Brain-Healthy Sardine Salad in Avocados

A healthier way to recapture the summer foods of our formative years

This is our new favorite Summer Saturday lunch meal. It has all the things we like: great brain-feeding nutrients, very low glycemic, quick to fix with a low skill level needed for us less-than-Cordon-Bleu cooks, and bonus: it’s colorful on a plate.

One of the often-cited issues with tuna is that because the fish can be large, it can also pick up a lot of not so great toxins, like mercury and plastics. Growing up with tuna sandwiches and now being wary of the possible health dangers has left us longing for something else that reminds us of those ’70s summer foods in the park.

Our recipe avoids the Wonder Bread and opts for an omega-3-rich avocado as the carrying vehicle for the fish. Sardines straight out of the can are an acquired taste, one which we have not fully adjusted to. For this recipe, by using the mayonnaise, cilantro, and lime, the flavor gets very close to those mom-made tuna salads from our formative years.

Ingredients per serving:

1 ripe avocado

1 can of sardines, 3.75 oz in olive oil 

1 lime

1 bunch cilantro

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Salt and pepper

Summer salad greens for the side


Open the sardine can carefully over the sink and drain off any liquid. In a small mixing bowl place the fish and the mayonnaise. Wash and dry the cilantro. Damp cilantro can taste grassy, so dry it carefully. Chop the cilantro and add to the bowl. Cut the lime, measure out about a tablespoon and add to the mix.

Vigorously stir the ingredients so the fish become completely broken up into tiny bits. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.

Wash and cut the avocado into halves. Remove the stone. Use a spoon to carefully pull the meat away from the skin of the avocado while leaving it intact. Place the avocado onto a plate and fill the center hole with the sardine salad mix. Garnish with a salad topped with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Welcome to a healthier version of the summer of 1973.



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David Stewart
David is the founder and face of AGEIST. He is an expert on, and a passionate champion of the emerging global over-50 lifestyle. A dynamic speaker, he is available for panels, keynotes and informational talks at david@agei.st.


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