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A TWIST FOR TUNA

It's the time of year to start thinking again about sandwiches for school lunches, and a tuna-salad sandwich is still a popular choice - and a real American classic. In fact, this delicious and easy-to-make sandwich remains among the most frequently ordered sandwiches at lunch counters all across the country. It used to be made with tuna packed in oil, but it is now almost always made with tuna packed in water for our more calorie-conscious society.

Canned tuna is always precooked. The whitest meat is labeled "albacore." The rest of the tuna is labeled as "tuna" or "light meat." Canned tuna comes in three grades, the best being solid-packed, or fancy (large pieces); followed by chunk (smaller pieces); and flaked or grated (bits and pieces).

For a slightly different spin on this old-time favorite, I have added curry powder and ginger to the dressing and packed the salad into a pita pocket rather than putting it between two pieces of regular bread. You can also use this same recipe for a curried tuna salad. Just add a couple of cups more lettuce and spoon it onto a chilled plate. When serving it as a salad, I usually sprinkle roasted peanuts over the top, garnish it with fresh fruit and serve toasted pita bread on the side.

CURRIED TUNA PITA POCKET

1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise

3/4 teaspoon curry powder

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup finely chopped Delicious apple

1 cup finely chopped lettuce

1 can (12 ounces) water-packed, solid white albacore, drained and flaked

3 whole-wheat pita breads, cut in half

Combine the mayonnaise, curry powder and ginger in a large bowl and mix well.

Add the onion, raisins, apple and lettuce and mix well. Add the tuna and again mix well. Stuff 1/2 cup of the mixture into each pita pocket. Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains approximately 193 calories, 1 gram fat, 17 milligrams cholesterol, 531 milligrams sodium, 27 grams carbohydrates,18 grams protein, 3 grams fiber.

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