Protein Packed Tuna Salad
Every once in a while you find a little gem in the strangest place. This salad is one of those gems. On our way home from Italy, we had lunch in Fiumicino Airport, at a buffet style cafe...sandwiches, fresh salads, a few plates of pasta...typical stuff. So my mother and I, in the interest of starting our pasta detox, grabbed this salad. And we enjoyed it SO much!
I was surprised to even find this combination in Italy. Italians sceeve the combination of fish and cheese (yes shrimp parm fans, that is an all-American dish). But it works in this salad - very well actually. I've been recreating the dish almost weekly since I've been home and love it just as much. It keeps you full for hours because you're getting three different types of proteins, add in a healthy dose of leafy greens, fresh tomatoes and detoxifying onion - this salad is a powerhouse of nutrition!
As with any simple dish, the key is very high quality ingredients. Look for eggs that are organic and humanely raised. Eggs not only fill you up, they contain Omega-3 fatty acids which can help reduce inflammation and promote weight loss. As for the tuna, I know mercury is a concern...try to find sustainably caught (pole and line) American tuna. Yes, it absolutely costs more, but the difference in quality is both visible and in the flavor. Trust me, it's worth it. Not to mention fish is one of the few foods that contain Vitamin D, something most Americans are very deficient in. And our final source of protein is the fresh mozzarella. Don't add too much cheese or you'll un-do any health benefits. But dairy does contain protein and I consider mozzarella to be one the better forms of dairy (I might have a biased there).
Those veggies help your body process and use all that protein. Leafy greens help alkalize the body and get your organs running efficiently. Onion contains sulfur which removes toxins from the body. And tomatoes are packed with vitamins that help your heart. When you top it all off with high quality extra virgin olive oil and a splash of vinegar - you've got a seriously healthy meal. And I do eat this salad as a whole meal - there's no reason to put it with anything else. It's more than hearty enough to stand on its own!
Protein Packed Tuna Salad
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced into rounds
10 small balls of fresh mozzarella (ciliegine)
1 can tuna, in water, no salt (preferably sustainable caught)
4 C. fresh mixed greens
salt & pepper to taste (that means as much or little as you like)
4 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, eggs, mozzarella and tuna.
Add greens on top. Season the dish with salt & pepper. Drizzle oil and vinegar over salad. Toss until everything is evenly mixed and lightly coated with dressing.
Divide among 2 bowls and serve immediately.