Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tuna Coleslaw Salad... thing

Ha! Remember that one time when I started that blog and was all, "I am totally going to write stuff here"? Well, better late than never, right?

Also this is why I didn't tell anyone about the blog yet.


When I started dating Keith years ago, I knew that (if I was lucky) dating a chef was going to have a major impact on the way I experienced food. I'd always, at least as an adult, been a fairly adventurous eater and enjoyed cooking for myself, but I tended not to learn a lot in the kitchen. I thought that dating a chef would mean amazing gourmet meals at home at an incredibly low cost (and, indeed, my time with Keith has made it much harder for me to fork over money at a restaurant), and that part was true. I have eaten some amazing food in the last 4+ years.

What I didn't expect was how he would change my perspective on more "low-rent" foods. I will admit - with some degree of glee - to a certain amount of food snobbery. So when Keith gave me coleslaw on our first date, I was skeptical to say the least. But here's the thing: I had exclusively consumed bad coleslaw up until that point. Soggy, runny, not-so-fresh coleslaw. I also, for no particularly good reason, thought it was made with iceberg lettuce, but that's neither here nor there. But this coleslaw Keith made me? It was good. Freshly purged cabbage, yummy mayo dressing, pumped up with minced habanero and perfectly ripe mango. I was a convert. When we catered our wedding reception last year, I requested coleslaw for the salads as we developed the menu.

The story with tuna salad is not dissimilar. For a road trip last summer, Keith packed up more pints of freshly made tuna salad than we should really admit to (kept in a cooler with lots of ice!). I'd had and enjoyed tuna salad before, but it was always just a bit of a filler - nothing special. But this tuna salad, with Keith's recipe? I'm surprised it lasted more than a day (in a cooler! with ice!).

So I have some cans of tuna lying around, and I figured, you know, I should eat the tuna. Because tuna's good for you! And I like fish. But I was scared of making tuna salad without a recipe, and without the right ingredients. Then I reminded myself that I knew what I wanted my tuna salad to taste like, so I knew how to make it. Pretty simple, right? Tuna, tangy dressing, crunchy veggies. Because of the veggies we actually had on hand, this turned out to be a bit of a tuna salad-coleslaw hybrid, which is why I was rambling on about coleslaw. This is a highly customizable recipe and great for using up small amounts of leftover raw vegetables.


Tuna Salad
  • 3 tbsp plain yogurt (I used organic & full fat)
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp mustard (any variety)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • 1/3 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 small sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red/green cabbage, sliced into short, thin strips
  • 1 small carrot, diced small or grated
  • 2 tbsp walnuts, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
Mix first six ingredients until well incorporated. Flake tuna with a fork into smaller pieces and add to dressing. Add all veggies to dressing and stir to combine. Serve on its own, with a nice seedy whole-grain bread, or in a lettuce wrap.

After the photo shoot, I dutifully rolled up my lettuce wrap and ate it, but truth be told, I think lettuce wraps are little more than a way of punishing people for trying to enjoy food, so I recommend the first two options.

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