If I’m being honest with you guys, my lunches are typically pretty basic.
Sandwiches, salads, and leftovers are on constant rotation. I cook so much in the morning and evening, that lunches are my slap-something-together meal.
But every so often, I go rogue.
I’ll get a little extra creative and whip up something new.
This is one of those creations.
The (lazy person’s) Spicy Tuna Bowl!
No fresh sourced ahi tuna here. Although that would be absolutely divine, it’s not an ingredient typically sitting in my fridge on a weekday.
But CANNED tuna, yep, that’s always in my pantry.
Hey, who says you can’t make a spicy tuna bowl with canned tuna?
Well, I went there. I tried it. And it was AWESOME.
Basically, instead of just mixing your tuna w. mayo or yogurt like you would for a classic tuna fish sandwich, you tszuj it up with some rice vinegar and spicy sriracha. This little swap makes it suddenly taste fancy and worthy of being the star of a dish.
I’m sort of addicted to the spicy tuna bowls at Bristol Farms, so I followed their basic bowl framework.
- Start with a base of baby greens. This helps add some lightness and texture to the bowl that contrasts nicely with the cooked rice.
- Add a portion of leftover brown rice. Drizzle with soy sauce for extra flavor, and sprinkle with sesame seeds (I used black sesame seeds because that’s what I had on hand).
- Top with your spicy tuna. (and an extra drizzle of sriracha if you like things spicy)
- Deck it out with fresh and flavorful toppings. I included all the essentials, like avocado, cucumber, green onion, micro greens, and pickled sushi ginger. No wasabi needed on this guy, since you’ve already doused it in sriracha!
That’s it! Then you can dig in and enjoy all the flavors of a spicy tuna roll, but in a different form. It’s great for lunch, but also awesome for an easy weeknight dinner. Enjoy!
Spicy Tuna Bowl
Servings: 1 bowl
- Large handful of mixed baby greens
- Scoop of leftover cooked brown rice
- Drizzle of low sodium soy sauce, or tamari for gluten free, coconut aminos for soy-free
- Sprinkle of sesame seeds
- 1 can tuna in water, drained
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 green onions, dark and light green parts, chopped
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- Pickled sushi ginger, optional
- Sprinkle of micro greens
- 1/4 English cucumber, julienned
In a serving bowl, place a handful of baby greens and top with a scoop of leftover brown rice. Drizzle with soy sauce, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
In a separate bowl, place the tuna, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, rice vinegar, and Sriracha hot sauce. Mix well with a fork, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Scoop the tuna on top of the rice and drizzle with more Sriracha if you like things spicy. Add the green onion, avocado, sushi ginger, micro greens, and cucumber as garnishes. Dig in!
So I seriously never liked chicken salad…. (I blame goopy mayonnaise overkill)
But something switched this year and I am ALL about it!
It’s super satisfying, and tastes so yummy mounded on salad or wrapped in a large leaf of butter lettuce. I’m even into making picnic sandwiches with croissants!
One major swap that makes chicken a lot more refreshing & light is swapping out half the mayonnaise for Greek yogurt 🙂
It adds a delicious tang and ups the protein content of the salad. Win win.
I’ve made regular chicken salad with fresh grapes and walnuts, but I like it even better with a pop of curry powder. The turmeric gives the whole thing a beautiful golden tint, and the blend of curry powder spices makes each bite exciting and flavorful.
Of course, if you just had a mix of chicken coated w. creamy sauce, things could get a bit boring, texture-wise.
Throw in some diced celery, raisins, and sliced almonds and now you’ve got a nice crunch factor. Finally, some minced cilantro & green onions compliment the creamy curry flavor, and make the perfect chicken salad. Yum Yum.
Chicken salad makes awesome picnic food.
Imagine lounging on a blanket, reveling in the sun, and pulling out a batch of this awesome chicken salad. It’s light, refreshing, savory, and satisfying. You can even kick it up a notch by stuffing it into croissants.
It’s super delicious!
Curried Chicken Salad Wraps
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated, washed, and patted dry
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 3 tablespoons apricot preserves
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the chicken breasts, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook the chicken breasts for about 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (use an instant thermometer if you aren't sure!).
