Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mayo-Free Tuna Salad

Do you like tuna salad but don't like all that cholesterol in mayonnaise that's often used to make tuna salad? I love tuna salad, but I try to keep a low cholesterol diet. When I eat tuna at home, I often just sprinkle it with a little salt, pepper, and hot sauce.

Yesterday when I attended Freestone Fermentation Festival, I sat through The Veggie Queen, Jill Nussinow's demo on making a "Miso Tahini Garlic Sauce." It was a very simple recipe and very tasty over the brown rice samplers she handed out at the demo.

This morning I was trying to come up with something for the last potluck of Master Ken's Mushroom Cultivation class. I have several cans of tuna that I got when they were on sale last week. I thought about that Miso Tahini Garlic Sauce from yesterday. Some people might find it weird about making tuna salad with miso. Miso is often used as a marinade for fish in Japanese dishes, so it wasn't that far off for me to make the connection. I don't have any Tahini sauce, but Jill mentioned that peanut butter works as well. I have some unsweetened natural peanut butter from Trader Joe's. It would be the perfect substitute.

I served my Asian fusion tuna salad at the potluck, and people loved it. They couldn't really tell what I used to make it all creamy and were quite surprised to learn some of the ingredients. Here's my tuna salad recipe:

2 7oz. cans of solid white Albacore tuna in water
1/4 cup of diced white onion/or celery (adjust according to your preference)
1/4 cup of diced tomatoes
1/8 cup of sweet peas (I happen to have a lot of sweet peas in the garden right now)
1 table spoon of chopped green onion for garnish

For the sauce (makes about 1/4 cup):
2 cloves of minced or crushed garlic
1 to 2 tablespoons of miso. (Jill used mellow white miso. I used red miso. Both are good)
3-4 table spoons of unsweetened natural peanut butter (or raw tahini)
1-2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
water or broth as needed

Mix all the sauce ingredients, adding water or broth to get the desired consistency. When the sauce is done, add it to the drained tuna, peas, diced tomatoes and onion. Mixed it all together. Sprinkle some chopped green onion on top for garnish. You can make a tuna salad sandwich or serve it as a dip with some crackers and/or bread.

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