Food

Ode to Ina: Tuna Couscous Salad

This recipe is an ode to Ina Garten, mostly because it’s her recipe, but I put my little spin on it. Ina is a literal queen. My role model, idol, inspiration and one of the very reasons I fell in love with Food Network (besides the OG Emeril Lagasse) and food in general. She exudes grace, passion and intelligence; not to mention her love for Jeoffrey is commendable. I have every single one of her cookbooks and have positively seen every single one of her Food Network shows. I may or may not be a super fan (if you ever read this Ina don’t get creeped out I just want to be BFF’s!). But really Ina is my biggest role model in the food world and I’ve always dreamed of meeting her but I would just nearly have a heart attack if I did.

While I can’t promise the ingredients I used were from fancy french markets or directly from Italy, I can promise that this recipe is delicious no matter what brands you use to put in it. However, some ingredients, such as the Tuna and Couscous are what makes this dish unique.

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This Couscous Tuna Salad is my go to week day lunch. It can (and should) be eaten cold so it’s perfect to eat at the office or when I’m stuck on campus all day between classes. It’s packed with protein, grains, and accoutrements that will keep you full and energized throughout the day! My whole family is obsessed with this recipe, at home I make it all the time in a huge batch so everyone can take it to work throughout the week. When I’m in Tampa and I’m cooking for just me most of the time, I make smaller batches so I have enough throughout the week but not so much excess that it will go to waste or I have to eat it for every single meal lol. So please note, that I am using Ina’s recipe as a base with some minor twists of my own but mine also makes a little less!

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A couple of notes before you read the recipe. The Trader Joes Harvest Grain Couscous blend is an absolute must for this recipe! It gives the salad some added texture and adds more nutrients. As for the Tuna, you might need to splurge a little for a nicer quality Tuna. The Tuna should be packed in oil, Ina recommends Italian tuna, but if you can’t find that just look for a good quality tuna packed in oil. Lastly, I suggest using fresh olives or roasted red peppers from the olive bar (if your grocery store has). For some reason Publix had every olive available except Kalamata olives when I went so I had to buy jarred. Jarred is not bad at all I just prefer the olive bar #olivesnob!

 

 

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Tuna Couscous Salad

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15
Total Time: 30-45 mins
Makes about 4 Servings
Light and delicious Tuna Couscous salad packed with protein, veggies, and lots of bright flavors perfect for a make ahead lunch or light dinner! Can be served warm right when you make it or cold!

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups Trader Joes Harvest Grains Blend (1/2 of package)
    • Blend of Israeli Couscous, Orzo, Baby Garbanzo Beans and Red Quinoa
  • 2 Cans of Albacore Tuna in Oil, drained & flaked
  • Lemon Zest & Juice from Two Lemons
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons Capers drained
  • 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives roughly chopped
  • 2 large cloves minced fresh garlic (about 1-2 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt & 1 teaspoon pepper (more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions (3 scallions)
  • 1/2 cup medium diced jarred roasted red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup julienned fresh Basil
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh Parsley
  • Optional: 1/4 cup roughly chopped Sundried Tomatoes (jarred or from olive bar), 1/4 cup roughly chopped Pepperoncini peppers

Instructions:

  1. Cook Couscous grain blend to package instructions
    • 1 3/4 cups water to half of the package
    • Do not drain! Water or broth should be fully absorbed so no need to drain 🙂
  2. Combine Tuna, Lemon Juice & Zest, Olive Oil, Capers, Olives, Garlic, Bell Pepper, Salt & Pepper (and optional ingredients) in a large bowl
    • Mix well!
  3. Pour hot couscous directly into bowl and mix
  4. Cover and set aside for 10-15 minutes until couscous has cooled to room temp
    • Stir occasionally
  5. Add basil, parsley, and scallions and mix
  6. Taste and add more seasoning if needed. Serve warm, room temp, or cold!
  7. Enjoy!!

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Snap a pic next time you have Tuna Couscous Salad for lunch on Instagram with the hashtag #DoseofDana of tag me @DoseOfDana in your final product! Let me know if you enjoyed this recipe and subscribe to get your daily Dose of Dana! Keep an eye out for my next post comin soon! BTW Happy Belated Birthday Ina!!!

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