Tasty Tuna & Bean Salad

On a sunny weekend, you can likely find me at the Art Gallery Cafe’s patio with a group of friends, munching on salad and enjoying a cheeky glass (or two!) of wine. Today’s recipe is inspired by a salad I’ve had there before and I’ve been meaning to recreate it at home for some time now.  Cut from relaxing weekends on a patio, to chaotic weekdays and make way for a grab and go lunch! The mornings in our house can be haphazard at the best of times, and having a nutritious lunch on hand that’s quick and easy makes everyone’s life easier. The man of the house has a pretty physical job, so a filling lunch that’s packed with protein is ideal. This salad is refreshing from the liberal use of lemon and dill, while still very hearty from the beans, tuna and potatoes. It’s a great meal any time of year.

Serves 8 (hungry men) to 12 (lighter appetites)

You will need:

  • 2 tins of tuna (I like to use wild albacore that’s line caught)
  • 2 tins of white beans (I used 1 navy and 1 white kidney)
  • ¼ cup of red onion (Add more if you like lots of onion)
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1.5 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1.5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar (optional, I just felt it was missing something without this)
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 – ½ cup olives, pitted and roughly chopped (amount based on your preference)
  • 1 roasted yellow pepper
  • 1-2 cups of boiled fingerling potatoes (again, depending on how much potato you want)
  • A few liberal glugs of good olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Butter leaf lettuce
  • Fresh dill (my fridge froze mine, AGAIN! So, I sprinkled in some dried tarragon instead. Amount is up to your preference. The man shook the tarragon for about 15 seconds, if that’s any indication for how much we used.)

Rinse and drain the beans and place into a bowl. Rinse tuna and break apart and put into the bowl with the beans. Tuna and beans!Now, throw in everything else (onions, celery, roasted yellow pepper, olives, parsley, potatoes, lemon zest, mustard, lemon juice, dill/tarragon, vinegar and oil) and season with salt and pepper.

Fixings

Mix it up really well and don’t be afraid to be a little rough with it. Spoon onto a bed of butter leaf lettuce and enjoy! This will keep for a couple of days, so consider your lunches ready!

If you have capers on hand, a few of those chopped and added in would also work. Or, fry some and use them to garnish the salad.

Serve and enjoy!

What’s your favourite go to salad that you can make ahead and enjoy for a few meals?

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Peas!

In university I had an obsession with peas. I would eat a bowl of peas for dinner, much to the confusion of my roommates. Salt and pepper made a dusting appearance too! I suppose people just don’t understand how you can love something green, so much.

A few weeks ago I had a fresh, but hearty mint and pea soup for dinner at Burgoo and I’ve been craving it ever since. As an English flower, I grew up eating minted peas with a Sunday roast, so the flavour of this soup evokes my childhood.

Sometimes when I miss my mum (which is quite often) I think about things she would cook for us; minted peas, curries from scratch, potato and leek soup and banana-chip muffins.

In high school, Alexis' friends called her a yummy mummy...

Or, how her dewy skin would smell when she would come into my room in the morning and wake me up after just showering. I sometimes buy body wash that reminds me of my mum so that my skin smells just like hers. My mumma is nice.

We like to shop in Bath

So is Heather’s mum! We like it when Charlotte comes to stay with us. She makes us laugh our heads off until our stomachs hurt and our eyes water.

They sure are easy on the eyes.

This afternoon I weeded the garden and separated my growing beets. My mum told me to wait until they had four leaves before separating them; now they should all have enough room to get nice and fat. We have some new additions to the garden; sage, lavendar, purple basil, parsley, green basil and a field of mint.

Mint. Mint was in our soup tonight. For dinner I made us a mint and pea soup and a berry and apple crisp.

The soup is easy peasy (pun not really intended) and goes like this:

1 russet potato
2 celery stalks
a couple cups of stock (I use organic Better Than Boullion chicken)
1 white onion
1 bag of summer peas (if you can use fresh, that’s the best!)
3 cloves of garlic
a handful of fresh parsley
a dozen or so mint leaves (really it just depends on how minty you like it, I like it minty!)
salt
pepper

Fresh English peas

Saute your onions until they are nice and sweaty. Add celery and crushed garlic and continue to cook until softish. Add your diced potato and cover with stock. Simmer until potato chunks have cooked through. Add a little salt and pepper and throw in your peas with the chopped parsley and mint. Throw into a blender and blitz until your desired texture. I like it to be pretty smooth with a scattered amount of plump peas that will pop in your mouth.

Garnish with sour cream/creme fraiche and a few strings of mint and a squidge of lemon juice.

Eat me.

Sit on your back patio and enjoy in the evening sun.

Then, eat this.

Feeling peckish yet?