Tuna Niçoise Buddha Bowl with Sweet Potatoes

Tuna Nicoise Sweet potato buddha bowl

Rich in protein, my version of the classic tuna niçoise salad includes beta carotene-rich sweet potatoes and vibrant watercress pesto. 

Inflammation is the primary reason that sickle cell pain crisis occurs. Based on the research I have done so far, I am convinced that it is possible to reduce (or better yet, eliminate) the frequency of pain crisis a person experiences by eating an anti-inflammatory diet.

If you’re wondering what an anti-inflammatory diet constitutes, bear with me, I have a full blog post dedicated to that. In the meantime, you can consider this tuna niçoise salad my first anti-inflammatory recipe.

The classic French tuna niçoise salad uses white potatoes, but swapping them for sweet potatoes increases the vitamin A content of the dish. Vitamin A is crucial for reducing inflammation and maintaining immunity and vision. People with sickle cell anaemia tend to be deficient in vitamin A. They also need higher quantities of vitamin A than people who do not have the condition.

I have included some avocado as a source of healthy fats and simply because it is delicious. Avocado is also a good source of folic acid, which is vital for the production of red blood cells. Folic acid is another micronutrient which people with sickle cell anaemia need higher doses of and may need to supplement.

I have dressed the salad with a watercress pesto instead of a vinaigrette just for the sake of variety. That said, it is a great way to sneak in more greens into the salad, and it adds a delicious, nutty richness to the salad.

This meal is an excellent source of iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B12 and folic acid. The quantities of each micronutrient are detailed below:

  • 5.6 mg iron (38% RDA for a woman)
  • 3mg Zinc (43% RDA)
  • 107μg Selenium (178% RDA)
  • 1248μg Vitamin A (178% RDA)
  • 3.2μg Vitamin D (32% RDA)
  • 6.5mg Vitamin E
  • 5.4μg Vitamin B12 (360% RDA)
  • 130μg Folic acid (43% RDA)
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Tuna Nicoise Sweet potato buddha bowl

Tuna Niçoise Buddha Bowl with Sweet Potatoes

  • Author: Somi Igbene
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 1 1x
  • Category: Lunch/Dinner
  • Diet: Diabetic


Rich in protein, my version of the classic tuna niçoise salad includes beta carotene-rich sweet potatoes and vibrant watercress pesto.



  • 1 small sweet potato, sliced into rounds
  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • 1 medium egg, hard-boiled
  • 1/4 medium avocado, diced
  • 100g green beans
  • 40g baby leaf salad mix

For the pesto

  • 80g watercress leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt to taste


Preheat the oven to 200C then place the sweet potatoes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until tender.

Cook the green beans in a pan of boiling water for 4-5 minutes until tender. Drain then set aside.

To make the pesto, combine all the ingredients in a food processor then blitz to form a slightly rough paste. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve the salad, base the bowl with salad leaves then add the sweet potatoes, avocado, green beans, tuna and eggs. Spoon a generous amount of the pesto all over the salad and enjoy!


  • Serving Size: Serves 1
  • Calories: 461
  • Fat: 17.3
  • Saturated Fat: 3.5
  • Carbohydrates: 31.3
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Protein: 45g

Keywords: Sweet potato, tuna nicoise, salad


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