Tuna Salad with Chopped Veggies

June 21, 2009

tuna-salad

I’ve always liked tuna salad, but I didn’t love it until I added sweet pickle relish. When I began adding other things for texture (water chestnuts), flavor (onion), and color (tomato), I really, really loved it. It’s perfect for a summer lunch and falls into my favorite “10-minute gourmet meals” category. This recipe serves two, but it’s easy to double.

1 can tuna (make sure it’s dolphin safe)
Nearly 1/4 cup mayo (replace with hummus if you’re not a mayo fan, ahem, Gill)
3 1/2 heaping tablespoons of sweet pickle relish
1/2 can water chestnuts, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 green onion, chopped finely
Freshly ground black pepper
Optional: A bit of chopped white onion
Optional: Baby spinach, fresh whole wheat bread
Serves 2.

1. Drain the tuna and spoon into a small mixing bowl.

2. Add all ingredients and mix well with a fork, breaking up the tuna chunks and creating a whipped texture.

3. Serve on a bed of baby spinach with whole wheat toast on the side, or on bread to make a sandwich.

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Colorful Summer Pasta Salad

June 9, 2009

DSC04469

This is one of my favorite summer pasta salads because it’s simple and has a lot of possible variations. You can serve it warm or chilled (plan in advance for the latter), add sliced olives, or use different herbs (e.g. basil) or cheeses (e.g. parmesan). You could add your own dressing if you prefer it to the oil & vinegar marinade that the artichokes come in, or mix in colorful chopped sauteed veggies, like yellow squash or zucchini. Serves 2-3 as a main dish, 4-5 as a side. If you serve it warm, it takes only 15 minutes or so — as long as it takes to boil the pasta, if you chop in the meantime.

3 1/2 cups of colored bowtie pasta or rotelli
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped onion
6 oz. jar quartered marinated artichoke hearts, including liquid
1 tsp. oregano (or other herb; use more if fresh)
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Boil pasta and drain. If you’re serving it cold, let the pasta cool.

2. Transfer pasta to a mixing bowl. Add all ingredients and toss well.

3. Chill, if desired, or serve warm.

Voila! Easy peasy.