Australian and European cuisine. Tuna is available in various species and found all over the world’s oceans, such as yellowfin, bluefin, bullet tuna, to name a few.
Tuna is used in various dishes such as salads, steaks, burgers, etc. The fish is packed with essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, iron, vitamin A, B12, and B6, making it highly beneficial for health.
Let us look at some of the health benefits of tuna.
- Heart health. Tuna is full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which reduces cholesterol in the arteries. This allows the heart to function optimally by pumping blood throughout the body, maintaining good health.
- Lowers the blood pressure. Since tuna is packed with potassium, including it in your diet will lower blood pressure levels. Omega-3 fatty acids, along with potassium, bring about an anti-inflammatory effect on the cardiovascular system, resulting in lower blood pressure and lessens the risk of stroke and heart attack.
- Boost the immune function. Tuna is rich in zinc, manganese, selenium, and vitamin C, which all play a role in fortifying the immune system. These antioxidants will protect you from diseases such as cancer by fighting free radicals, which are the by-products of metabolism on the cellular level.
- Weight loss. For those who are cutting down on weight, I suggest adding tuna to the diet. Tuna tastes good while balancing your calorie intake since it has a low-fat content yet packed with nutrients and proteins.
- Strengthens your bones. Tuna is high in vitamin B, which is a significant component in fortifying your bones. This vitamin strengthens your bones and protects against injuries.
- Better skin. The vitamin B complex present in tuna can help keep your skin healthy. It contains the protein elastin, which provides your skin with a smooth, radiant tone.
- Lowers the risk of cancer. The antioxidants present in tuna can help fight cancer cells. Studies show that including tuna in your diet can lower breast and kidney cancer risk.
- Energy boost. Aside from improving your metabolism rate, tuna also helps improve your organs’ functionality to keep your body energetic, healthy, and active.
Choosing the ideal canned tuna
When choosing the right canned tuna for your salad, you might be faced with a variety of choices to choose from. The three most common types are albacore, skipjack, and yellowfin.
You can also choose canned tuna, whether it is packed in water or oil. When on its own, oil-packed tuna boasts a better flavor than water-packed. When preparing tuna sandwiches and daily pantry needs, the tuna in water is a better choice.
Let us take a look at some of the recommended canned tuna brands in the market:
- Wild Planet. Among the different brands of canned tuna in the market, this is the top pick. It boasts a tender, flaky texture that is softer and moister than other brands. As for the flavor, it has a pleasant saltiness and bright flavor. When it comes to its appearance, it is slightly brown on the outside with a pink interior without any additional color enhancements. The flakes readily break apart, making it the ideal choice for a tuna salad.
- Pole & Line Tuna. As an exclusive brand for Whole Foods, it stands out for its tender and moist consistency. It is flaky with a lovely pinkish hue. If you want to get the most out of its flavor, I suggest adding fat while the flavor stays pleasant. For those living near Whole Foods, this canned tuna is a recommended buy.
Recommended No-Mayo Mediterranean Tuna Salad Recipe
As the much-awaited part, I will now share my no-mayo Mediterranean tuna salad recipe, which is good for one serving. The prep time is only 10 minutes, making it a good choice for a quick yet healthy fix with 247 calories and 15 g of fat.
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 can tuna in water (drained)
- ¼ cup red onion (thinly sliced)
- ¼ cup roasted red bell peppers (chopped)
- 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
- Black pepper to taste
Use a small bowl to whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice until emulsified.
Add the tuna, red onions, basil, and cooked bell peppers. Season to taste with black pepper, and you are ready to eat.
As simple as that – you can now enjoy your no-mayo Mediterranean tuna salad. I suggest serving as a sandwich with bread, a sandwich thin, or half a pita. Additionally, you can also serve your tuna salad over some vegetables for a filling, delicious salad.
How long can I keep tuna salad in the refrigerator?
If you just prepared your no-mayo Mediterranean tuna salad, you could store it in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Since the recipe does not include any dairy, it is the right choice for picnics. You can serve it with the carb of your choice such as bread, pita, etc. or even on top of greens for a healthy salad. Adding this tuna salad on some crackers will serve as a great snack.
Alternatives for mayo to cut down the calorie intake
Aside from the olive oil that I use in the no-mayo Mediterranean tuna salad recipe, there are also other options that you can try out.
It is important to note that mayo is loaded with calories and fat. A single tablespoon is equal to around 100 calories and 12 grams of fat. Luckily, I will share better substitutes you can use instead of mayo to keep your calorie intake low.
- Avocado. Avocado is rich in a fatty acid packed with antioxidants and nutrients. It can provide you with a quarter of the calories in mayo and tastes way better.
- Low-fat plain Greek yogurt. I suggest using Greek yogurt as an option to limit your intake of unwanted calories. Simply mix it in your tuna salad for a tangy flavor.
- Pesto. Pesto is a traditional Italian sauce prepared using pine nuts, basil, and olive oil, which can provide you with healthy fats. It is also loaded in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, so you can feel good adding it to your tuna salad.
If you want something healthy, filling, and versatile to include in your diet, I highly recommend this no-mayo Mediterranean tuna salad. With the health benefits you will gain, this recipe will make a lovely and delicious treat, whether as a snack item or as a healthy add-on for lunch or dinner.