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Thursday, January 23, 2014

How to make a tuna sandwich

I'm in the process of integrating my blogs -- just so much work and this blog isn't just for those who are 40 or 50-something. This blog is for ANYONE who wants good, healthier recipes that aren't going to blow the grocery budget.

Eventually I'm going to talk about weight loss surgery and exercise, but for now I'm just hanging in there until Feb. 10 for my surgery.

In the meantime I want to share some great recipes with you, including recipes for the beginner, that person out there who wants to cook at home as much as possible and just needs a starting point. Well, there's nothing like starting with a good tuna sandwich!

Someone asked me the other day how to make a great tuna sandwich. This caught me a bit off guard as I've always thought making a tuna sandwich was quite simple. A can of tuna, some celery, maybe a bit of onion and mayo or Miracle Whip. Turns out for someone who hasn't been fond of cooking even a tuna sandwich can be daunting.
Simple, delicious, affordable tuna salad
Go ahead, laugh at this post! I'm hoping to reach out to that one curious kid who wants to make lunch for him or herself and just Googled "How to Make a Tuna Sandwich".

Start with the best tuna packed in water that you can afford is probably the best thing. Albacore is the best and either Bumble Bee (my personal favorite), Sta Kist or Chicken of the Sea are just a few of the best. The average size can is about 3 ounces. If albacore isn't in your budget buy a good brand that is "Chunk Light in Water". Don't buy tuna in oil, it's just nasty. Some people like it, but let me assure you, it's nasty.

The tuna needs to be drained. This is quite simple. Use the can opener to open the can and push down on the opened lid over the sink. Drain off as much liquid as possible. If you have a cat (or even a dog) who likes tuna water, drain it off into a bowl and give your kitty cat a treat. Add the drained tuna to a medium sized bowl. If you bought a less expensive tuna and it has a very fishy smell, keep the lid on the tuna and run it under cold water, continuing to press down on the lid to make sure the water drains out. Keep doing this until it's not so fishy smelling. It works, I do it all the time.

This next step is optional, but I feel that celery is an important part of tuna salad (why do we call it tuna salad?). You'll want to take a stalk and cut into into small pieces. This is called small dice. Use as much or as little as you like. A good rule of thumb is about 2 Tbsp. (1 stalk) per can of tuna. Add the diced celery to the tuna in the bowl.

This next step, adding the mayo or Miracle Whip, believe it or not, can cause quite a controversy! Sides have been chosen in the great Mayo or Miracle Whip debate, you just need to decide which you prefer. Start small, add a teaspoon or two and mix it into the tuna and celery in the bowl. Use a separate spoon to mix than the one you used to scoop out the Mayo or Miracle Whip. Some people prefer tuna with as little Mayo or Miracle Whip as possible, some people like their tuna salad a little moister. You be the judge of how much Mayo or Miracle Whip to add.

Choose your bread. Personally I like tuna on rye with a thin slice of Swiss cheese. I like the rye bread lightly toasted. Others prefer tuna on white toast with lettuce and tomato. Some prefer tuna on a hard roll with American cheese and extra Mayo or Miracle Whip. Some prefer no bread at all and like a scoop of tuna salad atop a bed of lettuce or baby spinach. The other day I had my tuna salad in half an avocado -- 69¢ at Aldi's this past week!

Tuna salad in half of an avocado

And there you have it! The perfect tuna salad sandwich! If you're feeling really adventurous, try making your own homemade tomato soup --- it's a lot easier than you think! Here's an easy recipe for homemade tomato soup -- you can add anything you want to it...rice, elbow macaroni, small shells. Just follow the directions on the package to cook the pasta.
Easy, delicious, budget-friendly homemade tomato soup

Enjoy and cheers!
Rachael Monaco