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Claudia Castillo

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My Trusted Go-To Meal: Tuna Salad

Posted: 09/14/2012 11:35 am

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When I come home late from work I'm usually really hungry and tired. I could go to a restaurant or get take out, but that could mean a very long wait at a restaurant. Add to that the fact that I have a strict going out budget and well my options are limited. That's why whenever I happen to fall into this type of scenario I always make my trusted go-to meal, tuna salad with left over rice or pasta. It is really one of the quickest and most delicious dishes you can make when you are in a pinch.

I remember eating this all the time as a kid. It used to be just canned albacore tuna with chopped onions, tomatoes and fresh white rice. Now my mom and aunt's simple recipe has grown to include ingredients like sweet seedless green grapes, jalapeño, capers and/or celery. Instead of just tomatoes and onions, I'm really trying to incorporate healthier ingredients into all of my family's traditional everyday recipes.

The downside to my recipe is that you might have to take 5 minutes to cut up vegetables when you get home. The upside is that you could decide to only use two ingredients, onions and tomatoes. Like I always say, use whatever you want that you can find in your fridge. If you only have onions and tomatoes then it's still going to be an amazing meal.

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I usually also make this dish when I know I have leftover Basmati rice in the refrigerator. All I do when I get home is reheat my rice for one minute in the microwave with a wet paper towel on top. The rice will absorve all of the moisture and it comes out soft and fluffly. For pasta, well, I don't like to reheat pasta. I prefer to go through the trouble of boiling and making my pasta al dente if that's what i'm in the mood for. I just like to make sure that either the pasta or the rice are hot, so that they contrast with the cool ingredients in my tuna salad.

Of course the most important ingredient in this recipe is the tuna that you buy. There are some brands out there that are just nasty. The tuna comes out of the can looking like mush! I like chuncky tuna, preferably albacore tuna preserved in olive oil. That is my favorite! If I want to be healthy I buy chuncky albacore tuna preserved in water.

If you really want to be health conscious though then what you really need to do is withhold the mayo. It's not doing you any good. I find that it just masks the flavor of the tuna. I prefer to use the olive oil that comes packed in the can or add extra virgin olive oil to the finished dish.

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My secret ingredient is using sweet seedless green grapes cut in half. It gives my tuna salad a new sweet dimension. The grapes are so fresh and crunchy that it's really out of this world.

Here is a list of the ingredients I use and the order in which I use them when making my tuna salad. I really hope you enjoy and let me know if you like it with the grapes!

Buen Provecho! =)

Ingredients

  • Onions chopped, placed in a bowl, with the juice of half a lime. Let sit for one minute.

  • Add the albacore tuna packed in Olive Oil or Water. Mix.

  • Add sea salt and pepper to taste.

  • Cut different colors of peppers into chunks and add to the bowl.

  • Cut heirloom or regular grape tomatoes in quarters and add to the bowl.

  • Slice one stick of celery and add.

  • Cut sweet seedless green grapes (if you have) and add to the mixture.

  • Thinly slice a small bunch of parsley or cilantro and also add to the mixture.

Mix all of the ingredients, check to see if you want to add more salt and pepper and it is ready to eat.

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