When I was younger, and by younger I mean about 7 years younger, I loved helping out my mom when she prepared dinner. Shocker, I know! However, I mostly got “stuck” with making salad. For years, it never occured to me that this was slightly strange…but I now suspect that my mom, while loving to eat salad, despises making it. This is just a theory, of course, but even nowadays, if my sister comes to help out my mom with preparing food, my mom almost always defers the salad-making to her or any other family member lingering in the kitchen. I guess you have to reach the wise age of 23 to have your eyes opened.
While in retrospect I now realize I almost always got to make the salad when I wanted to cook with my mom (and yes, this is a complete exaggeration), it did teach me one important lesson: The lesson of how to chop green onions. You see, the first time I made a salad at home all those years ago, my mom told me I could add some chopped up green onions to the dressing. Sounded good enough, so I got them out of the fridge and eyed them critically, deciding within a heartbeat that all that green stuff must be the part we do NOT want in our salad. I cut it all off, and only cut up the white onion-root. It never occured to me that the GREEN onion had the great characteristic of consisting not only out of the white onion root, but that the green stems were edible! It took my mom a long time to realize I was throwing out perfectly usable green onion stems, and when she finally confronted me about it, I was very surprised and, well, embarrassed. You can really use the WHOLE thing? Amazing.
Despite that experience, I do not despise making salad at all! I love salad, especially if it is colorful and freshly prepared, just like I describe it here. Today, I had a very full day, and I had exactly 35 minutes for lunch, which always stresses me out, because I hate having to gulp down food too quickly and not being able to truly cherish it. I had been cleaning our apartment the entire morning, then rushed to pick up Mom and my sister to go grocery and handbag shopping (and no, I didn’t buy a handbag at the grocery store), and by the time we got back, it was much later than I had hoped it would be.
I still decided to fix myself a salad, after all I’d had a big breakfast (I had to try out my newly made peanut butter, and well, it’s to die for), and I don’t like eating heavy at lunch, since I always get really tired in the afternoon otherwise. So, today, I opted for this beautiful dish:
The top is before I mixed it, and below you can see the “final product”:
This salad is truly satisfying, not only because of the healthy ingredients, but because there is such a wide variety of vitamins, proteins, and even some complex carbs in there, making sure you will feel filled and happy afterwards, without a guilty conscience! I managed to make it in 15 minutes (and I was taking pictures!), leaving me 20 minutes to eat and cherish it (and I cleaned the kitchen after I came back in the afternoon).
(To make this salad vegan, leave out the tuna, and substitute with either another legume (like kidney beans), or adding more maize. Also, if you don’t use vinegars, subsitute the apple vinegar with 1 Tbs. apple juice and 1 Tbs. freshly pressed lemon juice.)
Truly Satisfying Tuna Maize Salad
- 1 small bowl of greens (in my case: rocket and lollo rosso lettuce)
- half a carrot, peeled and sliced
- 1 small piece cucumber, washed and sliced
- 1 1/2 tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 a bell pepper, sliced (I used a red one, of course you can use any color)
- 1 Tbs. maize
- 1 Tbs. tuna (for a vegan version, leave out this ingredient)
- 1 Tbs. pumpkin seeds
For the dressing:
- 1 green onion, chopped (including the green part 🙂 )
- 1 Tbs. freshly chopped chives
- 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
- 2 Tbs. Apple vinegar
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- one dash balsamic vinegar (optional)
- Prepare the dressing by mixing the oil and apple vinegar, and then add the chopped chives and green onion. Add salt and pepper to taste, and, if you like, a dash of balsamic vinegar.
- Put all the other ingredients except for the pumpkin seeds into a bowl and mix. Serve on a large plate, and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds.