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Need Your Best, Low Fat Tuna Salad Recipe

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Chino Wayne Jun 15, 2005 08:28 PM

I am doing the Liquid Diet and I am allowed one very small "meal" a day. This usually consists of some protein in the form of poultry or fish and some vegetables. I have a real craving for tuna salad right now. In my preferred version I use tuna (of course), sweet pickle relish, pimentoes, celery and nine zillion tons of mayo.

Since I can't, with good conscience, do my usual with this I need your help. Please, please, take pity on this starving tuna salad deprived Big Fella and post your recipes for tuna salad that won't wipe out the good things I am trying to do.

Thanks 'hounds.

  1. d
    DanaB Jun 15, 2005 09:17 PM

    The recipe linked below for "Dilled Tuna Cucumber Salad" from Epicurious is very close to what I make when I'm going lowfat with tuna salad. I would post mine but I tend to kind of make it up as I go along. Using strained nonfat yogurt instead of mayo is a great way to reduce fat. And in a salad, reduced calorie mayo is almost indetectable.

    Another good one is to mix the tuna with dill, scallion, capers, lemon juice and then add a little olive oil to taste. The strong flavors of the dill/lemon/capers makes it less likely that you will miss the mayo, but it definitely tastes better, and has a nicer texture, if you can spare yourself a little olive oil.

    Link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

    1. e
      Eva and Ziv Jun 15, 2005 09:21 PM

      I recently made a potato salad with a dressing that I thought would be great on tuna salad. The amount of dressing is for 2 lbs of potatoes, so you'll have to scale it down, of course.
      2 tbsp dijon mustard
      2 tbsp red wine vinegar
      2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
      2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
      1 tsp sugar (this could probably be omitted)
      2 thinly sliced scallions
      1 diced celery rib
      salt and pepper
      1/4 c olive oil (for tuna and you diet, I think lowfat yogurt or sour cream could be subbed here)

      Another option might be low fat mayo/sour cream/yogurt--just enough to give the salad good texture--plus balsamic vinegar to taste, mixed with chopped tomatoes (grape or cherry are esp. good).

      3 Replies
      1. re: Eva and Ziv
        a
        AimeeP Jun 16, 2005 08:10 AM

        I second the use of dijon to replace mayo - if you NEED it to be more creamy add some nofat yogurt or sour cream. Other additions can be shredded carrots, capers, minced habenero or hot sauce of choice, roasted red peppers. You can also go the tuscan way and toss come tuna with white beans, rosemary and lots of ground black pepper.

        1. re: AimeeP
          z
          Zoe Jun 16, 2005 12:04 PM

          I like to use Trader Joe's Dijon mustard in the tuna salad mixed with non fat mayo half and half with non fat sour cream/yoghurt - depending on the whim of the day. Prefer TJ's canned tuna - seems to have some soul to it plus all ingredients mentioned by other hounds, celery, scallions, capers - also depending on the day. I think the the half and half mixture mayo/other stuff kills the mayo taste and while it can never replicate Hellmans/Best Foods (which I could eat by the spoon but I am with Wayne on the liquid diet (LD) - it is an adequate substitute. Now back to my morning shake (54lb) down.

          1. re: AimeeP
            z
            Zoe Jun 16, 2005 12:05 PM

            I like to use Trader Joe's Dijon mustard in the tuna salad mixed with non fat mayo half and half with non fat sour cream/yoghurt - depending on the whim of the day. Prefer TJ's canned tuna - seems to have some soul to it plus all ingredients mentioned by other hounds, celery, scallions, capers - also depending on the day. I think the the half and half mixture mayo/other stuff kills the mayo taste and while it can never replicate Hellmans/Best Foods (which I could eat by the spoon but I am with Wayne on the liquid diet (LD) - it is an adequate substitute. Now back to my morning shake (54lb) down.

        2. c
          Candy Jun 15, 2005 09:53 PM

          The Hellman's/Best Foods Low Fat Mayo is good, not the reduced fat crap with the green lable. That stuff has much sugar, more like the nasty Miracle Whip in flavor.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Candy
            c
            Carb Lover Jun 16, 2005 02:58 PM

            Second the Best Foods/Hellman's low fat mayo (turquoise-colored label). I generally hate reduced fat products, but this is one that I actually prefer over the higher fat version.

            Chino Wayne: No recipe, but I always think about that mantra that if you take out some fat, you have to inject lots of flavor, texture, color. Things that I like to add not all at once but in various permutations: dijon mustard, cayenne pepper, tabasco, capers, olives, diced red onion, celery, grated carrot, tarragon, dill, lemon juice. Good luck w/ your health endeavors. I don't know if reading CH would make it easier (vicarious pleasure) or harder (chow envy).

