Salads are my go-to when my days are tight. Too many times have I watched friends and fellow competitors munch their dry whitefish, soggy asparagus, and sad little microwaved yams when it’s time to eat on the go. It takes just a few more minutes, but I broil my fish, boil and pull my chicken, dice and roast or sauté my veggies, create delicious low calorie sauces and dressings, and toss all together with 6 crispy, delightful pieces of romaine leaves that I chop into 1/2″ thick ribbons.  I figure we are blessed with the sense of taste, so why not indulge it?!

This recipe is just as tasty with pulled chicken or sauteed tempeh (but will add extra carbs and fat), so feel free to substitute.  The flavor is very much like a creamy tuna or chicken salad you’d find at your favorite deli, but with much more quality ingredients. When on a fat-loss diet, I have to be mindful of the fats I consume so I always skip mayo and Vegenaise. Although lactose- and egg yolk-free (I don’t eat these most of the year), Vegenaise has either safflower, canola, or soybean oil which are all high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. So stick to tahini, avocado, olive and coconut oils for that essence of creaminess.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids are essential for our health, but an unbalanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can increase our health risks.  Sesame seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and when ground create tahini paste.  Tahini is most known for the flavor it adds to hummus, but it is also the base of this tuna salad!

Creamy Tahini Heart of Palm Tuna Saladno-mayo heart of palm tuna salad
Serves 1
253 calories – 28 grams protein I  16 grams carb  I  9 grams fat

8 small crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 can Crown Prince pole-caught albacore tuna in water, drained (20 g protein)
1 piece heart of palm,  sliced into 1/4″ rounds
1 stalk celery, diced
1 tbsp shallot, finely diced
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp raw tahini sauce (Trader Joe’s)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dill, dried or fresh
6 leaves of romaine lettuce
1 oz avocado, sliced
fresh ground peppercorn and Himalayan pink salt, to taste

Sauté mushrooms in 1 tbsp purified water for 1-2 minutes or until mushrooms begin to reduce in size. Add balsamic vinegar, and continue to cook 1-2 min or until vinegar has reduced halfway. Remove from heat.  Flake tuna with the back of a fork in a small bowl. Add remaining ingredients, except romaine and mushrooms, and mix together till combined.  Slice the romaine lettuce from tip to stalk in 1/2″ increments. Place romaine in a medium sized bowl, top with the creamy heart of palm tuna mixture, and finish with the sliced avocado.