|I think these Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps are the perfect Phase One lunch!|
Before we get too far into our Month of Daily Phase One recipes I thought it was time to share a recipe for lunch. Occasionally people write to me and request ideas for brown bag lunches, and I have to confess I have really not been that helpful. Lunch hasn't been an issue for me; when I worked, I always had access to a teacher's lounge with fridge and microwave, and whatever food was leftover from something I cooked for the blog was lunch. But if I've neglected lunch as a category in the past, hopefully I can redeem myself a little with these crunchy and delicious Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps with Capers and Tomatoes. I happily ate these for lunch three days in a row, and the fourth day when I had no more lettuce pieces big enough to wrap around the last bit of the tuna, I ate it over some chopped lettuce as a salad. If you like tuna at all, and you have a fridge to put your lunch in at work, this just might become your new favorite brown bag lunch option.
There are a couple of important things that bump this up from regular tuna sandwiches, starting with the tuna. I am a huge fan of Tonno Genova Tuna Packed in Olive Oil, so that's what I used. But whatever tuna you choose, be sure it's good quality white tuna for best flavor. Then the tuna is mixed with a very small amount of mayo, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, finely chopped celery, chopped capers, thinly sliced green onions, celery seed, and seasoned with a little salt or Vege-Sal. The result is a tuna salad mixture that's a perfect combination with the crispy lettuce. The diced tomatoes are definitely optional, but I thought they added a nice burst of extra flavor.
Recently I haven't been able to find the Tonna Genova tuna at my market, so I started buying Tonno Genova, 3 Ounce cans by the case from Amazon.com. (If anyone follows that link and buys a case of tuna, Kalyn's Kitchen does earn a few cents on the dollar, so thanks.)
I used this gorgeous organic romaine lettuce, but you could also use iceberg or butter lettuce to wrap the tuna salad.
Fill each piece of washed lettuce with the tuna mixture, garnish with chopped cherry tomatoes, and eat!
(Makes about 4 servings or 8 individual wraps; recipe adapted from The Ultimate Low-Carb Cookbook by Mary B. Johnson.
10-12 oz. good quality canned tuna (I used Tonno Genova Tuna Packed in Olive Oil.)
1/4 cup mayo or light mayo
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 T lemon juice
1/4 tsp. celery seed
1/4 tsp. Vege-Sal (or a slightly smaller amount of salt)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 T capers, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
8 large lettuce leaves, washed and dried (romaine, iceberg or butter lettuce will work for this)
1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes (optional)
Drain tuna into a fine-mesh strainer and press down to drain out the oil (or water if you use water-packed tuna.) While tuna drains stir together the mayo, Dijon, lemon juice, celery seed, and Vege-Sal or salt.
Cut lettuce apart and pick out 8 large leaves. (I used two heads of romaine and kept the smaller inner leaves for salad greens.) Wash lettuce and spin dry in a salad spinner or dry with paper towels. Chop the celery and capers and thinly slice the green onions. Chop tomatoes if using.
When the tuna has drained, put it in a bowl (with a snap-tight lid if you won't be eating it all at once.) Stir in the dressing until it's well-distributed in the tuna, then mix in the celery, capers, and green onions.
Fill lettuce leaves with the tuna mixture, garnish with cherry tomatoes, and eat with your hands.
This kept well in the fridge for several days.
South Beach Suggestions:
The South Beach Diet books only specify light tuna, but I would use water-packed or tuna packed in olive oil for this recipe (not regular oil-packed tuna). I did use full-fat mayo without feeling too guilty, since there was only 1 tablespoon of mayo per serving. This tasty lunch option would be great for any phase of the South Beach Diet.
More Tasty Phase One Lettuce Wraps:
Lettuce Wrap Fish Tacos with Spicy Cabbage Slaw and Avocado
Asian Lettuce Wraps with Pork, Napa Cabbage, and Red Bell Pepper
Thai-Inspired Turkey Mini-Meatball Lettuce Wraps
Asian Lettuce Cups (or wraps) with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling
Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Chiles, Cumin, Cilantro, Lime, and Tomato-Avocado Salsa