02 March 2012

[Delish Ways to Veg up...] Tuna Salad!

While stuffing my face yesterday I realized something -- I have an entire arsenal of recipes that have never been posted.  I guess I figured simple dishes like sandwiches, wraps, salads, and such were boring and didn't merit their own post.  But what they could use, is a little attention here and there =)  I usually sneak them into my WIAWs but I've decided to whip up a few posts on how I take a simple ho-hum dish and amp up the nutrition density.  I gave up counting calories when they started to take over my life a few years ago... so instead I count veggies!  

The glory of this is that there is no right and wrong -- you can count the volume/amount of veggies added to a dish or count the variety of colorful produce makes it into your meal. Regardless, it's a positive and healthy way to approach a meal, right?  Win-win!  Every week or so I'll toss up a [Veg Up!] post and count veggies instead of calories!  Taking your typical diet and vegging it up takes a little practice, but once the habit is formed, your body will thank you in a bazillion different ways!  Shiny hair, strong nails, glowing skin, a happy heart, and even a little sparkle in your eyes or a skip in your step.  So join me, and challenge yourself to add extra veg to your favorite dishes!

Let's kick things off with the lunch that inspired this post: 
Veggie Tuna Salad
Healthy Veggie Tuna Salad

What's in it?
5oz chunk light tuna canned in water, drained
[Bonus! chunk light tuna is lower in mercury than albacore]
a pinch of garlic powder
a pinch of dried minced onion or onion powder
a dollop of mayo or greek yogurt [start with just a little and only add more if you need it!]
1 tsp [or more!] of your favorite mustard [I heart plain yellow]
S+P to taste

Veggies Added toss in as many veggies as you do tuna -- or more!
shredded carrots
shredded radish
finely chopped or shredded celery
finely chopped white or red onion
chopped kosher dill pickles [relish works too!]

Sandwich Time!
To make into a super flavorful sandwich that rivals your local deli, combine all ingredients, spread onto fluffy rye bread with a little mustard, arugula [or crisp romaine!] and dig. in!  Tuna and rye are a match made in heaven so hunt down some whole grain rye instead of the typical white bread.  If you have 'em, onion and tomato are also di-vine piled on top of this sandwich.  Use what you have and, as always, have fun with it!  A colorful lunch is a satisfying lunch =)

Healthy Veggie Tuna Salad
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You may be tempted to whine "But Jennnnnn, adding extra crap to something as simple as a tuna salad sandwich takes so much extra work.  All that chopping and slicing..."

But to that, I have two things to say:
1. Shut your beautiful mouth & 
2. I have a solution!
Veg up a week's worth of eats by prepping raw veggies just once over the weekend. You can do this with a trusty chef's knife and cutting board or break out your food processor.  The last batch I whipped up in my cheap-o food processor included finely diced/shredded celery, carrots, and radish.  A handful went into a mini-batch of veggie cream cheese and  I simply chopped up 1/4 a giant dill pickle and added it to another handful of shredded veggies for a practically effortless tuna salad.  Now I have just enough leftover to toss on top of a big fat salad.  See?  Ridiculously easy meals for just a few minutes of work!  

Get your gluten-free on or simply save calories by piling this veggie filled tuna salad atop a bed of greens.  If you're feelling feisty or just working with minimal ingredients scoop it up with a chunk of lettuce or even tortilla chips!  You can even go full on mexican with a vegged up Fiesta Tuna Salad w/ avocado.  It's kind of a big deal around here.  It has many leather-bound books and an apartment that smells of rich mahogany...  It's the Ron Burgundy of tuna salad spin-offs.

So add some extra OOMPH to your tuna salad with veggies.  
Don't rely on gobs of fat for flavor -- let the veggies do all the work!

and while you're at it - try this healthy tuna salad stuffed into cucumber cups!
Veggie Tuna Salad Cucumber Cups

Do you veg up your tuna salad?  If not, you totally will now... right? =)

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61 comments:

  1. To be honest, I actually can't stand tuna - taste or smell. But my husband LOVES tuna. and he NEVER eats enough vegetables. I may just have to try this to get some veggies into HIS diet :)

    Thanks for sharing!

