Brain Food: Ahi Sandwich with Spinach Pesto

Dr. Marwan Sabbagh is the director of one of the most prominent Alzheimer’s research institutions in the world. With a wish to help people understand just how powerful a role diet can play, he has partnered with Food Network chef, Beau MacMillan, to craft a healthy new cookbook with a focus on the kind of preventative medicine you can fit right on to your plate. In The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook: 100 Recipes to Boost Brain Health the pair share healthy, brain-boosting food recipes that can potentially risk or delay the onset of many forms of dementia and memory loss.

This is not your average tuna sandwich. For one thing, it’s more like tuna tartare on bread. For another, it’s a very brain-healthy meal. Spinach pesto yogurt, not mayonnaise, holds the tuna mixture together, which – like most recipes in the book -keeps the amount of saturated fat to a minimum. Tuna is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, the pistachios provide vitamin E, and the raisins are a good source of polyphenol antioxidants. Because the tuna is not cooked in this recipe, be sure to purchase sashimi grade tuna; ask the fishmonger if you aren’t sure about the quality of the tuna on offer at the seafood counter.

  • Ahi Tuna on Rye with Spinach Pesto Yogurt makes 2 sandwiches

  • Ingredients

    8 ounces sashimi grade ahi tuna, diced small
    2 tablespoons Spinach Pesto Yogurt (below)
    2 tablespoons golden raisins
    1/4 cup shelled unsalted roasted pistachios, chopped
    Juice of 1/2 lemon
    4 slices rye bread, toasted
    1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
    1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • Instructions

    In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, Spinach Pesto Yogurt, raisins, pistachios, and lemon juice, and mix well.

    Lay out two of the bread slices on a work surface and divide the tuna mixture evenly among them. Put the alfalfa sprouts into a small bowl, drizzle with the olive oil, and toss to combine. Top each portion of tuna with half of the alfalfa sprouts and top with the remaining slices of bread. Cut each sandwich in half and serve right away.

  • Spinach Pesto Yogurt

    Makes about 3 cups

    2 cups loosely packed baby spinach
    1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1/4 cup pine nuts
    2 tablespoons grated
    Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    1 clove garlic, peeled
    Juice of 1 lemon
    Pinch of salt
    Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt

  • Pesto Instructions:

    Combine the spinach, olive oil, pine nuts, cheese, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a blender and puree until well blended. Pour the mixture into a bowl, add the yogurt, and whisk until incorporated. Serve slightly chilled. The mixture will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

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