Simple Meals: Tuna Salad

It’s been a really long time since I’ve posted here, but I spent the last year concentrating on other things that ultimately wasn’t worth so….now I am back and better than ever! To start things off, I want to talk about an old favorite of mine: Tuna Salad. It’s really a simple meal, but many forget to make it. Don’t let the list of ingredients scare you! It’s all stuff most of us have in our cupboards. So without further ado, here is the info to make this fabulous and quick meal!

Photographer: JJAVA

Ingredients:
Pasta, 1-2 cups, assorted styles
Tuna, 2-3 cans, packed in water
Garlic powder, ½ to 1 teaspoon
Salt, ½ teaspoon
Worcestershire sauce, 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon
Onion powder ½ to 1 teaspoon
Whole celery seed, ½ to 1 teaspoon
Dried garlic, ½ to 1 teaspoon
Chili powder, ½ to 1 teaspoon
Bell pepper, green, red or  yellow
Celery, several stalks
Green onions, ½ cup chopped
Miracle Whip Salad Dressing
Sugar, 1 teaspoon

I’ve taken the time to put together a list of supplies that you’ll need as well. I think it’s a nice touch to add these so you’ll know what to pull out of the cupboard while you’re gathering your ingredients.
Supplies:
Mixing bowl
Fork
Soup spoon
Wooden spoon
Small bowls, one for each vegetable used
Pasta strainer
Can opener, electric or manual
Tuna strainer
Instead of numbering the steps, I’ll be using paragraphs and inserting photos as we go. Let me know what you think about my new layout. I’ve also included a few hints too!
Recipe:

One of the best things about this meal is that many of the ingredients can be prepped in advance and set aside. For the pasta, use whatever is on hand and prepare accordingly. Place a pot of water on the stovetop and bring water to a boil. Add whatever macaroni or any other fun shaped pasta available to boiling water and let cook for 10 minutes or until done. Drain the pasta of water using a strainer. Immediately cool the pasta by running cold water over the pasta while it is still in the strainer. Set aside.
Hint #1: Contrary to opinion, pasta does not last forever. Use up whatever old pasta that is lying around the cabinet. Refrain from using egg noodles as then tend to be too limp and frail for tuna salad.
Rough cut the vegetables to the preferred size (1/2 to ¾ inch.) For the celery, use whatever is available, even celery hearts! For the pepper, be sure to use all of it, including the tops. Some tend to forget about that when the tops are cut off to scoop out the inside seeds. Remember that the tops are edible too! Chop the green onion into ¼ inch slices.

Hint #2: There is no limit to the imagination when choosing veggies for this recipe. Try red onions, radishes, chopped carrots, or raw peas. Those that have a crunch to them are usually best. Mix and match to personal taste. Don’t use green beans, broccoli or cauliflower. Save those for the dill dip!

Open the tuna cans and drain. How many cans you use is dependent on how much you want to make. Using a fork, remove the tuna from the cans into a mixing bowl.  Add the spices as noted in the ingredients list. Use amounts to personal taste. For a zingier tasting tuna salad add more chili powder. Fold the spices into the tuna using the fork. Be sure to mix well.

The secret ingredient is sugar. Add a teaspoon…now!

Hint #3: One of the best things about this meal is that it can be made to personal taste. This means that the spices can vary from chef to chef. Be creative!

Next add the Miracle Whip Salad Dressing. If you want to use mayonnaise, feel free. Miracle Whip is far better. Note that there was no amount listed in the ingredients list. Depending on the amount of tuna used will determine the amount of salad dressing used. Start out with 2-3 heaping soup spoonfuls (I affectionately refer to them as “plops”) of the Miracle Whip and fold it to the tuna mixture. If the mixture looks a little dry, then add another spoonful.

Stir in the veggies next and mix well. At this point, the mixture is ready to be used for a sandwich if desired. So grab the bread of your choice (I happen to love Pugliese, but wheat bread will do) and enjoy!

However, if you’ve been wanting the real deal, then add 2-5 cups of the cooked pasta to the mixture (depending on how much tuna mixture you made.) Using a wooden spoon, fold into the tuna and and mix well.

This is one of the easiest meals to prepare for the family and takes less than one half hour from start to finish if not prepping the vegetables ahead of time. Be creative with some of the ingredients until finding the right balance of flavor.  Pair with a cold glass of milk or lemonade and enjoy!

Buon appetito!

 Susan's Blog Signature