02-27-2014

5 Tips For A Better Salad

Salads can be so boring sometimes. But I have found ways to make tasty salads for myself that I actually like to eat…I used to hate salads! Now, I have one most days for lunch. I can’t have a salad for dinner though. That’s where I draw the line ;)

tastiersalad

1. Experiment with different protein options. My go-to options are canned tuna and hard boiled eggs. If I have leftover cooked chicken, I will sometimes use that. But tuna doesn’t have to be boring. There are so many options. I used to love Bumblebee’s Sundried Tomato and Olive Oil tuna, but then they discontinued it :( But they make new versions now with different flavorings, like Lemon and Pepper. Experiment and use a different kind for each salad. Also, experiment with different protein, such as tuna, eggs, chicken, tofu, beans, etc. Changing it up will keep salads from getting boring.

2. Add fruit to your salad. I used to think adding fruit to salad was really weird. It weirded me out to think of eating strawberries or pineapples with lettuce and some sort of meat. But now I love it. My favorite salad that I pack for lunch is canned tuna, mixed greens and strawberries. The combination is so good! I’ve seen recipes for putting watermelon in salad? Kind of scared to try it! I haven’t really experimented with other fruit in my salad, so if you have suggestions let me know :)

strawberry salad

3. Experiment with other toppings. This kind of goes along with the fruit thing, but try out toppings like nuts and dried cranberries. It will make your salad taste better and be more filling. Toppings can include things like beans too, like I mentioned in #1. I add chickpeas to my salad, and sometimes black beans. Again, it will help you feel full after lunch.

4. Prepare foods differently. So never would I have thought to make tuna patty cakes to put in my salad, until I saw that Minou Girl posted a recipe. Look through Pinterest, or  find bloggers with healthy salad recipes, and see if you can prepare something differently, such as canned tuna. This was a great way to spice it up and I have made it multiple times since. Here’s the recipe. Perhaps try doing fried eggs instead of hard-boiled, or cook your chicken differently.

tuna cakes

5. Try an assortment of veggies. Do you have your go-to vegetables you always use? I do too. But try adding new stuff to your salad and you may find your next favorite vegetable. I usually only add in tomatoes, but recently have been trying to add cucumbers as well. My current favorite is artichoke hearts though. Seriously so good and goes well with any protein. You can also try them in a sandwich!

You could also experiment with different dressings-though I don’t know too much about that because I only really use balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Let me know if you have a dressing you love!

What is your favorite salad combination?

Any tips I’m missing? 

What topping should I try in my next salad?

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01-23-2014

Tuna Cakes Recipe

Yesterday, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed before getting ready to go to work. I saw this recipe by Leigha of Minou Girl and immediately wanted to try it. So I decided to make it right then and there for my lunch.

tuna cake recipe

Not the best picture but I doubt there is a good way to capture creamy hummus :). It’s super quick and easy to make, and I plan on making this on a regular basis. Some days I get sick of just canned tuna in my salads, so this is a great way to spice it up!

Here’s her recipe, and my modifications/comments are in bold.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 5 oz can of tuna
  2. 1/4 cup oats
  3. 1 tbsp brown spicy mustard (I didn’t have this)
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1/8 tsp salt
  6. 1/8 tsp pepper
  7. 2 tsp dried onion (I didn’t have this)
  8. 1 tsp garlic powder (Forgot to use this)

Directions:

  1. Heat a pan over medium heat and spray with nonstick oil.
  2. Mix the tuna, oats, egg, mustard, and spices in a bowl.
  3. Either form by hand or use a pancake mold like I did. Cook for about 4-5 minutes and then flip. (I don’t have a pancake mold so I just threw 2 chunks on there then molded with a spoon. Didn’t want my hands to smell like tuna!)
  4. Make the sauce by combining greek yogurt with dill spice and lemon juice.
  5. Top cakes with the sauce and serve!

Sauce Ingredients (she made a greek yogurt dill sauce)

  1. 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  2. 1/2 tsp dill
  3. lemon juice

I made a hummus dip-only 1 step:

  1. Combine 2 teaspoons of hummus with 1 tablespoon of water and mix. Add more water to make it less thick.

I served them over spinach, artichoke hearts, canellini beans, and cucumbers. It was so good! Now I’m hungry…

Have you made tuna cakes before? Any other creative ways to serve canned tuna? Let me know if you try this!

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