Sardine salad with collard green wraps makes an easy low-carb lunch prep that provides the omega-3s DHA and EPA. Canned sardines are an inexpensive way to add fish to the diet, and choosing sardines with bones provides an added calcium boost. It is recommended that we get at least two servings of seafood per week; do you fit them in?
Salmon is not the only natural source of the DHA, EPA, and vitamin D in town. Check out these sardines that I picked up at Costco…
Sardines are also an excellent source of calcium when they are tinned with the bones. If seeing bones makes you squeamish, know that the sardines are well-mashed in this recipe, so they are barely noticeable.
I don’t recommend eating the sardines straight from the tin if you do not want to see the bones. My son tried this once and felt disgusted that he was able to pull an intact spine from one of the fish. This doesn’t bother me personally, but I understand that it doesn’t fit with everyone’s preferences.
Aim to choose fish canned in water or olive oil, not oils like canola that are higher in erucic acid. I also recommend trying to limit (not necessarily eliminate) other industrial seed oils like soy and safflower oil. You can find my rationale behind this recommendation in the Paleo Diet Review article on the Media page.
If you do end up with sardines canned in canola or soy oil, it is not a huge deal. The oil in the fish gets drained anyway (and you will lose some omega-3s in this process, unfortunately).
I’ve heard of people saving the olive oil in sardine tins to make salad dressings. I haven’t tried this yet, but I love this thrifty tip!
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
Sardine Salad with Collard Green Wraps
- 4 tins sardines with bones, packed in olive oil, drained (124 grams per tin)
- 4 scallions, sliced
- 3 T drained capers
- 2 T fresh parsley, finely chopped
- ¼ c mayonnaise (I used avocado oil-based Sir Kensington's brand)
- 1 T Dijon mustard
- 4 large collard green leaves, washed and dried
- Mash the sardines well with the back of a fork.
- Mix the scallions, capers, parsley, mayo, and mustard with the sardines. Combine well.
- Divide the sardine salad between four containers and refrigerate.
- Remove the thickest part of the stem from one of the collard green leaves.
- Pile one of your sardine salad servings on top of the leaf.
- Wrap the leaf around the filling to make a secure package. Enjoy! You may find yourself using collards as a sturdy wrapper for other sandwich fillings.
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). If you need to beef this lunch up a little more, consider including additional components from the different food groups. I added a Saturn peach, one serving of whole grain crackers, and a small piece of cheese to each of my lunches. This move boosted the calories to around 600 per meal and covered all of my food groups. Consuming too few calories can backfire if you wind up snacking on “junk foods” before your next meal. Make sure you are eating enough to leave you feeling satiated. Aim to get most of your calories from healthy meals, not from desserts. The brand of mayo I used technically contains sugar but it is so little that the label lists 0g carbs and 0g sugars. If you are a food purist, making your own mayo is another option.
Have you tried sardines? If not, consider adding them to your grocery list this week. This recipe for sardine salad with collard green wraps is an excellent introduction to this tasty fish!