Tuna Power Salad

tuna power salad

Long lunch tables were puzzle-pieced together in the the Mesa Elementary cafeteria just so. They were the kind with benches attached to them, and each measured at least 14 feet long. Three of them together must’ve held something like 70 children, with ease. 

A long line would form where food was served, single-file, except for when a kid dodged to the side, trying to get a sneak peak at what was getting served that day. It was a line I barely knew—lunch was packed, just about every day, by my mom or my dad. 

tuna power salad

The menu of the day almost always included leftovers, for me. Leftover pasta salad, leftover chicken, leftover sushi. Some people dislike eating leftovers but I never did, aside from the slight embarrassment I felt when kids asked what I was eating. Looking back they were probably just genuinely curious, but when you’re 7, explaining yourself can feel like the most painful thing in the world. Um… it’s called pomegranate. The other kids: It looks like a brain. 

Despite my fancy sack lunches, my palate could never get over the taste of canned tuna. Gross! I’d opt for salmon salad over tuna and steer far away from anyone that tried to turn it into a sandwich. Crackers were my vehicle of choice. I supposed I set myself up for being asked why my tuna salad was pink.  

tuna power salad

I eventually learned to like tuna salad, the way everyone else learned what a pomegranate was. 

Tuna Power Salad

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free,    |       |    Print Friendly and PDF

A little sweet and a little savory! Cranberries, apples and walnuts make this tuna salad a star.

Serves: 2   |    Total Time:


    For the tuna:
  • 2 cans of tuna
  • 2 tablespoons paleo mayo or, for primal version, yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

  • For the salad:
  • 4 leafs red lettuce
  • 1 cup cabbage, sliced thin
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 apple, diced
  • Optional: squeeze of lemon juice and drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 apple, diced


  1. Drain water from cans of tuna and place fish in a bowl. Mash with mayo/yogurt, mustard, onion, and poppy seeds. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  2. Arrange lettuce on 2 plates. Pile a scoop of tuna salad over lettuce on each plate. Arrange remaining salad ingredients around tuna salad.
  3. I like to mix everything together when I eat this, which means I don’t really need a salad dressing, but if you want one, or you prefer to not mix everything together on your plate, drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.