Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published October 3rd 2012
Hold the lettuce
I'm not generally a huge salad fan. Although I like some leafy vegetables, I absolutely hate lettuce, which is usually the most prominent ingredient in a salad dish. For that reason, I decided to make up my own salad without lettuce (yep, a lettuceless salad, there's a first for everything).
Salads are meant to be healthy meals, but with all the different dressings that get piled on, they soon end up being quite fattening. When it comes to tuna, the most frequent dressing is mayonnaise, which is one of the most calorific condiments around.
To have tuna by itself would make it too dry, but I've found an alternative that is just as creamy, and a lot healthier. There are two versions to this recipe, one with legume beans, and one with potatoes. The main reason is because the second time I came to make this dish, I realised too late that I had run out of beans, so I substituted them with potatoes instead. Both are great to have as a starter or a side dish.
Tuna Bean Salad
Serves: 4 Kcal/serving: 148 (based on the brands I used) Cooking Time: 10mins
295g tin of condensed mushroom soup 300g tinned tuna steak
20g spinach leaves 75g of onion 60g tinned haricot beans
60g tinned berlotti beans
1. Drain the water from the tuna and mix the tuna in with the condensed soup.
2. Simmer the beans at a low heat for 5 mins and then mix in with the tuna.
3. Chop the onion and steam with spinach for 5 mins.
4. Mix in with the other ingredients.
Tuna 'Tato Salad
Kcal/serving: 148 (based on the brands I used)
Cooking Time: 15 mins
295g tin of condensed mushroom soup
300g tinned tuna steak
40g spinach leaves
60g of onion
15g mange tout
120g baby potatoes
1. Bring the potatoes to the boil and simmer for 15 mins.
2. Chop onion, then mix with spinach and mange, and steam for 10 mins.
3. Mix the condensed soup with the drained tuna and vegetables.
4. Chop potatoes and mix in.
Did You Know?
Salads have been around since the time of the Greeks and Romans. At that time they were not called salad, and were usually a lot less fussy. As salads became more popular, extra ingredients and dressings started to get added.
The word 'salad' derives from the Latin, 'sal' for salt and 'salata', meaning salted things. The reason for this is because in the ancient times of Greece and Rome, leafy greens and raw vegetables were usually seasoned with salt.
By the time of the late 19th century salads had become a lot more complicated. Scientific cooking had become a new fad in America, and instead of an ordinary tossed salad, which they considered messy-looking, chefs began experimenting. In order to make a more 'organised' salad, they actually used gelatine to set the vegetables in a mould. If you ask me, jelly salad does not sound very appetising. Fortunately the fad faded.
Tuna salad materialised in the early 20th century, mainly because it was in 1903 that America began producing tinned tuna for the mass market. The most well known type of tuna salad today is the French Nicoise, served with seared tuna, tomatoes, and green beans.