Summer might have another month to go, but for us it’s sort of over. School starts this week, and that means a return to early mornings, structured days, packing school lunch and snacks and all that comes along with it. I’m going to miss the more relaxed days of summer … but I am also kind of excited too. Working at home is definitely a little easier during the school year.
This particular school year brings some changes too. The kids are headed to a new school. Paige is starting kindergarten. And we’ll be trying to bus it every day (I did a lot of driving over the last few years). With all this change, I have been thinking a lot about school lunches and snacks and easy dinners. Over the next few weeks, things will get pretty busy for us so having a cache of ideas really helps. And I suspect that if you have kids at home, you probably know exactly what I am talking about.
That’s what sparked the idea for Sarah’s Cucina Bella Goes Back to School. This week I will be sharing tips, new recipes and some pretty awesome giveaways so that we can all be ready for all the cooking and eating that comes with school days. Ready?
First up is a really fun twist on tuna salad. This fresh, quick and easy recipe is perfect for a speedy lunch — or packing in the lunch box. And one of the best parts? It’s pretty wallet-friendly (and healthy!) too.
Canned tuna is a inexpensive protein that can be a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Though it contains some mercury, it’s generally considered a safe and healthy food. The thing is though? I am not a big fan of tuna sandwiches — not the traditional tuna salad kind. But when prepared just right, I do enjoy tuna (like in Tuna Cakes, for instance). But what about as a quick and easy lunch? Switching up the ingredients, I have a new version of tuna salad that I love.
This Mediterranean Tuna Salad was inspired by my recipe for Greek Chicken Salad. This combines sweet bell peppers with cool cucumbers, salty feta, briny kalamata olives and of course tuna. Then it’s dressed with tangy lemon juice and olive oil. Finish it off with salt and pepper, and you are ready to go. It takes about 10 minutes to make, but you can totally make it in advance, if you prefer.
My kids — especially Will — enjoyed this. For Will, it will be a great lunch box option since it’s easy and filling. He really likesthe stronger flavors like feta and kalamata olives. If your kids do too, then this will probably be a favorite. To pack it up for school, make sure it’s in a tightly sealed container so the juices don’t escape. We like it with whole wheat crackers, but do make sure the crackers are stored safely away from the salad so they stay crispy. You could also serve this with pita bread (or even stuff it inside!).
And, hey, this is totally awesome for Mom’s lunch too.
Mediterranean Tuna Salad
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 cucumber, peeled and finely diced
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, finely diced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 can white tuna packed in water
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Stir together the bell pepper, cucumber, kalamata olives, feta and tuna. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir well.
This can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.