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  2. TheMrsatSuccessAlongtheWeighFriday, March 02, 2012

    I seriously never thought about putting radishes in there (just ate tuna lettuce "tacos") but you can bet I will next week!  YUM!

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  3. I love that you siad Oomoh when describing a tuna fish sandwich! I love tuna fish!!!

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  4. Great ideas. I always veg up my tuna salad. It's so much better with all the crunchy bits!

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  5. Oh wow, just today I wrote on my blog for readers to tell me their fav tuna eats! I have 2 cans in my cupboard and have NEVER tried it before... I am scared... but I am brave!! I have all the ingredients  you used in my kitchen right now. Could it be a sign?! Thanks <3

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  6. I don't really like any fish actually. perhaps that is more the problem. I did however save this page to pinterest so that I can try it out one of these days on my husband. Will probably wait till its warm enough to open a window though so I can try and deal with the tuna smell :x lol. 

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  7. I used to feel that way until my mom made it fun, then I got ridiculously and hopelessly addicted! But it def is a strong strong smell and flavor -- do you like any fish at all? If so I you might like it with fresh [or leftover!] grilled salmon. I'll dig up the recipe if you do -- just let me know! <3 and thanks for the sweet comment even though you're not a tuna fan! xoxo

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  8. Love tuna tacos!!!! =) Totally try the radish sometime - it's a great addition!

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  9. Yes I definitely veg mine up!

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  10. I always add in extra veggies to my tuna sammys for the crunch! Shredded carrot sounds good, will try that next!

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  11. Love that! Especially with the veggie crunch! Buzzed you

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  12. I LOVE this idea - especially the gluten-free suggestion!  I'm totally buying tuna at the store tonight!

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  13. You seriously just made me so hungry!!!  Thanks for stopping by today!

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  14. I like that...counting veggies instaed of calories.  I love your add-ons to the tuna salad! I feel healthier already =)

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  15. ahhh that's exciting! Have you tried any other fish before? It's got a lot of flavor and the veggies and seeded rye bread compliment it really well! I hope you love it! =)

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  16. yayyyy! Hope you love it Laura Jayne!! I think I'm making it again for dinner... editing the photos made me crave it like woah ;) Happy Friday!

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  17. NaturallysweetrecipesFriday, March 02, 2012

    Oohh! Love the Idea! I usually just do tuna! New views and ideas are coming into my brain this minute and I can't wait to try them!
    Thanks for new ideas!
    Chelsea @ Naturally Sweet Recipes

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  18. Sprint2theTableFriday, March 02, 2012

    My mom used to make this EVERY Sunday after church. She added apples to the mix... which sounds weird but we loved it!

    Yay for veggies!!!

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  19. Maryea @ Happy Healthy MamaFriday, March 02, 2012

    My weeks are so much better when I prep all my veggies in advanced. I only do it about 50% of the time though. I love all your add ins to the standard tuna salad!

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  20. I love tuna fish.  I like mine with onion, celery and red peppers.  Yum!

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  21. Veronica GantleyFriday, March 02, 2012

    What a great Lent recipe. I bookmarked it for later. Thanks for sharing with us.

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  22. Vien @ We Dare FoodFriday, March 02, 2012

    Thanks for the recipe!! :D I'm gonna try it today!

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  23. Thanks Lauren!!!! Hope you have a great weekend! =)

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  24. Your recipe looks tasty, love all the veggies.  If you really want to get creative you can make this totally vegetarian using a combination of sunflower seeds and almonds..  Have a wonderful weekend.

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  25. I always veg up my tuna sandwiches! I just LOVE it! 

