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Author Notes: When my husband would come home from running he grabbed anything that was not nailed down for lunch. So I can up with this bright lemony high protein salad for him. I discovered Italian tuna when I was training in Italy, and I've never touched another kind of canned tuna. It has so much more flavor than tuna packed in water. —Maria Reina
Makes 5 cups
- 1/2 cup tricolor dry quinoa, or 1 cup cooked leftover quinoa
- 10 ounces Italian canned tuna, I like Genova
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
- 2 juicy lemons
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup scallions, sliced thin, about 3
- 15 ounces can of cannellini beans, rinsed well in cool water
- Avocado, optional
- In a small pot bring 1 cup of water boil and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the quinoa cover and cook at low rolling boil for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, leave the lid on and steam for another 5 minutes. While the quinoa is cooking prepare the rest of the salad.
- Dump the tuna from the can(s) in a fine mesh strainer in the sink. Break up the tuna with your fingers. Place the tuna in a large bowl. Resist the urge to rinse it. Italian tuna packed in oil has a lot of flavor!
- Add the parsley, zest and juice of one lemon, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Mix well to combine in the tuna. Taste for seasoning.
- Add the scallions and cannellini beans. Toss to combine, taking care to not have the beans break apart.
- When the quinoa is done drain in the same colander you used for the tuna. Toss and fluff it up a bit. Let it cool down for 5 minutes and then toss it into the tuna salad. If needed squeeze a little more lemon over the salad and add a good drizzle of olive oil. Toss gently to combine and taste for seasoning. It may not be necessary if your lemons are on the large size.
- You have two options with the avocado if desired: you can half it and scoop the tuna into it, or you can cut it up and toss it into the salad. Either way squeeze a little lemon juice over the avocado and a pinch of salt and pepper. The lemon juice will help keep it from turning brown.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for Lettuce-Free Salad