Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mayo-less tuna salad, Love Beets and pasta with anchovies

A homemade salad of solid light tuna gets most of its flavor from Dijon mustard and fresh lime juice. Sharing the plate are organic beets, Campari Tomatoes and Earthbound Farm salad greens. Just about everything is available from Costco Wholesale.

Editor's note: Today, I discuss a tuna salad with Middle Eastern and Asian Indian spices, cooked organic beets from Costco Wholesale and the robust taste anchovies give to pasta sauce.


Why settle for a humdrum tuna salad dressed with mayo when you can have one flavored with Dijon mustard, fresh lime juice and exotic spices?

Add crunch with chopped sweet pepper, onion, carrot, celery or scallions.

This week, I used green pepper, onion and a little carrot; three cans of Genova Solid Light Tuna in Olive Oil; Dijon mustard to taste; three limes and ground cumin, sumac and garam masala.

If the salad isn't moist enough, add extra-virgin olive oil.

Six 7-ounce cans of Genova yellowfin tuna were $11.89 at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack.

If you are concerned about mercury, you can make this salad with one can of tuna, one of pink salmon and one or two cans of sardines.

Do you love beets?

If you love beets, you'll love refrigerated Love Beets, fully cooked organic beets sold in a 1-kilogram package at Costco Wholesale for $7.99.

There are four ready to eat 8.8-ounce portions in plastic shrink wrap that you cut open with a scissor over a colander to drain the juices.

I slice the beets and dress them with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

No fuss, no muss.

Organic whole-wheat pasta from Italy in a reduction of red wine, chicken stock, tomato sauce, organic diced tomatoes, chopped garlic and triple-washed greens. The dish looked and tasted good, but there was something missing.

I also used fresh herbs, but didn't have a can of anchovies to give the pasta sauce a robust flavor.

Pasta with anchovies

I felt like pasta and even wanted to assemble my own sauce, but didn't have the can of anchovies that has always lent the dish a distinctive flavor without a hint of the assertive little fish.

Recklessly, I went ahead, and the result was a good plate of pasta, but not a great one.

And I made an entire pound so spent the week being disappointed, shaking my head at several meals and using grated cheese to add flavor.

For one thing, the anchovies are all the sodium I need, even when I drain the oil and rinse them to reduce the salt content of the finished dish.

They go into the boiling sauce and completely disappear, but leave behind their flavor.

For 1 pound of spaghetti, I often open a 32-ounce bottle of one of Costco Wholesale's pasta sauces and add anchovy fillets, red-pepper flakes, dried Italian seasoning and a couple of ounces of extra-virgin olive oil.

Once the drained pasta is added and mixed with the sauce, you can sit down to eat.

Six 2-ounce cans of Season Fillets of Anchovies in Pure Olive Oil were $6.99 at Costco Wholesale.

Love Beets are non-GMO and grown organically in the European Union. They are fully cooked and ready to eat. Nothing is added to the beets.

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