Tag Archives: tuna

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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Creamy Tuna Potato Salad

 

I’ve never been a huge fan of potato salads. They are usually overly-fatty-creamy, with cold mushy potatoes and bits of who-knows-what. Just not appetizing. But then I read this in some magazine once, and since I had asparagus and red potatoes already, decided to give it a whirl.

With a bit of a twist and crossover of tuna salad and potato salad, and easy on the saucy things, it sounded much more delicious than your usual potato salad rotting in the picnic sun. And by substituting in Greek yogurt for some of the heavier dairy per usual it becomes slightly healthier.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds redskin potatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed vegetables (or just peas)
  • 10-12 spears asparagus
  • 2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • Salt, pepper, dill, oregano, etc.

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Step 1: Dice your potatoes, and bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook 5-7 minutes. Add the chopped asparagus and frozen veggies and cook another 3-5 minutes.

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Step 2: Mix the yogurt, mayo, and milk in a small bowl. Use more or less milk to make it your desired consistency.

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Step 3: Drain the potatoes and vegetables. In a large bowl, combine the tuna, potatoes, and cream dressing. Season as desired, mix well.

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This recipe makes enough for three good-sized servings. The SO and I each had some for dinner, then I packed up the rest for lunch the following day.

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This is tasty warm right after combining, or cold right out of the refrigerator, making it a great dish for leftovers.

Less than 5: Tuna Salad Puffs

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On nights when you just don’t have the energy or time to cook a whole meal from scratch, these “less than 5” meals are the perfect solution. For me to title a meal as “less than 5” it must require less than 5 ingredients, and it’s an extra bonus if it also takes less than 5 minutes to make.
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For this recipe, I had several cans of tuna I had purchased during a great sale weeks prior. I didn’t want the usual tuna-salad-sandwich, or tuna noodle casserole. So I looked in the fridge, and saw I had a can of biscuits. Viola, dinner inspiration!
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Ingredients:
1 can ready to bake biscuits (or croissants, any type of dough)
1 can tuna
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp relish
Salt & pepper if you like
Step 1: Open and drain the tuna. In a bowl, combine the tuna, mayo, and relish. Mix well.
Step 2: On a sprayed baking sheet, place each biscuit about 1-2 inches apart. Tamp down a small depression with your fingers or a spoon. Fill with 1-2 tbsp tuna mixture.
Step 3: Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown on top.
You can sprinkle these with whatever spices you have on hand, or a little bit of shredded cheese too.
They are great as appetizers, or eat several for a full meal! Feel free to add in other veggies to the tuna, like diced up cucumber or cooked egg, or lemon juice.