Today I made up a delicious salad purely by accident by using the last remaining ingredients in the house. We’ve just come back from a relaxing mini-break with the fam at Rainbow Beach, the most beautiful, casually relaxed and ‘old school’ beach village and the cupboard was bare.
Thankfully I had a bag of mixed salad leaves, four cherry tomatoes (that’s right, 4!), a tiny little bit left of an old cucumber, some marinated feta in oil and a tin of sardines in tomato sauce. I simply threw these few ingredients together and the result was surprising fantastic. I think a little red onion would have finished the dish perfectly. For a full paleo version simply omit the feta, but it really did add a delicious saltiness to the dish and contrasted beautifully to the sweet tomato sauce of the sardines.
This salad needed no dressing on account of the tomato sauce from the tin of sardines. I buy the John West sardines and I always buy them in tomato sauce, not oil. The oil ones are usually made from cotton seed oil or some other overly-processed, bleached industrial oil that is guarateed to negate the fantastic Omega-3 benefits from the fish. Importantly, the ingredients in the John West one only contain Sardines, water, tomato paste, salt, vinegar and Xanthum gum.
Xanthum gum is a thickener and when added to water becomes more viscous. Doing some very basic web based research it seems that Xanthum gum is definitely not paleo as it is a laboratory made polysaccharide made from fermenting corn sugar and a bacteria. Xanthum gum is used a lot in gluten free baking as it gives a smooth consistency. It is however the same bacteria that leaves spots on broccoli. Mmmm, sounds tasty! Because it comes from a non-paleo source, aka the corn sugar, it is frowned upon in Paleo circles. However, used in such a small quantity I’m ok with it. It can be really hard to buy fresh fish at affordable prices in Australia, much less more exotic fresh fish like sardines, so from a tin really is my only option, and these are delicious 🙂 I’m not going to worry and just chow down these delicious fishies!