Tuna, Sprouts and Guacamole Pita Panini

Building the perfect sandwich can involve a number of great combinations, but here’s one combo that is sure to please your palate and waistline.

Whole Grains. Wonderful Whole Grains. Skip out on the white bread and find something more filling with a higher fibre content such as a whole grain pita or bun. Typically these breads are lower in fat as well, but the high fibre content will keep you feeling fuller for longer so in the end, you will consume fewer calories. We can all be thankful for that.

Fish. Fish is just so important for our diets and something that I will admit I do not eat enough of! Depending on the variety, fish can be high in omega-3’s which is great heart food. Unfortunately some tuna varieties (like yellowfin and skipjack) do not have a high level of omega-3’s but they do have high levels of vitamins and minerals. If you’re looking for some omega-3 fatty acids though, you can always swap out the tuna in this pita for salmon instead.

Did you know that alfalfa sprouts have a ton of minerals that your body NEEDS? I’m talking calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium, folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine and zinc.  Need I say more, folks? Time to switch up the old lettuce routine for some sprouts on your next sandwich or pita!

When building a sandwich, you always need sauce or something creamy (at least in my opinion). There’s mustard, mayo or butter, but what about going down a healthier route and choosing something with some awesome real nutritional value? What’s green, has a massive pit in the middle and tastes great with a little lime and garlic? Yep, an avocado. Those green things will have your ticker loving you in no time as they reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol with the combination of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) and antioxidants. My brother and I are crazy for guacamole so it was unquestionable that our paninis would include some of our avocado friends.

Veggies. Don’t stop with the alfalfa sprouts and avocado though! You can add even more oomph to that pita with a few extras like sliced zucchini and tomato! And if you’re feeling even more adventurous, why not mix up a little Pico de Gallo (Mexican salsa)? The way I see it, the more colour you can bring to your plate, the happier and healthier your body will be. Veggies fill you up with their high fibre and water content but they also bring an insane amount of vitamins to the table.

Well that just about brings our pita to the brink of explosion. Get that baby on the grill and eat to your heart’s content.

Tuna, Sprouts and Guacamole Pita Panini Recipe

1 avocado (2 if you want to have lots of guac!)
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 lime juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cans of tuna in water
4 whole-wheat pitas (pockets opened or cut in half since mine didn’t have pockets…)
4 oz alfalfa sprouts
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 Roma tomato, thinly sliced or use instead for Pico de Gallo (recipe below)

Optional Pico de Gallo Ingredients:

1 Roma tomato diced
1/2 red onion diced
1 Tbsp fresh basil chopped
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions for the Panini Assembly:

Prepare the guacamole first by slicing the avocados in half, removing the pit and skin and mashing it in a bowl. Add the minced garlic and lime juice. Stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set guacamole aside.

Prepare the Pico de Gallo by combining all the ingredients into one bowl. Mix.

Spread the guacamole on the pitas. Top with tuna. Add zucchini, tomato or Pico de Gallo and add the alfalfa sprouts as well. Place the pitas in the heated panini maker and gently place the lid on top. There is no need to squeeze the pita. Leave pita in panini maker or toaster oven for 3 minutes. Serve immediately.


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