From kindergarten through 8th grade, my two younger sisters and I attended a very small private school that did not have a traditional school lunch program, meaning that my mom packed lunches for us most days. One of my very favorites, probably more towards the middle school side of education, was tuna salad with corn chips & a tiny can of V8. The tuna salad—based on my Grandma Jones’s recipe—was made with canned tuna, kraft mayo, diced celery, celery seed & onion powder. I can still taste her version now, if I really think about it.
Tuna salad has changed a lot for me these days. It also has become something I eat not just because I like it but because i know it’s really good for me, especially with ingredients like sauerkraut & fresh veggies that my version incorporates. What took me the longest in my AIP tuna salad appreciation has been to get over the lack of mayo. I’ve tried a number of AIP “mayo” recipes, but honestly, in tuna salad I find a mashed avocado works better as a regular mayo replacer.
I’ve also grown to appreciate tuna salad because I typically have all the ingredients for it on hand, meaning that I can easily make it for a meal if other plans have fallen through (or if I simply didn’t start lunch prep early enough). In a pinch, I’ll eat the tuna salad by itself, but most of the time, I prefer it served over salad greens, or with plantain chips (a throwback to my days of eating tuna salad on corn chips), or on cucumber slices.
Egg-free Tuna Salad (AIP, Paleo, Whole 30)
yields 1 large serving or two small servings
1/2 of a large (90 g) Avocado, mashed
1 tsp Lemon Juice (fresh is best, but bottled works in a pinch)
1-5 oz can Canned Wild Caught Albacore Tuna (do not drain or rinse)
2 Tbl (30 g) Sauerkraut (homemade is best)
1/3 c (42 g, approx 1 stalk) Celery, diced
1/4 c (42 g) Cucumber, diced
3 Tbl (9 g) Scallions, sliced
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Plantain Chips, Cucumber slices, and/or salad greens for serving
- In a medium mixing bowl, mash the avocado and lemon juice with a fork.
- Add the tuna (with the juices, do not drain or rinse for optimal omega 3 level), breaking it up with a fork & combining it with the avocado/lemon.
- Mix in the sauerkraut, diced celery, diced cucumber, sliced scallion & sea salt.
- Serve with plantain chips and cucumber slices, or over salad greens.
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