Tag Archives: tuna salad

Tuna Salad (With two secret ingredients)

2 Feb

As a sandwich filler or a salad topper, tuna is a star. Open the can, drain, and mix with a couple of staple condiments and you are good to go.

So, this is not a rocket-science post. But the way I make tuna salad is better than average. There are two reasons. One is a tip I learned in high school from one of my longtime besties — who is now Leandro’s godmother– and one is a secret of my own.

The first is ketchup, which cuts some of the fishiness with a bit of sweetness and zing. I got that one some after-school afternoon in the early days of MTV, when Marianne’s family had cable (an “A-ha” moment, for those of you who remember. Or it ” Buggles”  the mind to think about?) so we’d dash home to snack and watch the same three videos in endless loop…

The second secret is replacing half the mayo with nonfat plain yogurt which lightens it up and gives it a nice tang (I also do this with potato salad).

These days sustainabilty and food safety are big issues, so I don’t eat as much tuna as I used to (the sustainable kinds being comparatively expensive). But I’ll stray from cheap on this one and let you know I buy Wild Planet which is troll- and pole- fished and got a passing grade from Greenpeace rankings in Canada (I couldn’t find U.S. rankings). Wild Planet says it has more Omega-3s and less mercury that other brands; I choose to believe it, because that is the most convenient thing to do.

UK readers can visit MongaBay.com for ratings of tinned tuna.

Additionally, for American readers, the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Pocket Guide is a printable wallet-guide to good seafood choices that I find invaluable.

Tuna Salad (two servings)

5 oz. can tuna packed in water, drained

½  medium onion (white onion is very nice here), chopped fine

1 celery stalk, minced

1 Tbs mayonnaise

1 Tbs nonfat (or lowfat) plain yogurt

1 tsp prepared mustard

½ tsp ketchup (or to taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

(Additional optional ingredient suggestions – ½ tsp minced sundried tomatoes in oil, 1 small carrot, minced, hard-boiled egg chopped; ½  tsp tiny capers; 1 tsp minced olives; ½ tsp minced pickles)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Serve on salad or in sandwiches.

Tuna, Apple and Macaroni Shell Salad – luncheon, potluck, picnic, or BBQ fare

22 Mar

Just like mom used to make!

I needed a quick dish for the first potluck of the season at our new CSA (Restoration Farm at Old Bethpage Restoration Village http://www.restorationfarm.com/). Normally I would do something more elaborate and planned, but the boy and I had been home sick for a couple of days and then busier than we should have been, given that we needed some recovery time, and then plain old sick of one another…just star-crossed and cross and no way was I going to a store to get any ingredients.

Then I remembered a  favorite warm weather dish that my mom would make for backyard barbecues and the like. This tuna and macaroni salad involves minimal prep and I usually have all the ingredients in. It’s creamy, but the apples provide crunch and tang, and each bite is texturally entertaining. My brother and I would just gobble it up (with extra mayonnaise, of course), delighted when two or three shells were cradled together for a really pasta-y morsel.

So I put it together in a jiffy and we took it on down to the gathering (where there were loads of other good things to eat that I need the recipes for!) and were so pleased to see many old friends of the good eating, farming persuasion…well, I was pleased, but it was not Leandro’s finest hour and we left in rather a messy, huffy hurry…anyway…the salad worked out fine and I had leftovers for lunch on Monday.

If you are observing Lent, consider it for a fast Friday fix that is balanced enough to be a one-dish meal. Thanks Mom!

Myrna’s Tuna and Macaroni Shell Pasta Salad

1 lb. medium macaroni shells

½ Cup of each the following chopped into fingernail size bits: carrots; celery; white or red onion

1 Cup Red Delicious/Macintosh/Granny Smith apple, unpeeled, chopped into fingernail size chunks

1 5oz can your preferred tuna, drained

6 Tbs mayonnaise

2 Tbs plain nonfat yogurt (low or full fat okay)

1-2 Tbs prepared mustard

Cook shells according to package directions. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Serve at room temperature. You can also eat it as leftovers, but you will probably want to add a bit of mayo, as the pasta tends to absorb the mayo over time.

Tuna and Caper Salad (quick Lenten lunch)

10 Mar

A different take on tuna salad; zippy for lunch during Lent!

In a bit of a hurry to make my brown bag lunch, I banged together some tuna salad, but without mayonnaise (although a dab of mayo would go well too!). This is one of my favorites for a picnic lunch any time, but as a Catholic during Lent, when fish is de riguer for Fridays, this is a true friend. I usually have it on salad, but you can sandwich it, wrap it, stuff it in a pita, mound it on crackers…very flexible! If you have ripe avocado, slice it up and add it to whichever way you are serving the tuna. The cool blandness plays well with the tangy tuna.

Tuna and Caper Salad

1 5 oz can tuna (whichever you prefer; because I am a maniac, I buy sustainably-caught), drained

2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbs red wine vinegar

1/8 tsp your favorite prepared mustard

1 Tbs red onion, chopped fine

1 Tbs capers, drained

1 Tbs roasted red pepper (optional)

Whisk oil and vinegar together with a fork until blended. Stir in mustard. Pour over tuna, add red onion and mix well. Stir in capers and red pepper, if desired. Serve over green salad with chunks of avocado, or in sandwiches, with avocado slices.

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