Tag Archives: Healthy

Tuna Apple Salad and a Moose Spotting

Hellooooo! (said in the Seinfeld voice – anybody?!)

We are back from Jackman, Maine after a jam packed long weekend of sledding (read: snowmobiling) through ITS trails and logging country. This spot might be better known as the Moosehead Lake Region and as a true nature lover, this place really hit home for me. From what I’m reading, it was a secret spot of hardcore sportsman for many years – but it was my in-laws that brought us into town.

Relax, explore, breathe.

Relax, explore, breathe.

My mission was to see my first moose, everyone told me not to hold my breath… But guess what!? I DID! I knew in my bones that this would be the trip and even threw myself into a snow ball just to get the picture.

Impressive shot isn't it? Pfffft

I should totally submit this to National Geographic, right? Pfffft

No really, I jogged in my moon suit and landed right in a snow drift about waist deep so this was all I managed. It took two grown men to hoist me out ;-P

We put in two solid days on the trails, 180 miles, and probably 14+ hrs all together with no complaints from me. The snow fell intermittently without wind making it seem as if we were traveling through an endless snow globe. The dense, lush evergreen’s heavily populate these woods, standing strong under the weight of all the snow.

Peaceful and grounding

Peaceful and grounding

For lack of a better word, it was magical. Sigh – but here we are back in the swing of things at home.

After unpacking, an abundance of laundry, and a serious grocery shop, I’m feeling settled. Since it’s been a while, I thought I would make my tuna apple salad tonight. Let me just say that I have always despised TUNA – the smell, the word, all of it would make me gag. It didn’t help that one of my father’s favorite ways to push my buttons as a kid was to make himself a tuna sandwich and then attempt the “close-talk”… HURL.

I moved past my affliction with tuna during my study abroad in Rome, we’re talking early 20’s to let a forkful of tuna pass my lips. I recall an Eating Well article that suggested substituting the traditional celery with apple, and a light went off. That day, I walked down to our little grocer and bought the handful of ingredients needed – along with my favorite fresh baked herbed roll. A roll that is unrivaled… to this day I can still taste it. Anyway, I’ve evolved this recipe over the years and would love to share it with you all.

This is tasty as a stand alone, but you can put it over baby greens or make a sandwich of it if you prefer.

Tuna Apple Salad – makes three light lunches or a hardy two-fer.

Ingredients:

3 cans of low sodium tuna

2 tbsp mayo w/ olive oil

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 crisp apple – peeled, seeded, and cubed

2 tsp salt free italian season blend

1/4 tsp sea salt

3 turns of fresh cracked pepper

How you make it:

 

Mise

Mise

This can be put together in just a few minutes, it’s best if you make it the night before to let all the flavors marry.

Stars of the show -  an Opal apple and low sodium good quality tuna.

Stars of the show – an Opal apple and low sodium good quality tuna.

I chose the Opal apple because it is a winter varietal, available January through April with a crisp texture and sweet tangy flavor. Normally I opt for the Fiji, whatever you choose just make sure it’s crisp as that is part of the appeal.

Dump all three cans of tuna into a bowl and break the meat up to your liking:

I don't like it to look like loose particle board - you!

I don’t like it to look like loose particle board – you know just what I mean!

Add your diced up apple – this is what will bring the crunch factor:

Love a Y peeler with a serated side - makes it a breeze to get the job done.

Love a Y peeler with a serrated side – makes it a breeze to get the job done.

Next, add your herbs and spices:

www.thespicehouse.com I'm a long time customer.

www.thespicehouse.com I’m a long time customer.

A healthy pinch of sea salt to make the flavors sing, and a few cracks of pepper (not pictured):

Adjust up or down depending on your dietary needs. RDA for a healthy adult is 1 tsp or less. This increases for those who are heavy  sweaters - do I have any hot yogi readers?!

Adjust up or down depending on your dietary needs. RDA for a healthy adult is 1 tsp or less. This increases for those who are heavy sweaters – do I have any hot yogi readers?!

Now the vinegar – my favorite part. The acidity plays off of the sweet apple and together they are hella-good.

Try to pour in a swirling motion, the apples will want to soak this up.

Try to pour in a swirling motion, the apples will want to soak this up.

Lastly, add just enough mayo so it all holds together. Here I used about 2.5 tbsp.

I often make my mayo from scratch, look for it in a future post :)

I often make my mayo from scratch, look for it in a future post 🙂

Mix it all up and there you have three make-ahead servings:

A great way to mix up lunch for those who brown bag it like I do.

A great way to mix up lunch for those who brown bag it like I do.

Try adding some chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds) or even sliced red onion for further flavor dimension. Either way, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do 🙂

Ciao for now ~