It was an overcast October morning. A cold breeze was met by a sweaty palm as I paused to open the car door. I caught a glimpse of myself in the window, attempting without success to swallow the knot that had set up camp in my throat for the last 2 or so weeks.
I looked like character from Clueless. According to my new step-sister, that was the appropriate outfit I needed to borrow for the very first day of my new American school. Looking back it was a bold move on her part. Everyone around me rocked tie-die, colorful t-shirts, jeans and sneakers, yet here I was, staring blankly at my chunky Mary Jane’s fresh out of a Delia’s catalog. I felt ridiculous with about 30 or so English words at my disposal and an anxiety that would take years to be tamed…still working on it.
The details are blurry but what I recall is the opposite of what I anticipated. I’m sure there were plenty of comments exchanged, but the lack of language provided a shield of naïveté against them. Most kids attempted the friendly thing…I did too but there wasn’t much to give as I just didn’t have the words available. Smiling was all I had to work with.
Lunch was intimidating, the food was intimidating as I wasn’t familiar with the whole standing in line with trays process. A couple of girls who saw the look of confusion, helped me out through some clever sign language and I ended up with something manageable though completely new. A tuna hoagie, chocolate milk and a large chocolate chip cookie. And that was how I tried my very first bite of tuna salad. There was no question – the stuff was delicious.
As the months wore on, I acclimated – made friends, wore plenty of tie die, grew to like my new small town and continued eating copious amounts of tuna salad.
To this day, a can of tuna is a great lunch option, particularly when you’re hungry and haven’t planned well. I often make a big batch of tuna salad at the beginning of the week and have it on hand for lunches. Everyone likes it and minimal effort is required.
While making tuna salad is pretty basic, we often forget about the simplest things available to us in those hangry moments where we just want to stuff our faces with anything (not that I do that). All you need is roughly 10 minutes to whip up this tuna salad with apple and dill. I personally think tuna salad works well with avocado, tomatoes, any sort of greens, radishes, walnuts and pumpkin seeds but you can get creative and pair it with whatever you fancy.
Prep time: 10 minutes
2 cans drained tuna (I like this one)
1 tbsp mayo (I use this one)
1 tsp Dijon mustard (I use this one)
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 medium crunchy apple finely minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp fresh dill (or 1/2 tsp dried)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp fresh dill or 1/8 tsp dried
drop of honey (skip if whole 30)
salt and pepper to taste
Serve with suggestions:
medium mixing bowl
small mixing bowl
In medium bowl combine all ingredients under tuna salad and mix well with a fork, breaking up the tuna fish and combining all ingredients until fully incorporated.
In smaller bowl mix all ingredients under lemon vinaigrette and whisk until thick.
To assemble, layer a handful of greens on plate, add tuna salad and if you wish, any other toppings. Drizzle with dressing.