Mediterranean Sardine Salad (GF, DF, AIP)

Let me let you in on a little secret: I am extremely stubborn. What can I say, I am a Taurean bull. While being a Taurus has many redeeming qualities (like loyalty, practicality, and trustworthiness), sometimes I get in my own way by having a limited outlook.

For example, let's talk sardines.

While sardine shoals are beautiful in nature, I used to have a gag reflex thinking about them on my plate. With their beady eyes looking back at me and strong odor, I was highly resistant to incorporating sardines into my diet.

However, we all reserve the right to change our minds.

Sardines are one of the highest sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids, and contain many other important vitamins and trace minerals. Sardines contain both EPA and DHA, two polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and help defend against mood disorders (like depression), cancer, arthritis, and heart disease. In just a 3.2oz can of sardines, you get over 50% of your daily value of Omega-3s. BOOM. Sardines also contain Vitamin B12 (energy boost), Vitamin D (immune function), Calcium (bone health), Selenium (critical antioxidant), and are a great source of phosphorous, iodine, copper, and choline.

Sardines = SUPERFOOD.

Sardines are also the most sustainable and least contaminated fish sources. Since they are at the bottom of the aquatic food chain, they do not carry toxins and heavy metals (like Mercury), unlike red snapper, tuna, and swordfish.

So how did I get over my sardine aversion? It's all about how you prepare it! I realized that when mixed with avocado and Ume Plum vinegar, it tasted absolutely amazing. Now I am obsessed. Read on for a flavorful Mediterranean preparation that will make you a sardine superfood convert too.

Disclosure: This recipe contains affiliate links; if you visit Amazon through these links and purchase the products, I'll get a small commission. Have no fear - the price is still the same for you! 

Mediterranean Sardine Salad

Prep time: 15 min
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 4.4 oz cans of skinless,
    boneless sardines in olive oil
    (I love the Season Brand, BPA-free can)
  • 1 cucumber, unpeeled and diced
  • 3 stalks of celery (+ leaves), chopped
  • 1/4 cup of Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup of Castelvetrano olives
  • 1 medium Haas Avocado
  • 2 Tbsp Ume Plum vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • Cracked pepper, to taste (omit if AIP)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Drain the sardine cans of most of the olive oil, and place in a bowl.
  2. Add in the avocado, mix fully.
  3. Wash and chop the vegetables and olives. Mix into sardine mash until fully blended.
  4. Mix in the Ume Plum vinegar and spices.
  5. Serve over a salad - for this recipe, I made a salad with the following ingredients:
    - Spinach
    - Basil
    - Parsley
    - Halved cherry tomatoes
    - Chopped carrots
    - Sprouted Pumpkin seeds (Go Raw is my favorite brand)
    - Farmhouse Culture Horseradish + Leek Kraut

Note: For this salad, you don't really need to add any salad dressing due to the richness of flavor and fats from the avocado, residual olive oil (from the sardines), and Ume Plum Vinegar.

This salad was SO delicious, filling, and gave me tons of energy for my day. Not to mention, I have noticed that my skin is smoother and clearer since I have focused on increasing my Omega-3 intake via sardines and supplementing with Fermented Cod Liver Oil (but that's a story for another post).

Hit me up in the comments and let me know what you think ❤.