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
tricolor dry quinoa, or 1 cup cooked leftover quinoa
Italian canned tuna, I like Genova
fresh parsley, minced
Ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
scallions, sliced thin, about 3
can of cannellini beans, rinsed well in cool water
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.