While stuffing my face yesterday I realized something — I have an entire arsenal of recipes that have never been posted. I guess I figured simple dishes like sandwiches, wraps, salads, and such were boring and didn’t merit their own post. But what they could use, is a little attention here and there =) I usually sneak them into my WIAWs but I’ve decided to whip up a few posts on how I take a simple ho-hum dish and amp up the nutrition density. I gave up counting calories when they started to take over my life a few years ago… so instead I count veggies!
The glory of this is that there is no right and wrong — you can count the volume/amount of veggies added to a dish or count the variety of colorful produce makes it into your meal. Regardless, it’s a positive and healthy way to approach a meal, right? Win-win! Every week or so I’ll toss up a [Veg Up!] post and count veggies instead of calories! Taking your typical diet and vegging it up takes a little practice, but once the habit is formed, your body will thank you in a bazillion different ways! Shiny hair, strong nails, glowing skin, a happy heart, and even a little sparkle in your eyes or a skip in your step. So join me, and challenge yourself to add extra veg to your favorite dishes!
Let’s kick things off with the lunch that inspired this post:
Veggie Loaded Tuna Salad
Veggie Loaded Tuna Salad
Yield 1 sandwich
- 5 oz chunk light tuna canned in water, drained
- a pinch of garlic powder
- a pinch of dried minced onion or onion powder
- a dollop of mayo or greek yogurt (start with just a little and only add more if you need it!)
- 1 tsp plain yellow mustard, extra if desired
- S+P to taste
- shredded carrots
- shredded radish
- finely chopped or shredded celery
- finely chopped white or red onion
- chopped kosher dill pickles
add a little... or a lot!
- Drain your tuna.
- Chop your veggies.
- Combine with remaining ingredients and mix well.
- To make into a super flavorful sandwich that rivals your local deli, combine all ingredients, spread onto fluffy rye bread with a little mustard, top with arugula or romaine lettuce and dig in! Tuna and rye are a match made in heaven so hunt down some whole grain rye instead of the typical white bread. If you have 'em, onion and tomato are also di-vine piled on top of this sandwich. Use what you have and, as always, have fun with it! A colorful lunch is a satisfying lunch.
You may be tempted to whine “But Jennnnnn, adding extra crap to something as simple as a tuna salad sandwich takes so much extra work. All that chopping and slicing…”
But to that, I have two things to say:
1. Shut your beautiful mouth and 2. I have a solution!
Veg up a week’s worth of eats by prepping raw veggies just once over the weekend. You can do this with a trusty chef’s knife and cutting board or break out your food processor. The last batch I whipped up in my cheap-o food processor included finely diced/shredded celery, carrots, and radish. A handful went into a mini-batch of veggie cream cheese and I simply chopped up 1/4 a giant dill pickle and added it to another handful of shredded veggies for a practically effortless tuna salad. Now I have just enough leftover to toss on top of a big fat salad. See? Ridiculously easy meals for just a few minutes of work!
Get your gluten-free on or simply save calories by piling this veggie filled tuna salad atop a bed of greens. If you’re feelling feisty or just working with minimal ingredients scoop it up with a chunk of lettuce or even tortilla chips! You can even go full on mexican with a vegged up Fiesta Tuna Salad w/ avocado. It’s kind of a big deal around here. It has many leather-bound books and an apartment that smells of rich mahogany… It’s the Ron Burgundy of tuna salad spin-offs.
So add some extra OOMPH to your tuna salad with veggies. Don’t rely on gobs of fat for flavor — let the veggies do all the work!
And while you’re at it… try this healthy tuna salad stuffed into cucumber cups!
Do you veg up your tuna salad? If not, you totally will now… right?