            1. re: Carb Lover
              c
              Carb Lover Jun 16, 2005 03:01 PM

              P.S. Tuna quality is key. If the tuna is good, you actually don't need or want to drown it in mayo. I find those major supermarket brands like Starkist and Bumble Bee to be disgusting. I prefer the albacore tuna packed in water at Trader Joe's.

              1. re: Carb Lover
                c
                Chino Wayne Jun 16, 2005 05:36 PM

                Thanks for all of your input. Right now I am housebound, so the tuna comes via vons.com. I probably need to put something up on General Topics and poll 'hounds for their favorite canned tuna.

                And yes, it can be torture reading these boards, but I am addicted, but I am changing my ways, and while I am becoming much more selective and circumspect on what and how much I shovel down my maw, I still can appreciate real food and real 'hounds.

                Hopefully along the way, I will be sharing some healthy eating recipes here that I have found or created.

                Good Karma to you and all 'hounds.

                http://thebfdblog.com

                1. re: Chino Wayne
                  c
                  Carb Lover Jun 16, 2005 06:31 PM

                  Not sure if you get Food Network, but the show "Calorie Commando" can be helpful for tips on reducing fat/calories from favorite comfort or "bad for you" foods. I haven't tried any of his recipes, but his mock pulled pork (made from stewed turkey legs) did look tasty. Heresy for some, but life-changing and necessary for others. Check FN's website for recipes...

                  1. re: Carb Lover
                    c
                    Chino Wayne Jun 16, 2005 08:29 PM

                    "Not sure if you get Food Network..." In limited doses, food is my porn.

          2. j
            joypirate Jun 15, 2005 11:40 PM

            Just tuna and Robert Rothschild Onion Blossom Horseradish sauce. It's not especially low fat but you don't need much as the flavor goes a long way. We toast the bread (sometimes a pan rustique) in the broiler, add tuna, some sliced heirloom tomatoes, and a slice of cheese, return it to the broiler for a bit, and enjoy.

            1. e
              Ellen Jun 16, 2005 09:02 AM

              If you like it spicy, get some cilantro chutney from and Indian grocery, mix the tuna with chutney, fresh lemon juice, and diced red onion. This will wake up your pita bread.

              1. k
                kc girl Jun 16, 2005 10:53 AM

                Well, Chino Wayne, we all know there is no substitute for the wonderful flavor of a good mayonnaise. So, I can not give you a recipe that will taste just like your favorite.

                However, for qualities of holding the tuna together and giving it a little mushy feel in the mouth, you can mix it with cottage cheese (best is large curd, IMO) and add your other ingredients. 2 Tablespoons of full fat cottage cheese is still only about 25 calories.

                Also, instead of a sandwich or just on lettuce, stuff it ontop of a tomatoe (partially cut from the top to almost the bottom in sixths or eighthts). This gives a little more substance in your stomach and you get Vita C.

                And, then, there is an option of switching your tastes. Maybe seared Ahi salad?

                And, another option (possibly for you?) is to mix your tuna with a soft cooked egg and your other ingredients. About 60 calories in one small egg.

                And, remember, the 100 calories of your mayonnaise is often for 2 Tablespoons. So, us 1 TEAspoon for the flavor, and it's not that many calories! Your body needs SOME fats to work properly. IMO, mayonnaise is not a bad thing, just using a cup of it in your salad would be.

                1. c
                  Chino Wayne Jun 16, 2005 02:56 PM

                  Thanks, everyone. Some very promising ideas, I have just altered my weekly grocery order, I think there is some tuna salad in my future.

                  1. e
                    Emme Jun 16, 2005 09:51 PM

                    My favorite is mayo, red apple, red onion, a little bit of cucumber, and sometimes a little curry... and salt and pepper.

                    Nature's Seasonings is also a great seasoning mix that imparts a lemony herb flavor to tuna as well.

                    1. b
                      bibi rose Jun 16, 2005 10:12 PM

                      You might want to check out a product called Lemonaise Light by the Ojai cook. It's a lower-fat mayonnaise that I find remarkably good.

                      I'm not a big fan of tuna salad, but I've been making chicken salad in a Weight Watchers-friendly way with diced grilled chicken, black soybeans, artichoke hearts and other vegetables in low-calorie vinaigrette. Let sit for everal hours to let flavors blend. I think it would work with tuna.

                      1. d
                        Dave Feldman Jun 16, 2005 10:41 PM

                        I echo the recommendation of Tuna Guy's. It requires less doctoring for tuna salad than any non-oiled canned tuna I've ever tried. It's terrific stuff.

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