I just got a question from one of my BeginnerTriathlete.com nutrition athletes and she told me she loves tuna salad. She wasn't sure if she should cut it out or if I could suggest a healthier option. Never eliminate food, substitute when you are trying to eat more healthy.
Karel is also a fan of tuna salad as well as potato salad. Tuna salad seems healthy (fish right?) but it isn't until you add the mayo that the tuna salad becomes a fatty and calorie filled meal. You'd think the Tuna sub at a place like Subway would be healthy but with 530 calories and 31 grams of fat (1030mg sodium) for a 6 inch sub, you might think twice about how healthy tuna salad can really be.
I love to eat and I love to cook. I love making my own versions of food from restaurants or that I see on the food network. It is sad that the foods which we could eat without any remorse (many years ago) are now foods which are high in calories, fat and sodium because Americans want more and food manufactures are giving us more. When we use to go out for ice cream as a treat (this was a special time for me when I was young and my parents would take me to get ice cream as a treat for my good grades in school) ice cream is now a staple in the diet or the meal we eat after we have dinner. It is sad that we have to be so careful about how we eat but it isn't until you start to lose focus on what you are eating that you begin to put on pounds or the blood sugar sores out of control. I always say "eat consciously!"
Anyways, last night I wanted to make my own tuna salad for Karel and mix in something with potatoes. Karel makes a homemade potato salad which is super healthy and yummy which his mom would make for him all that time when he was in the Czech. Karel loves white potatoes (in addition to pasta) so I try to cut out some of those starchy calories to add more vitamins, minerals and fiber (there is nothing wrong with a white potato but leave off the sour cream and cheese). For those looking to reduce the amount of white starches in the diet, choose a sweet potato for more fiber (7g) compared to a white potato (4g).
I decided to make him tuna salad with canned tuna and then make a marni version. Ok, so mine wasn't anything like his tuna salad but I used some of the same ingredients.
For Karel's tuna salad I used 1 can light tuna in water (drained water) and mixed in 1 tbsp (1 little squirt) of fat-free mayo. I then chopped up 2 hard boiled egg whites and added 1/2 yolk. I added chopped scallions (you can also use onions) and added a little of canned tomatoes w/ chili's (from the other night). That's it..karel's tuna salad. I didn't taste it (the downside of a vegetarian cooking for a meat-eater) but Karel said it tasted just fine.
For me I used 2 egg whites and 1/2 yolk and added my vegetarian sausage, scallions and tomatoes. I also cooked about 1/4 cup egg beaters in the microwave (pour egg beaters in bowl sprayed with pam or butter spray and cook about 45 sec - 1 min for quick eggs) to give my marni salad some consistency.
For the rest of the meal I cooked the leftover chick peas (from my burgers) and mushrooms (I love cooked mushrooms!) and corn and I added some hashbrowns for the potatoes. Plan to cook the hashbrowns and corn first if they are frozen.
For our bread (we usually have some kind of bread at dinner) I bought whole wheat sub and I used half of one and covered it with a little swiss and mozzerella cheese. I used 1 sub for Karel and cut it in half and used the same cheeses (I used 1 slice swiss cheese and tour it into pieces to cover the subs). I put them in the microwave for about 25 sec. to melt the cheese and then sprinkled on some italian spices. This sub+cheese mixture would be a great start to a pizza if you wanted to add some sauce, veggies and a protein.
We both used our "salads" to cover the subs and filled our plates with the cooked veggie mixture. I also made a quick salad of spinach, carrots, strawberries and apples and crumbled rosemary and olive oil crackers (I bought them at wal-mart as an alternative to croutons). Another yummy and healthy meal!
*This is dedicated to all my non-vegetarians out there :)