While yesterday marked the unofficial end of summer, there are still three whole weeks before fall officially arrives. Even though I’m looking forward to boots, chunky sweaters, and hearty soup season, I’m not quite ready to give up my summer – or summertime food – just yet. Sure, Starbucks is already rolling out the Pumpkin Spice Latte, and school is technically back in session so it’s supposed to feel like fall, but I’m not fooled. There’s still plenty of summer left, and I’m still eyeing every fruit and vegetable in those terms.
Over the weekend, I scored some fantastic produce at the farmers’ market, including a new (to me) varietal of green apple that’s a cross between Granny Smith and Golden Delicious (the name escapes me, but it starts with an M and I keep wanting to say it’s the Mumford & Sons apple, but I know that’s not correct). I’m not ready for warm, spiced apple recipes just yet, so I was looking forward to making something light and refreshing with such a crisp, tart apple. A nice salad or sandwich that I could take to work sounded like the right place to start.
As I get more settled into my new work/writing/workout/resting-
Because my mornings are technically “free”, I’ve been a bit thrown off schedule-wise. Like I just mentioned, mornings are not the easiest for me because I wake up with a lot of pain, general malaise, and occasional nausea, so an early first meal isn’t always ideal. It’s easier for me to eat a big breakfast at around 11, have a snack at work, then come home and have dinner.
Unfortunately, that’s also my “Oh, shit!” getting ready time, and over the past few weeks I’ve found it’s not the most pleasant thing to shovel food down your throat while you’re putting on your makeup. No chance to really savor anything, and I’m not so sure I do much chewing, haha. So, I’m shifting things around again, in the hopes that I can retrain my body to accept an earlier breakfast – and an earlier lunch. It’s only been a week, but it’s going pretty well so far, and I don’t feel as funky on my commute home.
The good news is that I get to eat more substantial, “lunch” type things, and today’s offering was simply delightful. Taking a cue from a pre-PGEW recipe that I hope to make a reality someday, I decided to combine my new favorite apple with some crisp cucumber and some herbs to make a cool, refreshing tuna salad. I’m no stranger to adding fruit to my tuna salad, and I found this one to be just as tasty as my Cranberry-Almond Tuna Salad Sandwiches. I’d say this one’s definitely more “summer” while that one is more “fall”, but they’re both pretty darn good.
You’ll find that this is a very chunky tuna salad, and deliberately so. Canned tuna, while relatively inexpensive, is yet another food that keeps going up and up in price (and they seem to be putting less and less in each can, haha). So, like I do with my other proteins, I like to combine it with as many chopped veggies – and in this case, fruit – as possible, so I can stretch out my tuna. And if you’re like me and fond of crunchy textures, this is quite satisfying.
I kept the “dressing” simple and on the lighter side. Instead of using mayo, I whipped up a fun concoction with Greek yogurt, lemon juice and some dill. It’s tangy and plays off the coolness of the cucumbers and the sweet-tartness of the apples quite well. For my final assembly, I thought it would be fun to add some greens (kale was all I had, so I threw that in there), and some creamy avocado. All in all, it was a fantastic little sandwich and made lunchtime a true treat today.
Now, you may be asking why I would make enough food for 3 servings when I’m just one person. Simple, really. Day 1, I have the sandwich as written; Day 2, I either have it over a bed of greens, or throw it into an avocado for a slightly different treat. Either way, I’ve made myself enough product for a couple days’ lunches, which helps cut down on the meal prep time. Considering all the juggling I’m doing right now, every little bit helps!
That’s about it for this one! As with all of my tuna recipes, if you’re not a fan of this fun little fish, just swap it out for some chicken and you’ll be good to go. Let’s check out the recipe!
Green Apple & Cucumber Tuna Salad Sandwiches (makes 2-3 sandwiches; average cost per serving: $1.85)
Using raw kale as your greens like I did, but not fond of the texture? Give it a quick massage to soften it up a bit, and you’ll be set!
2 cans tuna, drained
1/2 c chopped cucumber
1/2 c chopped green apple (Granny Smith, etc.)
1/3 c chopped red onion
2/3 c nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 t garlic salt
1/4 t dill
1 t lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4-6 slices whole grain bread of your choice
Avocado, cucumber and red onion slices (optional)
Kale, spinach or other greens (optional)
1. In a large bowl, combine the tuna, cucumber, apple, and onion. Mix well.
2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the yogurt, garlic salt, lemon juice, and dill until smooth. Pour over the tuna mixture and mix until completely incorporated.
3. Toast the bread (if you like), then assemble your sandwiches by adding a generous amount of tuna mixture onto each slice. Top with extra cucumber slices and avocado, add some greens, and sprinkle with an extra helping of freshly ground black pepper. Put the two sides together, slice in half (diagonally or straight down the middle? How do YOU slice your sammiches?), grab some napkins, and enjoy!