Bon Appétit (April 2009)
Readers, we have a secret.
If you were to run into us at the grocery store, you'd see something in our cart that maybe you wouldn't expect from food bloggers.
In addition to meats and veggies and other ingredients for the week, our grocery cart would be piled full to overflowing with Lean Cuisines. That's right: We eat Lean Cuisines almost every day for lunch. We buy a big ol' stack of them every week and take them to work with us.
Perhaps it's something we should be embarrassed about. But the truth is, we're not ashamed at all.
Why? Well, they're by far the easiest, cheapest, most healthful lunch option we can make on a daily basis. (Seriously, check out the ingredients list -- a lot of people think the meals are loaded with preservatives, but most of them have no preservatives at all.)
Thanks to this Dijon-Cilantro Tuna Salad, though, Lean Cuisines may be showing up on our lunch plates a little less frequently.
We're big tuna fans. We often buy fresh tuna steaks and cook it for dinner, searing it and then improvising a fruit salsa of some sort -- like red onion with orange or pineapple.
And occasionally we make a tuna salad. Everyone has his or her recipe for "true" tuna salad. Our go-to includes chopped celery and red onion, mustard, sweet dill pickle relish and just enough mayo to hold it together. One final, maybe unexpected twist: a hefty dash of curry.
But we're always eager to try a new spin, so we were happy to try this Dijon-cilantro version.
For starters, we were curious about swapping nonfat yogurt in for mayonnaise. Where we come from, it's not tuna salad without mayo, but neither one of us cares for mayonnaise very much. So we were eager to see if yogurt made any difference.
While most the rest of the ingredients -- the red onion, the celery, the mustard -- are all things we normally throw in to a tuna salad, we've never made one with cilantro before. Trust us when we say we'll never omit cilantro again! It adds a fresh, green note to the whole dish, and it's really lovely. (Some unfortunate, misguided people don't like cilantro. If you're one of those, you could try fresh parsley in this instead.)
We were head over heels for this tuna and we can't wait to make it again. It's affordable and delicious, and makes a terrific lunch. Plus, it's really healthful. You might even call it lean cuisine!
* Prep: 20 minutes
* Total: 50 minutes (includes chilling time)
* 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
* 6 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
* 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
* 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
* 2 6-ounce cans solid albacore tuna packed in water, drained
* 1 cup chopped celery
* 1/2 cup chopped red onion
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* 12 slices whole grain bread, toasted
* 12 slices ripe tomato
* Arugula leaves
Mix first 4 ingredients in large bowl. Mix in tuna. Add celery, onion, and cilantro; mix well. Cover; chill at least 30 minutes.
Spoon 1/2 cup tuna on each of 6 bread slices. Top with tomato slices, arugula, and bread slices. Cut sandwiches in half.