Easy, healthy avocado tuna sandwiches
It seems that the winter is over in Greece. Like we mentioned in our last post, we got to enjoy a little bit of snow in late January and again, in early February. But this only lasted for a few days. Most of February was (and still is) like it was April this year. The temperatures are higher than normal this winter, and this must‘ve confused nature, as the flowers are blooming and the trees are getting greener and greener, like in the spring!
On February, we visited another mountain village, called Seta. Like Steni, mentioned in the last post, this one is also located high up in Dirfi Mountain, in Evia (yeah we know; we’re obsessed with this mountain!). That’s where the photos with the snow that you see in this post are from.
Unfortunately the road was closed right after the village, and we couldn’t visit a spectacular place nearby, with wild cherries, walnut trees, a medieval church and natural springs. But it was really nice to take a walk along the mountain range and breathe some fresh air. After all, we only get to see snow for only a few days each winter.
The good thing about this mild and warm winter we’re having is that it allows for long walks in the city and its groves nearby. Moreover, there were wonderful exhibitions and festivals we got to visit taking advantage of those high temperatures. We also visited a unique farmers market which takes place about once a month, where producers sell amazing vegetables and other products, like jams, honey, rusks, cheeses, olives, wine, handmade sausages and many more delicacies.
The prices are very low, as they sell directly to customers, and there’s tons of people visiting the venue and leaving it with big smiles and packed bags of goodies. We always try to limit our spending when we visit this particular market, but somehow we always buy more than what we originally planned for!
So, we bought delicious homemade-style marmalades, honey, various olives, like the ones you see in the photos of this post, cheeses, fresh sausages (most of them were put right in the freezer for BBQ parties and spetzofai , Chios mastic halva, excellent pasta and other yummy products. There’s nothing like buying fresh stuff straight from the producer. By the way, if you never tried quince or fig marmalade before, you’re missing out. They’re our new favorite choices for breakfast.
But let’s get back to cooking; it’s been some time since we posted a recipe for something simpler than a main dish. We noticed that all our posts in the last months are main dishes, which often take some time to cook; our online friends on the other hand, sometimes want quick and easy recipes, something they could use for a delicious, quick lunch. So, this time we are posting a healthy tuna sandwich, enriched with avocado! If you're looking for healthy sandwich ideas, you hit the spot.
Avocados are rarely used in Greek households, as they're an exotic fruit for us here. Up until a few years ago, all the avocados in the market were imported from the Americas or Africa. This started to change though recently, with wonderful domesticly grown avocados, produced in the island of Crete. They’re mostly Sharwill or Hass avocados (the rounder varieties) and they’re much more interesting than those imported, which were usually Fuerte (pear-shaped).
We only started using avocados about a year ago, after learning how important they are for one’s health. Avocados are actually one of the healthiest foods you can eat. There are numerous studies that associate avocado consumption with cardiovascular benefits, and that’s because avocado is high in good fats (like omega 3), antioxidants AND it’s anti-inflammatory! So, even though avocados are not a common in Greek dishes, we try to eat as much of them as we can; we make a lot of delicious guacamole (in countless variations), we add them in salads, in sandwiches...you get the picture!
In this avocado recipe, we combined the avocado with canned tuna. Avocado and fish in general, work really great together. We often serve our grilled salmon with guacamole and make avocado tuna fish sandwiches. Those are rich and yummy tuna salad sandwiches that are perfect for a filling breakfast, a picnic lunch, or a creamy snack you can enjoy throughout your day.
For this recipe, we peel and slice avocado quarters and dip the slices in fresh lemon juice. This enhances the flavor and keeps the avocado from browning. If you haven’t tried to slice avocado before, here’s a great video with wonderful instructions for this.
The tuna used, is simple canned tuna. You can use tuna in oil or tuna in water. We prefer tuna in olive oil ourselves. We open the lid and press it into the can, squeezing the tuna, to drain it from the oil. We then mix the tuna with mayonnaise, a little lemon juice and paprika. So far it's a straght forward, tasty tuna salad recipe right? We used smoked paprika for this recipe though, as it adds a lot more flavor. If you never tried smoked paprika before, buy some and give it a try, you won’t regret it. You’ll be adding it soon in sandwiches, dips, stews and even pasta. Amazing stuff!
For a healthier sandwich, you can also use Greek yogurt instead of mayo. Simply substitute part of the mayo with yogurt, the result is equally delicious. You can also ditch the mayo all together and go full Greek yogurt.
If you want a rich, decadent snack though, you can also substitute the mayo with sour cream. It also makes for an amazing tuna sandwich!
We also added a few salad leaves in the sandwich; you can use any type of lettuce, arugula or salad greens. After all, you only add a few of them, to add some crunchiness.
You should’ve seen our faces, stuffed with those sandwiches right after we finished taking some shots for the blog; pure happiness! This truly is one of the best tuna salads we ever had.
We bet that if you have any kids and are looking for tuna sandwich ideas, this one is one they'll love. Plus you get to give them something tasty AND healthy, without fuss!
So let's see how to make these easy, delicious avocado tuna sandwiches!
- 4 bread slices (115gr/4oz), preferably rye/whole wheat/multi-grain, toasted
- 125gr/4.5oz (half) ripe avocado, cut into thin slices
- 100gr/3.5oz tuna, canned (drain the water or oil from the can)
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked
- a few salad leaves
- salt and pepper
Put the lemon juice in a small container (pic. 1) and keep a teaspoon from this apart (you will need it later in the tuna mix). Slice the avocado in half, then cut the half in two quarters, and peel them (pic 2).
Slice each quarter into thin slices (pic. 3). Put the slices in the container with the lemon juice (to keep them from browning). Toast the bread slices (pic. 4). You can use a toaster or you can broil them in the oven broiler.
In a large bowl add: the mayo, the lemon juice (the 1 teaspoon you saved earlier), the paprika, salt and pepper and the tuna (pic. 5). Mix well with a fork (pic. 6) to mash the tuna and combine the ingredients.
Assemble the sandwiches:
Add a few salad leaves on a toast (pic. 7). Add half of the tuna mixture (pic. 8)
Add a few avocado slices (pic. 9), from those left in the lemon juice. Add a little extra paprika (optional, pic. 10).
Cover with another bread slice and press lightly (pic. 11). At this point you can also carefully slice the sandwich in half (into triangles).
That’s it! Make the 2nd sandwich with the rest of the tuna mix and ingredients and enjoy them! Kali oreksi!
1. You can also use 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons of sour cream or Greek yogurt. The result is equally delicious!
2.Try to use smoked paprika in this recipe, it’s so much flavorful than common paprika.
3. You can use the rest of the avocado, sliced, with some salad leaves and a simple vinaigrette to make an easy, healthy salad side.