Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Un-Cooking: Herbed Balsamic Tuna Salad

gluten-free herbed tuna salad
Cooking is the last thing most people want to do when it's 100 degrees farenheit, as it was here yesterday. But we all have to eat, and that's where "un-cooking" comes in. I'm going to try to post a few recipes in the coming weeks for delicious gluten-free meals that can be prepared with no cooking, or with minimal cooking using only a microwave or toaster oven. Meals that won't make your house any hotter than it already is on a mid-summer's afternoon! This here is the first recipe in the series.

This tuna salad is a flavorful twist on an old favorite. It is healthier, lower-cholesterol and more colorful than my other favorite tuna salad which is still my standby. Brightly colored bell peppers are a beautiful and tasty alternative to the usual celery, and a vinaigrette takes the place of mayonnaise - Though adding some mayo will make it creamier, if you prefer. The fresh herbs really shine in this salad, and while I used fresh dill and thyme this time around, I've also used chives and other fresh herbs at other times, so feel free to experiment.

Make sure to use tuna that was not cooked in broth. Check ingredients carefully, because many do contain broth, and it is not always easy to tell if the broth contained gluten as many commercial broths do. Stick to dolphin-safe, low-mercury varieties of tuna for the sake of your own health and the environment.

I enjoy this dish tossed with a green salad, but my favorite way to enjoy it is on toasted Enjoy Life Foods Rye-less Rye Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread, with lettuce from my garden, and a few thick slices of ripe avocado:

tuna salad on gluten-free ryeless rye bread


[Gluten-Free / Soy-Free / Nut-Free / Egg-Free / Dairy-Free / Pareve]

2 6-ounce cans of chunk light tuna in water
1/2 cup red and yellow bell peppers, diced finely
1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped OR 2 small dill pickles, diced
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
1 Tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
Freshly ground pepper (a generous amount)
Optional: 1-2 Tbsp mayonnaise
Optional: 1 Tsp chopped chives

With a fork flake the tuna apart into small pieces. Add all other ingredients. Whisk olive oil, vinegar and dijon mustard (and mayonnaise, if you're using it) together in a small bowl until well-combined and creamy. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Add more ground pepper to taste. Serve on top of a green salad or bed of lettuce, or in a sandwich.

This recipe is part of Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Kalyn's Kitchen.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

If there's a reason why I haven't been posting... sure isn't because I haven't been cooking!

Maduros (fried ripe plantains):

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Baby turnip greens from my garden sauteed with olive oil, garlic, red chili flakes, salt and crimini mushrooms:

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It's summer, and it's hot, and I'd rather spend time in the garden than cook... so you'll notice I'm not posting as frequently as I was when the weather was cooler. But I'll post some recipes soon enough, my dears.