Remove the chicken breasts and let cool. When cooled, dice the chicken into a half-inch dice and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, curry powder, apricot preserve, rice vinegar, salt, and pepper until well combined. Add the diced chicken, celery, green onions, raisins, almonds, and cilantro. Use a big spoon to stir to combine. Refrigerate to cool before serving, if desired.
When ready to serve, spoon the chicken salad mixture onto the lettuce leaves, fold up, and enjoy. Goes great with fresh croissants, or even turned into a chicken salad croissan-wich!
Summer rolls are named perfectly, because they really are the ultimate summer food.
If you’re not familiar with them, they are a delicious Vietnamese hand roll, filled with rice noodles, protein (usually tofu or shrimp), a bunch of fresh colorful veggies, and a mix of mint, basil, and cilantro. They’re served with a rich peanut sauce that fills each bite with crazy delicious flavors, and makes a healthy light meal.
I’ll be the first to admit, it’s sort of hard to get the hang of rolling summer rolls.
The rice paper wrappers can be finicky & prone to ripping (until you get used to handling them), and it’s super easy to put too much filling and over-stuff your roll until it looks like a crazy burrito-like thing.
But typically by the 4th roll, you’ll have a method down, and the rolls will be edible, if not beautiful 😉
The cool thing about summer rolls is that the rice paper wrappers are translucent, so you can see the beautiful colors of whatever vegetables you put inside.
I really like the look of fresh herb leaves on the bottom of the wrap, and vibrant purple cabbage or bell peppers on the top. If you want to get REALLY fancy, you can even add thin slices of striped chiogga beets, hot pink radish, or other vibrant veggies (search Pinterest for psychedelic summer rolls if you don’t know what I’m talking about- they’re all the rage!)
I really enjoy making these on a hot summer day, since you don’t have to fire up the stove or turn on the oven. They’re refreshing & delicious, and go great with some pot stickers or shu mai or easy miso soup. Enjoy!
Tofu Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Servings: 12 rolls
- 2 oz maifun rice sticks
- 12 rice paper wrappers, plus a few extra to account for accidental ripping
- 12 oz sprouted extra firm tofu, cut crosswise into 8 pieces, then each piece sliced lengthwise into thirds, creating 24 slices
- 1 bunch mint
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1/4 English cucumber, julienned
- 1 bell pepper or a mix of red, orange, and yellow, julienned
- 2 cups baby spinach, thinly sliced
- 1/4 purple cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, no added sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, or tamari for gluten-free
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
To start, cook the rice noodles according to package directions. Typically, this requires placing the rice noodles in a heat proof bowl, covering with boiling water, and letting soak for about 10 minutes, until tender. When the noodles are done, drain well & set aside.
Next, make the peanut sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, water, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground ginger. Set aside until you're done making the summer rolls.
Place all the filling ingredients in little bowls or piles around your work surface. Fill a large flat bowl or skillet with a few inches of very warm water and place next to your work surface. Lay a damp clean kitchen towel on your work surface and get ready to make the rolls.
Submerge a rice paper wrapper in the warm water until it is soft and pliable, about 15 seconds. Remove from the water, and lay flat on the damp kitchen towel. Lay down 3 or 4 mint leaves horizontally across the bottom third of the rice paper wrapper. On top of the mint leaves, add a layer of rice noodles and two strips of tofu. Finish off the pile with 3 basil leaves, a few tender sprigs of cilantro, a few strips of bell pepper, a few pieces of cucumber, a sprinkle of spinach, and a sprinkle of purple cabbage.
Roll up the bottom of the rice paper wrapper to cover the filling. Next, fold in the left and right edges of the wrapper to close the sides of the roll. Finally, gather the filling up tightly and roll the wrap from the bottom up to the top until closed and secured. This will take a little practice. The first few you make will probably be a little over-filled or unevenly shaped, but you'll get the hang of it. Remember, it will still taste great, no matter how it looks! When the roll is done, place it on a plate and cover with a damp towel to keep the wrappers moist. Continue until you're done rolling all twelve summer rolls.
When ready to eat, serve the summer rolls with small bowls of dipping sauce. Dip the end of the roll into the sauce before each bite, and enjoy!