This southwestern tuna salad takes your low carb lunch to a new level of yum. Crunchy red cabbage, southwestern seasonings, and a mouthwatering cumin cream drizzle is satisfying, filling, and just 4.9 net carbs. Pack it in a container for lunch an on the go lunch — it will still be crunchy and delicious when you’re ready to eat.
For this recipe you’ll need: red cabbage, cilantro, onion, Albacore tuna in water, Cojita cheese (optional), sour cream, cumin, salsa verde, roasted pumpkin seeds, smoked paprika, and a fresh lime
If you are in a hurry click here to go straight to the southwestern tuna salad recipe.
I have a confession to make.
I have a bad tendency to skip breakfast. And lunch. Once in awhile even dinner.
It’s just that when I get busy I don’t stop to eat, and considering that I’m a food writer, that’s more than a little weird. I am around food all the time choosing ingredients, developing recipes, tasting (and spitting out high carb things), smelling it, preparing it…
Maybe it’s a little like a porn star feeling blah about sex. It takes something really amazing to get me interested!
Taste, texture, aroma, and definitely the way something looks makes a huge difference in whether or not it appeals to me. I know that not eating only hurts me by causing muscle loss, lower metabolism (if that’s possible!). Sooner or later I’ll cave and binge on carbs. Knowing that and acting on it are two different things, aren’t they?
For example, today I am working on a Valentine’s Day layout for a client. Several kinds of chocolate truffles are on my agenda and none of them are low carb. Once I’ve made them I’ll taste to double check that they are yummy, even though I’ve tested them twice. As I taste one I’ll spit the bite out in the trash, sip water, and go to the next sample. Once the making and the testing are done I’ll photograph them. By the end of the day I will have immersed myself in chocolate for several hours. Somehow I know that a chicken breast and side of broccoli aren’t going to tempt me one bit.
BUT when there’s food that has that addictive southwestern blend of cumin, smoke, and crunch? That will definitely pique my interest.
Red cabbage strips add a satisfying crunch to this southwestern tuna salad and I think it’s what sets it apart from anything else I’ve had. As a matter of fact, using crunchy cabbage rather than lettuce means this tuna salad will not get soggy. It’s fresh, yummy, and crispy hours after you’ve made it. The Albacore comes out in chunks so it’s not lost in all the other ingredients. Letting it marinate for a few minutes in a little lime and cilantro ensures that you don’t get any fishy taste at all.
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Southwestern Tuna Salad Nutritional Information
With nearly 24 grams of protein but just 255 calories this is definitely a go to lunch for me. Not only that but vitamin A, C, calcium, and iron make this southwestern tuna salad a nutritional powerhouse. Yesterday I ate this after doing weights at the gym (leg day – ugh) and I didn’t crave anything all afternoon plus very little muscle soreness today.
I go through a lot of Herdez salsa verde! It’s tangier and a bit spicier than the red salsa but I love the fresh flavor. Shelled pumpkin seeds add a nutty flavor and crunchy texture to this tuna salad. I like the Gerbs non-GMO pumpkin seeds. You can get the cheese on Amazon if you can’t find it in your grocery store. Cojita cheese is crumbly with a texture similar to Feta but not nearly as intense in flavor. Mild, milky, and salty, it adds texture, flavor, and visual interest to the plate.
Low Carb Albacore Tuna Salad Recipe
Here’s that unique tuna salad recipe. Be sure to post your own images on Instagram and tag #lowcarbology in it. I’d love to see your results!
Southwestern Tuna Salad for a Unique Low Carb Lunch
- 2 1/2 ounces albacore tuna in water drained and patted dry
- 2 lime wedges divided use
- 1 tablespoons cilantro divided use, chopped
- 1/2 ounce red cabbage cut in shreds
- 1 teaspoon chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon cotija cheese optional
- 1 tablespoon salsa verde
- 1 tablespoon shelled do not use the kinds with shells on, roasted pumpkin seeds
- Smoked paprika for garnish
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- Salt to taste
- Add the Albacore to a small bowl.
- Squeeze one lime wedge over the top.
- Sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon cilantro.
- Stir gently to mix thoroughly.
- Set aside.
- Make the cumin cream (instructions below).
- Lay the red cabbage shreds on a chilled plate.
- Sprinkle the onion on top.
- Add the tuna.
- Top with the cotija cheese, salsa verde, cumin cream, and pumpkin seeds.
- Dust lightly with smoked paprika.
- Serve with 2nd lime wedge to squeeze over the top.
- Mix the sour cream and cumin together.
- Add enough water to get a creamy Ranch salad dressing consistency.
- Taste and add salt as needed.
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