Tuna Avocado Cucumber Salad with Feta Cheese


This is a Mexican/Mediterranean-inspired recipe based on one by Natasha’s Kitchen. The only addition I made is the feta cheese. This is a quick, healthy and refreshing side dish that’s perfect for your next outdoor BBQ.  Enjoy!

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 11-oz. foil package StarKist tuna
2 avocados, diced in 1/2″ chunks
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced in 1/4″ chunks
1 cup loosely-packed cilantro leaves
1/4 diced red onion
2 tbs. XV olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh-ground black pepper to taste

 

DIRECTIONS:

Remove the tuna from the package and place in a mixing bowl. Break apart into medium-sized chunks. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the avocado, and season to taste. Mix gently.

Gently fold in the avocado and let chill for one hour before serving.
(It’s best to add the avocado last, so it doesn’t fall apart.)

Serves 4

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Tuna Macaroni Salad


The original version of this came from my mom. I modified it slightly and we argue to this day over whether it should have dill in it, or not. You decide. This was one of my all-time summer favorites growing up. For a large group of hungry guests, you may want to make a double-batch.

Ingredients:

One 7-oz. box small shell macaroni (don’t use elbow)
Helmann’s real mayo, to taste, about 1 cup
10 sliced green olives with pimento
5 oz. frozen peas, about 1 cup
1 12-1/4 oz. can tuna, packed in spring water, drained and pressed.
1 hard-boiled egg, rolling boil for 9-10 minutes

Seasonings
Celery salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Dried or fresh chives
Dried dill
Dried or fresh parsley

DO NOT ADD REGULAR SALT.

Preparation:

Boil macaroni al dente in salted water for 6-7 minutes. Drain in colander and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. Shake and drain out as much of the water as possible. You do not want soggy tuna salad.

Boil or microwave peas until just done. They only take three minutes, tops. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process.

Drain tuna from can, ensuring that you remove as much water as possible. I prefer using Starkist’s pouch tuna. It’s really convenient and the water is already removed. You will want two pouches if you go this route.

Add the tuna, macaroni and peas to a large mixing bowl. Slice the olives and add.

Add the dry seasonings to taste. Everyone is different, but I add almost 1 tbs. of celery salt.  Add the mayo and fold in until mixed well.

Boil the egg, plunge in cold water, peel and slice. Place the tuna salad in a nice serving bowl and top with the egg. Cover and chill for at least two hours before serving to allow the flavors to set.

Note: I’ve used up to a pound of macaroni with great results. Add more tuna if you need to.

Serves 4-6.

Hickory-Smoked Tuna Quesadillas


OK, so this recipe isn’t gourmet, it barely belongs in a seafood section, and it was found on the back of a package of Starkist Tuna — I don’t care. It rocks.

Starkist made the smart move to offer their products in convenient tear-off pouches. No can opener, no draining and no fuss. This is a great snack to serve at half-time.

Ingredients:

1 pouch Starkist Hickory-Smoked Tuna
1-1/2 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 cup Colby-Jack shredded cheese
1/8 cup roasted red bell pepper strips
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 flour tortillas
drizzle of olive oil

Preparation:

In a medium bowl, mix tuna, cream cheese, shredded cheese, peppers and onions. Spread on one side of a tortilla shell to the edge. Top with the other shell.

Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook the quesadilla until slightly toasted on each side. Ensure that the cheese is evenly melted. Place on a serving tray and cut into eight wedges.

Serves 2-4.