Upping Your Tuna Salad Game + Easy Recipes using Canned Tuna!

Change up your salad with new additions. Maybe not all of them at once!

Like many of you, I have probably for most of my life made tuna salad pretty much like my mother did. A can of tuna, a few spoons of mayo, one chopped hard cooked egg, a little onion, pickle and celery and — Fanny’s your aunt — hot weather lunch was served with little or no stove time. Over the years, though, as my cooking developed, so did my tuna salad. One year I was shocked to see that a happy little bit of lemon zest had slipped into the mixing bowl by “mistake.” Whoa! Another time a dab of perky horseradish became a sudden, but happy addition. Soon, though not always, cucumbers/fennel/carrots/bell peppers joined the party along with a good healthy spoonful of Dijon-style mustard, cornichons leftover from a wine and cheese event I catered, and —wait for it — a big splash of red wine vinegar. The biggest change was the consistent use of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper, along with the occasional herbs, no matter what else I dumped in. Why didn’t I ever season my tuna salad before? (Mom, you didn’t tell me.) Of course I often ate it on toast, but sometimes I went with the old school ladies’ lunch counter lower-carb style: spooned into the middle of a quartered tomato, hopefully ripe. Other weeks, I thinned it out and ate it scooped up with potato chips or Triscuits (HELLO, TUNA DIP!!) — Triscuits being one of my most unknown addictions. (The rye were the best, but they discontinued them–sob, sob. Now I’m even more stuck on the organic thin variety. Try them and see. Nope, I’m not on Nabisco’s payroll.) After a while, my tuna salad was never the same twice in a row. Who knew what would happen next to my trusty, inexpensive summer fun food? And, by the way, how did we come to eat so much tuna fish?? 

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Salmon with Red Pepper Sauce on Salad

If you’re a longtime More Time reader, you’ll have seen more than your share of caprese salads on the blog. While I’m not as addicted as it might appear, I’ll admit I make several during the warm months and…they are definitely photogenic. I mean. Red. Green. White. The colors are made to go together and not just in the garden or at the table. For instance, how many countries boast flags in those colors? Ok, I checked. Here they are (scroll down a while!). You have to admit, though, that this is actually a salmon salad; it just happens to be nestled into asparagus, greens, and yes, ok … caprese around the edges.

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Salmon Cheese Spread – PLUS: How To Get More Salmon in Your Life

Fast, simple app or fun dinner. #justaddrosé

I love salmon and maybe you do, too? Perhaps like me, you still occasionally wonder about what else you could do with it despite your unwavering devotion. You could just want better quality fish or how about a better $$ deal? (More later on that.) There are times I move into the fancy-schmancy or innovative lane — mostly because some uber ripe produce is shooting me dark looks from the counter or it could be I’m dreaming of a company meal even when no company’s in sight. Like lately. I miss friends and family coming for dinner. Most of us do, I guess–even those who don’t like to cook!

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20 Main Dish Salads to Continue Your Healthy January Adventure

{print recipe for Kalamata Egg Salad with Charred Red Peppers}

If you’re not trying to get healthy this month, you might still want to read this week’s post featuring main dish salads.  Even if all you managed to accomplish was to clear out your entire cellar’s store of Pinot Noir but skipped every red, green, and silver Hershey’s kiss you encountered (and so didn’t gain an ounce in December), you could drum up interest in hefty, heart-warming and filling whole meal salads–if nothing else but to figure out what to do with leftover steak (leftover steak?!), those couple of lonely pork chops, an oh-so-sad single portion of salmon, one languishing chicken breast with wing attached, or perhaps only a drawer full of vegetables and cheese with little else to recommend them but a poached egg or two and maybe a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.

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25+ Scrumptious Dishes to Jump Start Your Healthy January

Basil Sole on Greens with Parmesan-Tomato Salad                        {print recipe}

Every year on January 2, many people around the world wake up knowing they’re just one cookie away from a bigger pants size.  Gyms memberships rise, WW (Weight Watchers) Workshop chairs fill up, and dog walkers double their pet’s exercise along with their own. I began WW for the 4th (5th?) time just before the start of December, so while I didn’t wait until after the Christmas fudge tin was empty, I did move into this arena right upon finishing the last piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

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Sheet Pan Dinner: Dijon Salmon with Garlicky Green Beans and Mushrooms + Leftovers for Salmon Tacos or Salad


I adore Thanksgiving. It loves me back. It is my favorite holiday out of the whole year.  There’s nothing that makes me more thrillingly anticipating than to bring the last of the sage in, save bread for dressing, take stock of my canned pumpkin supply, or bake cranberry bread along with any pie you can name. To say nothing of the fact that I don’t like Christmas decorating (or shopping or wrapping), but can’t wait to put up pumpkins, corn stalks, leaves, scarecrows, and all things autumn come October. Ok, September. Continue reading

Garlic-Dill Salmon Spread with Salt and Pepper Crostini–Father’s Day Appetizer


My apologies if you received an unfinished version of this post earlier. Somehow instead of saving an edit, I inadvertently published the post.  Please discard that mistake. Here’s the finished product that should make more sense!

I’m a fan of cooking once, eating three (five, ten) times and it’s true for fish, too.  If I have leftover salmon –which we’re supposed to eat a couple of times a week–I often make soup or a salad.  I DO realize salmon has hit this blog a few times lately, but somehow summer and salmon simply go together. I keep having bunches.


