With back-to-school on the horizon for us (although I know many of you have already started!), one of the things that I think about is creating healthy, interesting lunches everyday. You know, something different than the sandwich-fruit-chip traditional brown bag lunch. Even at home, I’m always trying to find easy-to-make, but still good-for-you lunches rather than resort to packaged foods or lots of carbs (we’re really trying to limit ‘traditional’ lunch meals because they are so carb-heavy – sandwiches and crackers, chips, cookies, etc.).
That’s why I was drawn to this recipe for Greek Tuna Salad recipe in a Cooking Light magazine issue (which I’ve used it over the years to help with my menu planning – like this Dijon Chicken Stew that was adapted from a Cooking Light recipe) – a lightened-up tuna salad that doesn’t just replace traditional tuna salad ingredients like mayo, but adds more flavor and healthy ingredients along with a fresher vinaigrette dressing.
Are you at all surprised that I was drawn to a salad with Greek flavors after our trip to Greece? I haven’t grown tired of the feta-onion-olive combo yet and including these with artichoke hearts in a new, fresh take on tuna salad? Brilliant – I couldn’t resist trying it!
Oh, but I know what you’re thinking: that might be fine at home, but it doesn’t look much like a brown bag lunch, does it?
So I put a brown bag lunch together to show you how easily Greek Tuna Salad could fit into your lunch menus. By keeping the lettuce and tuna salad separate until it’s time to eat and including the pita chips in a separate bag, it all fits nicely into a standard lunch bag or box and stays fresh and crisp.
One of the things I like about this recipe, besides the terrific flavor, is that it’s easy and made with simple, real foods- perfect to eat in smaller amounts. That’s my philosophy and how I lost more weight than I ever did trying to eat low fat, so you know it’s recipes like this that will find their way onto our regular menu rotations.
Brian and I found this rendition of tuna salad SO good that we had it for dinner one night and lunches the next! And believe me, when you take this for lunch, the people with sandwiches are going to be eyeing your meal – hey, you might even have to be aware of lunch thieves!
- 3 6-oz. cans water-packed tuna, drained
- 1 6.5-oz. jar marinated artichoke heart quarters, drained
- ⅓ c. pitted, halved kalamata olives
- ½ c. crumbled feta cheese
- 1 Tb. minced garlic
- ½ c. sliced red onion
- 2 Tb. red wine vinegar
- ¼ c. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ c. chopped flat-leaf parsley
- lettuce for serving
- In a medium bowl combine all ingredients except the lettuce.
- Add a couple lettuce leaves (or chop it for easier eating, if desired) on six individual plates (or one large platter for serving family-style as a dinner). Spoon tuna salad on top. Alternately, for a brown bag lunch, pack the tuna into one container and the lettuce into another and spoon tuna on top of lettuce at lunch time.
- Serve with pita chips or warmed pita halves.