When times get crazy, sad or even terrifying, I find myself reminiscing about my childhood more often. I play old songs in my car, look at family photos, or bring back the foods that I cherished when I was a child. This is how I center myself during trying times. Today I thought I would take things back to basics. Nothing complicated, just a healthy and easy Mediterranean recipe inspired by my baba.
One of those cherished foods from my childhood was my dad’s tuna salad, which he generally made on Fridays for his customers at his store. My immigrant father loved everything American, from Elvis, Frank Sinatra, and Cadillacs, to apple pie, and tuna sandwiches. As tuna salad is quintessentially American, and popular for the last 100 years, my father took a liking to it immediately. He set out to make the ultimate tuna sandwich, keeping a lot of the classic ingredients, yet infusing it with some of his own touches. Instead of a ton of mayonnaise, he loved adding a little fruity Palestinian olive oil. As people in the middle east love sour flavors, he added not only lemon juice, but lemon pepper as well. Hard boiled eggs were a must for extra rich flavor and protein, and he loved adding chopped jalapenos that he grew in his little garden. That was the only thing that seemed to grow in cold and foggy San Francisco.
This tuna salad is the perfect combination of salty, creamy, tangy, and crunchy. The recipe is easy for beginners, but also offers flavors for more sophisticated palates.
A couple of important tips:
*Try to use line caught tuna, as it has less mercury
*Avoid mayonnaise that has inflammatory seed oils, like corn, canola, or safflower oil. Primal Kitchen is great as it uses avocado oil
*If you have been watching my videos for a while, you know my family loves lemon pepper. Try to source lemon pepper that does not use artificial yellow colors, or strange fillers. One good brand I found at Costco is called Kinder, and they do not use artificial ingredients: https://amzn.to/2Yv6kaP
*Low carb vessels for tuna salad include bell peppers, tomatoes, avocados, lettuce wraps, Belgian endive, or even celery
I would love to know…what are some of your favorite comfort foods? Let me know in the comments below! Check out my latest video on this salad below:
Baba’s Kicked Up Mediterranean Tuna Salad
- 12 ounces tuna
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise (can use more if you wish) I like Primal Kitchen: https://amzn.to/3BOUdDX
- 1 tbsp olive oil (can use more if you wish) I like Harvest Peace, use Promo code BlancheTV and get 10% off at http://www.harvestpeace.com
- 1 scallion, finely minced
- 1 stalk celery, finely minced
- 1 small pickle, finely minced
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Dash lemon pepper – I like Kinder brand: https://amzn.to/2Yv6kaP
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 hard boiled egg, chopped