 Quick Salmon-Irish Cheddar Chowder

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Greek Goddess Salmon Salad

 We’ve gone from summer (80 degrees F) to spring (70 degrees F) and back to late winter/early spring (41 degrees F) and it’s feeling odd.  I don’t know what to put on.   I don’t know whether to open the storm windows, close them, or install the window air conditioners.  Living in a 1915 house precludes most central air systems, though I’m sometimes tempted.  Last week would be one of them.  The lilac leaves are all budded out, the azalea bush flowers are full, the jonquils, grape hyacinths, snow drops and crocus are in bloom (all together) and the tulips are on their way.  6 weeks ahead of schedule.  The average temperature for March in St. Paul is 37 degrees.  Not sixty-something.   Not 80.

Forsythia–north end of our Wheeler block

Not only was the weather way out of whack, but my computer fritzed.  The network, too.  For days I had no internet access (we think due to hijacking from out-of-country hackers), and am perhaps only temporarily connected now.  If you are looking for my Elena Arzak  for the 50 Women Game-Changers group post from last Friday, it’s gone.  If I have time to resurrect  it, I will; so far, it’s not happening.  Hopefully, this Friday, I’ll be on track with Elizabeth Andoh.  What’s hard to take is how computer-dependent I am (we are.) 

We’ve been drinking our coffee and reading the paper on the porch, which usually isn’t accessible for another month at least.  Music?  Just turn on phone!   Had friends over twice last week for drinks or dinner and were just happy to be there so early in the year.

Meantime, there was a night with a sweet salmon salad I’d share with you.  While we love salmon and it’s great food, we try not to eat tremendous amounts of it.  It’s good for you, but you have to watch the calories and the mercury content.  To say nothing of the expense of wild salmon.  So we eat it in moderation.   We split a portion or we each have some in salad and we’re happy.  I sometimes just make an old-fashioned salmon salad (just like tuna salad) and have it for lunch with whole-wheat crackers and sliced tomatoes. 

I usually cook salmon* in one of three ways:  1.  Baked in foil. 2.  Grilled stove-top or on outdoor grill.  3.  Poached.  There’s the rare time I poach it in a tomato sauce (I do that with white fish more often) or something like that, but those are the three typical methods.   This salmon was grilled stove-top, so I opened the windows (a  must), turned on the exhaust fan, and lit a kitchen candle.  While the fish grilled, I got together a bit of green salad, sauteed a few diced vegetables,  sliced a tiny piece of Irish cheddar leftover from St. Pat’s Day, and pulled the Greek Goddess out of the frig.  I used Melissa Clark’s Greek Goddess dip recipe (scroll down).   If you’ve never made this dip (it’s great in summer with fresh herbs in your garden), do it soon.  You’ll be so glad you did.   Here’s how:

Greek Goddess Salmon Salad    serves 2

6-7oz salmon filet, cut in half
6 cups salad greens
1/4 cup each diced asparagus, sweet red bell pepper, sweet yellow bell pepper,
        sliced scallions or chopped purple onion
2 oz sliced white cheddar
1/3 cup Greek Goddess dip/dressing (see below)–Can use purchased pesto in place of dip, if desired.
4T olive oil, divided
1/2 lemon

  • Heat grill pan or cast iron skillet over high heat.   Drizzle salmon with oil and dust generously with salt and pepper.  Place salmon on grill and let sit without moving for 5 minutes.  Turn and grill another three minutes.  Remove to a plate, cover with foil,  and let rest for 2-3 minutes.  Will be a bit rare and continue to cook as it rests.
  • Meantime, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat with a bit olive oil.  Add asparagus, red and yellow peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add green onions to the asparagus mixture and cook another minute.  Remove from heat and cool briefly.
  • Divide salad greens between the two plates and top with cooked vegetables, cheese, and salmon.  Top salmon with Greek Goddess dip/dressing. (See below.)  Squeeze lemon over all and dust with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with remaining olive oil.

Melissa Clark’s Greek Goddess Dip  (Click on Melissa’s name for more of her great recipes.)

1/2 cup packed fresh dill
1/2 cup packed fresh mint
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley
1/3 cup packed fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 scallions, white and green parts, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch kosher salt, more to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise, optional
Raw chopped vegetables or pita chips, for serving.

1. Place dill, mint, parsley, basil, garlic, scallions, lemon juice and salt in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
2. With motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until incorporated. Add feta and process until smooth; pulse in yogurt. Taste dip and add more salt, if desired. If you like a creamier, richer dip, add mayonnaise and pulse to combine.
3. Serve dip immediately with vegetables or pita chips or cover and store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
I skip the mayo, add a bit more salt, white pepper,  and drip in some Tabasco.

*Feeling like saving some bucks and eating salmon?  Read my Dinner Place Blog this week:
Tasty and Inexpensive.  Let’s not use the word “cheap.”

two-dog kitchen and around the ‘hood

Also seen at the feeder: male/female goldfinches, red (house) finch, and downy woodpeckers…
Pussy willow in bloom in vase in living room.

Jonquils in Pilgrim Lutheran’s garden.
Pilgrim Lutheran  blue “snowdrops,” better known as scilla.
Leftover Take-Out Rice Salad on Dinner Place, my “other” food blog.
Love Tucker and Gab!

Sing a new song,