Tuna and Grape Salad

I want to create Paleo mayonnaise, but the blender I have is unfortunately not up to the task. I need to get a proper food processor before I can begin that challenge.

In the meantime, I have been creating mayo-free tuna salads. One of my favorites involves chickpeas, but since I’m in the middle of a Whole30, that recipe is off limits! I had a bit of a sweet tooth this morning, so I whipped up this version for lunch. The grapes give a nice, light juiciness, the celery adds crunch, and the dates give it the touch of sweetness I was craving. Dried cranberries would work well in this recipe too, possibly better than the dates, but I can’t eat them these days. Give them a try and let me know how it is!

20130715-200512.jpgTuna and Grape Salad

5-6 romaine leaves, or other lettuce leaves for wrapping

6 oz can of tuna, drained

approximately 12 grapes, halved

1 stalk celery, chopped into small pieces

2 Medjool dates, pitted and minced OR small handful dried cranberries

juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 and 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp dried dill

salt and pepper to taste

Separate and wash romaine leaves and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Scoop onto lettuce leaves, fold, and enjoy!


Mayo-Free Tuna Melt

I try to avoid mayonaisse. I just don’t like the idea that the store bought version is so pumped with preservatives it stays good in the fridge for months, when without the preservatives it would go bad in a week! I suppose I could make my own at home, but since giving it up, I’ve found that it’s not really necessary, even in recipes where it seems like an essential ingredient. Case in point: the tuna melt.

A good tuna melt is such an amazing comfort meal. It always takes me back to my childhood and my mom’s delicious version, served on English muffins. I still love my mom’s recipe, but now I have my own take on the classic – and it’s mayo and gluten-free.

The key to making a good tuna melt without mayo is using a more tart cheese in place of the usual mozzarella or cheddar. I like to use pecorino. For the gluten-free base, you can use whatever is available in your area! I use slices of a rather dense gluten-free bread sold at Great Food Hall here in Hong Kong. It holds up well to the tuna mixture and doesn’t become soggy.


IMG_1995Mayo-Free Tuna Melt

Makes 4 Melts, Serves 2 Adults

1 can of tuna, about 180 grams

4 cloves garlic

1/2 yellow or red bell pepper

1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons Greek yogurt

1/2 teaspoon dill

2- inch by 2-inch cube of pecorino cheese

4 slices dense gluten-free bread or English muffin halves

salt and pepper to taste


Saute the garlic and bell pepper in the olive oil with salt and pepper for about two minutes. Move the contents of the skillet into a mixing bowl. Add the tuna, yogurt, most of the cheese, and dill and mix well.

Butter the bread or English muffins and top each with 1/4 of the tuna mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cook in the toaster oven for 15 minutes, or in the oven at 350F for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese on top is slightly browned.