Sunday, April 7, 2013

Creative Gluten-Free Tuna Salad

Creative Gluten-Free Tuna Salad
A.K.A. an easy lunch you'll be proud to eat

I would like to start off by apologizing to anyone who thinks this meal is entirely too pedestrian to deserve the title "kitchen (mis)adventure." I understand where you are coming from, but long story short, my health knocked me on my back this weekend, and there was no way I felt up to trying out a new recipe...although I definitely wanted to.

Additionally, I realize that just about everyone knows how to make tuna salad: open a can of tuna, stir in some mayonnaise, and call it a day. At the same time, one of the greatest challenges of the gluten-free diet is feeling stuck in a rut and limited in your food options--especially if you are not into cooking. This post is about a simple way to put a new spin on an old favorite.

All of that said, let me tell you why I love this recipe: It's easy, adaptable, work-lunch friendly, and healthy.

Now, for the directions.

As always, gather your ingredients first:
  1. 1 can chunk-light tuna in water
  2. 1 stalk of celery, sliced
  3. 1 small carrot, cut into matchstick-sized pieces
  4. 1 handful of dried craisins
  5. 2-3 heaping teaspoons of gluten-free mayonnaise*
*My favorite brand of "safe" mayonnaise is Smart Balance. It is labeled gluten-free, available in nearly every grocery store, and very tasty. 

Next, mix all of the "dry" ingredients together in a small Tupperware container. Yes, technically you could use a bowl. However, substituting a Tupperware container means you can just slap a lid on the leftovers without dirtying an extra dish.

Add the mayonnaise last, a little at a time, so you can control how much you have. I like my tuna salad well-coated in mayonnaise, but not swimming in it.

Finally, serve on your favorite gluten-free bread substitute. For the picture above, I made an open-faced sandwich on a toasted slice of Glutino's gluten-free flax seed bread (my favorite), but you could also try  gluten-free crackers, celery sticks, or rice cakes. Enjoy!

Why is it called "creative" gluten-free tuna salad?
Well, I threw together at the spur of the moment based on the ingredients I had on hand. I've tried craisins and sliced celery before, but the carrots were a bit of a (lucky) gamble.

How can it be adapted?
Truthfully, however you want. In the past, I have used halved grapes instead of craisins, and a friend and I once tried corn kernels, cooked rice (chilled), and ranch dressing--but I wouldn't recommend the latter combination. Throwing in sliced almonds or chopped walnuts would be another great way to change it up, as would using canned chicken or salmon instead of tuna.

Get creative, and let me know how it turns out!

This kitchen (mis)adventure was a delicious experiment gone right!

I apologize for the lack of photos. I know the recipe is painfully easy, but we all want a little eye-candy, right? Basically, I was too hungry to bother with pictures--which is why the solo piece of photographic evidence features a half-eaten open-faced sandwich on gluten-free bread.

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