My Simple Tuna Noodle Salad

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Here is a picture of my dill plant. Looks a bit scrawny to me but I don’t really know how dill is supposed to look. (I have not googled it yet.)

In hot humid hazy summer weather I do not like to cook. I do not have air conditioning in my kitchen so using the stove, particularly the oven, can make the place unbearable. I still cook but not long elaborate concoctions that heat up the entire room. This tuna noodle is a simple minimal cooking meal. The only cooking is the pasta.

The simplest version of this is to cook the elbow macaroni, chop a stalk or two of celery, throw in a drained can of tuna, mix with mayonnaise, and you are good to go. Well, I added a few extra ingredients because that is what I do!

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In the beginning:

  • a few stalks of fresh dill; when chopped it was about one tablespoon
  • a bit less than a cup of shredded and chopped carrots
  • 2 cans of solid white tuna in water, drained, and the cans given to the cats to lick clean for a treat; oh and drain the cans into the cat’s dishes so they can have tuna gravy to entice them to eat their dry food which we all know is better for them than the wet stuff…right Felix!!!
  • 3/4 box of elbow pasta; a half box will do; cook according to the instructions which is essentially bring your pot of water to a rolling boil, add the pasta, let water come back to a boil (I never have good luck with that so mine just simmers along until I remember to test it for al dente before it gets overcooked!)
  • one cup of mayonnaise; I’m pretty sure my Mom would have used Miracle Whip.
  • 3-4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • zest of lemon equalling 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4 large Vidalia onion, chopped fine; put the chopped onion in a bowl of cold water for about five minutes to mellow out the sharpness of the raw onion; this actually worked! I had read it somewhere and thought I would give it a try…and it worked! of course if you really like the bite of raw onion in your salads don’t bother with this step.

Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water. Mix the chopped vegetables and drained tuna in a large bowl. The bowl needs to be large enough to hold all that pasta. Put the mayonnaise in a glass one cup measuring cup. So I drizzled on a tablespoon or so of olive oil to loosen it up. Add the lemon zest and chopped dill to this and make the dressing. Mix the pasta and the dressing in the large bowl with the rest. Salt and pepper to taste. At first taste I found this to be a bit bland so I added the juice of 1/4 of a small lemon and sprinkled on a bunch of dried dill. I was tempted to dump on a bunch of red pepper flakes but I restrained myself.

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And here is the final product. Well not quite final. For serving I put leftover lettuce salad in bowls and piled this on top. For the second meal I put a handful of baby spinach in the bowls and then piled this on top. Then add a handful of shredded cheddar cheese. Now say Grace and dig in. Hubby and stepdaughter loved it. This made enough for two meals with extra large servings for three people.

In the future:

  • use more fresh dill, maybe 1/4 cup
  • use more lemon zest and juice; half of a large lemon
  • could add chopped red and green peppers for more color, and crunch
  • try green onions in place of the Vidalia
  • try it with Miracle Whip!

I am enjoying the summer warmth but would like a little relief at night to get the humidity out of the house. So we put the itty bitty AC unit in the window of the bedroom. Now it’s nice and cool to sleep!

 

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