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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
Add your diced up apple – this is what will bring the crunch factor:
Next, add your herbs and spices:
A healthy pinch of sea salt to make the flavors sing, and a few cracks of pepper (not pictured):
Now the vinegar – my favorite part. The acidity plays off of the sweet apple and together they are hella-good.
Lastly, add just enough mayo so it all holds together. Here I used about 2.5 tbsp.
Mix it all up and there you have three make-ahead servings:
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 ~