Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Paleo Mayo-Free Tuna Salad

There's no mayo in this salad for a reason. I just don't like the stuff, and haven't since I was a kid. It has nothing to do with nutrition or being paleo; the texture of mayonnaise has always caused me to shudder, and I only ever eat it if it's sufficiently mixed into something so smoothly that I can't detect its presence.

Sure, I could have made some paleo mayo and just used a smidge, as it's certainly the most classic binder for tuna salad. But whenever I've made or bought mayo for such a purpose I always wind up wasting a ton of it, and it seems so silly to incorporate an ingredient that really just isn't my thing.

Mustard and avocado can serve as pretty solid mayo stand-ins; my favorite egg salad is little more than the two mushed up with some hard-boiled egg and garlic powder, salt and pepper. I tried to fancy things up just a bit with this tuna, though, adding some different elements for crunch and visual appeal.

I buy my cranberries through Nuts.com. They are sweetened and plumped thanks to an infusion of fruit juice. My Facebook readers seem to enjoy a variety of nuts in their tuna, but I opted for walnuts here. Feel free to substitute as you'd like!

The green tinge of the avocado doesn't necessarily yield the prettiest results, but since when was tuna salad winning any beauty prizes, right?
Paleo Mayo-Free Tuna Salad

1 3-5 oz. can albacore tuna (I like Wild Planet)
1/2 ripe avocado
1-2 tbs. olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 Fuji or Granny Smith apple, finely chopped
1 tbs. minced shallot
1-2 tbs. each dried cranberries and raw chopped walnuts
salt & pepper, to taste

Combine tuna and avocado in a bowl, mashing with a fork to combine well. Add oil, lemon juice, apple, shallot, cranberries and nuts. Mix again to thoroughly distribute. Season to taste with salt & pepper.