Tag Archives: cucumber

Lean Green Tuna Salad

 

We all have hectic days where we just don’t have time to pack a lunch with heart-shaped cheeses, individually peeled grapes, and 3-4 servings of vegetables included. Whether for yourself or some back-to-school young’uns, packing so many lunches all year long can get tiresome.

But don’t give up! As stated over and over again in financial writing, bringing a lunch is nearly always cheaper than a similar meal out at a restaurant, or even “fast casual” food places. While articles like the Simple Dollar point out that there is a large margin of what a brown bag lunch may cost, just keep track yourself for one week and you will soon see.

Even if you have the smallest of fast-food options (maybe half a $6 sandwich, and half the next day, for a total per day of $3, not including any drinks or extras), it is easy to create incredibly cheap meals for yourself at home, or even pack lunches which you can assemble wherever you are when it’s time to eat. Sometimes for even less than $1 a day!

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And with a little creativity, you can create these easy, cheap meals, and actually make them healthy too!¬† We’re talking several levels above ramen noodles, folks. Just check out my “less than 5” section for a plethora of ideas.

More ideas:

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This recipe is a healthified tuna salad. By adding several kinds of vegetables you bulk up the salad with fiber and vitamins, and adding an egg gives the already 16g of protein an extra 6g boost. If you’re truly hard core, you can even forego the mayonnaise and just add lemon juice for a dash of flavor.

This is borderline vegetarian, if you are lacto-ovo vegetarian. It is extremely healthy, especially if you omit mayo. You can pack all the ingredients in a cooler and assemble at your desk or at school. If you buy tuna on sale, you can get it for $0.30 a can. 1/2 avocado + 1/2 cucumber is slightly less than $1.

Add another $0.50 or so for one egg and a few cents for lemon juice and any seasonings, and you have a hefty lunch/appetizer/dinner for about $2. Add a few big leaves of romaine for a dinner of tuna salad wraps, or serve over a big bed of lettuce with some nuts and berries for a more filling option.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can or pouch chunk tuna in water
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise

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Step 1: Open the tuna and drain. Rinse the cucumber and dice into small chunks. You could use celery here, or peas, or shredded carrot. Whatever vegetable you like to add bulk and nutrition.

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Step 2: Cut the avocado in half and scoop out the seed. In a bowl, combine the tuna, lemon juice, and mayo. Mix well. Add the cucumber and avocado, smash it around until well combined. Dice the boiled egg, and mix that in.

Season with garlic salt and black pepper if so desired. Serve with slices of bread, a wrap or pita, or whole wheat crackers.

Lean Green Tuna Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 can chunk tuna in water
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise

Instructions

  1. Open the tuna and drain. Rinse the cucumber and dice into small chunks. You could use celery here, or peas, or shredded carrot. Whatever vegetable you like to add bulk and nutrition.
  2. Cut the avocado in half and scoop out the seed. In a bowl, combine the tuna, lemon juice, and mayo. Mix well. Add the cucumber and avocado, smash it around until well combined. Dice the boiled egg, and mix that in.
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Italian Cucumbers & Tomatoes

 

In the summer heat, with the garden beginning to produce bumper crops, there is nothing better than a refreshing side dish you can pick from your own yard (or farmers market or grocery store) and have ready in under ten minutes. This can be served room temperature or refrigerated, and is easy to make ahead for a party later or the next day, but fast enough to be ready like, now.

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Cucumber has cooling properties, and tomatoes have tons of trace minerals and compounds. Put the two together, and you’ll always get something delicious with a side of healthy. Feel free to mix it up with whatever herbs you have handy. I had chives, but dill, parsley, mint, or basil would also go nicely here. You could also add in feta or goat cheese if the spirit moved you.

Oh, and if you don’t have or don’t like bottled Italian dressing, feel free to quickly whip up your own vinaigrette. Combine one from each of the following: 1/4 cup (white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, lemon juice) + 2-3 tbsp (olive oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, palm oil). Optional additions: mashed or diced garlic cloves, fresh/dried herbs, salt and/or pepper, and infused oils or vinegars.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (or 2 large, diced)
  • 1/2 large cucumber, diced
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped herbs
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing (affiliate link)

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Step 1: If using cherry tomatoes, cut in half. If using large round tomatoes, dice into quarters or eighths. Rinse the cucumber well, and cut half into small cubes.

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Step 2: Dice your herbs, feel free to combine more than one kind too. Mix it all together in a bowl and drizzle on the dressing. Toss to coat.

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This awesome side dish has graced many a backyard barbecue over the years, and will continue to do so for a very long time. It can be left in the refrigerator overnight, and up to 3 days. The longer you leave it, the more water will come out of the veggies though, so by the third day it gets a little soggy. I bet you’ll finish it all in one sitting anyhow. ūüėČ

Below is the total nutrition information for this dish. It makes about 4 servings at 1/2 cup each.

Nutrition Facts

 

User Entered Recipe
¬†¬†1¬†Serving 
Amount Per Serving
  Calories 281.4
  Total Fat 18.2 g
  Saturated Fat 1.6 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
  Cholesterol 0.0 mg
  Sodium 903.2 mg
  Potassium 261.5 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 25.4 g
  Dietary Fiber 1.4 g
  Sugars 12.1 g
  Protein 1.2 g
  Vitamin A 27.7 %
  Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
  Vitamin B-6 3.6 %
  Vitamin C 99.1 %
  Vitamin D 0.0 %
  Vitamin E 0.7 %
  Calcium 2.7 %
  Copper 3.0 %
  Folate 6.5 %
  Iron 6.7 %
  Magnesium 4.8 %
  Manganese 6.8 %
  Niacin 1.9 %
  Pantothenic Acid     2.9 %
  Phosphorus     4.6 %
  Riboflavin 2.4 %
  Selenium 0.1 %
  Thiamin 2.7 %
  Zinc 2.2 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.