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  26. #1 had me in absolute stitches. I love stopping by for good food and good fun!

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  27. I love tuna sandwich!! Love it. Love tuna with pickle cucumber and cream cheese but the problem from eating tuna is THE SMELL after...hehehe.

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  28. Yummy salad! I love love tuna salads especially the way you made it!!!

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  29. I love tuna salads and this one I haven't tried. Thanks for sharing

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  30. I love me some Tuna Salad, and these ideas are fantastic to give a new spin on them! Thank you Jenn :)

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  31. this is looks major delicious, I love Tuna so much and celery , I bet this recipe is darn yummy!!

    cheers

    new post: http://noteetc.blogspot.com/2012/02/dry-baked-brownies.html

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  32. I really have always loved tuna salad.  I'm making this for sure.  I normally don't put veggies in it.  Actually, I normally mix tuna with salsa and beans (it swear it's good!)

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  33. Love the concept of counting veggies, I think it's much more manageable to think of the additive things rather than what needs to be yanked from our diets. Have you tried tunas in a jar? So flavorful. I add red onion, celery, jicama and a little red cabbage to tuna. I also have it over greens. Never enough veg. Don't think these are boring recipes I think these are the ones we all use time and time again. 

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  34. I love adding veggies to tuna salad...and whatever else I can. It's such a simple way to make your meal healthier and more filling.

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  35. CollegeCulinistaSaturday, March 03, 2012

    This looks amazing! I love tuna salad, but I always feel guilty about the mayo...greek yogurt is a great solution!

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  36. It's delish! You can even add some leftover guac or mashed avocado to the mix for extra creaminess =) soooo good!

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  37. Yes!!!! Exactly! =) Glad you're with me chica!

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  38. In a jar vs a can? No I haven't seen it!! Where do you find jarred tuna at? LOVE the idea of cabbage and jicama!!!! You're brilliant =)

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  39. ohmygosh yeah it IS good like that!!! I like to serve it with black beans on a veggie taco salad -- what kind of beans do you use? So glad i'm not the only weirdo! haha

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  40. aww yay! Happy to help tessa! Hope you're having a fabulous weekend!!!

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  41. Thanks Veronica!!! Hope you love it as much as I do! I've made it twice this week already ;)

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  42. Love that you used Greek yogurt. Sounds delicious!

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  43. I love to "veg" up my tuna!  I will have to try using Greek Yogurt... sounds delish.  

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  44. Addicted to RecipesMonday, March 05, 2012

    What great suggestions! Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring.

    Would love for you to link up: http://iamaddictedtorecipes.blogspot.com/p/link-party.html the party is open!

    Have a great day!

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  45. Just spiced up my tuna salad for tomorrow!  Thanks for the ideas with the spices!!  :o)

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  46. Ooh!!! So tempting! I love tuna salad.  That pickle relish in there just tells me it's extra delicious.  Yummy,yummy, yummy!

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  47. This looks delicious! I love a good tuna sandwich, which reminds me....I haven't had one in awhile.  I love sandwiches in general, they are so fun to make! Check out my Mary had a Lamb-a-Letta! http://happyvalleychow.blogspot.com/2012/02/mary-had-lamb-letta.html

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  48. Alicia YamashitaTuesday, March 06, 2012

    Mmm, looks deliciously crunchy!

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  49. this is so awesome would luv for you to share it with our readers here
    http://www.passionatelyartistic.com/2012/03/sandra-lee-semi-homemade-and-linking.html

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  50. I love tuna salad, the mayo or the yogurt, whichever I want to put on brings creaminess on it. While the veggies gives crunchiness into it 

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  51. I know this is an old post, but this was AWESOME.  I put my tuna salad into a red bell pepper.  Double awesome.  I love greek yogurt!

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  52. yayyy glad you love it!!!! have you tried it in cucumber cups yet? its soooo good that way too! peppers and cukes make the best edible bowls! =) xoxo

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