I'm a Dietitian & This Is My Go-To Quick Lunch
This meal comes together in minutes and is both affordable and delicious.
Welcome to Thrifty. A weekly column where assistant nutrition editor and registered dietitian, Jessica Ball, keeps it real on how to grocery shop on a budget, make healthy meals for one or two, and make earth-friendly choices without overhauling your entire life
I am a dietitian on a budget, and these days working from home has changed my routine in many ways. I do less meal planning because I can walk to the store for a quick lunch break, and I no longer meal prep egg muffins for breakfast because I have time to make something fresh each day. That said, there are definitely moments when I don't feel like cooking or my fridge is pretty bare. Luckily, there is one pantry-friendly dish that I am always in the mood for: the ever-versatile tuna salad. Tuna salad is my go-to lunch—it's quick, easy, affordable and not to mention super nutritious.
There are so many reasons why I love tuna salad. For one, it relies on panty ingredients I always have on hand: canned tuna and mayonnaise. From there, I spruce it up with whatever crunchy veg I need to use up, preferably onions, carrots, celery or some combination. Last but certainly not least, I add a lot of herbs—a lot, like a healthy handful. This, plus a squeeze of lemon juice, helps brighten up the savory standby for a filling and nutritious lunch. Not to mention, it's super affordable and helps me eat more seafood on a budget. Canned tuna is something you will always find in my kitchen because of its nutrition bang for your buck.
Pictured Recipe: Crunchy Confetti Tuna Salad
Not only can you improvise with the ingredients you add to your tuna, but also it can be served in a variety of ways. I usually serve it over salad greens for a fresh, light lunch. When I'm a little more hungry, I spread it on top of a piece of whole-grain bread, like an open-faced tuna salad sandwich. You can also scoop it up with whole grain crackers or sliced vegetables, like cucumbers and carrots. If you are vegetarian, not to worry. You can follow basically the same formula with a can of beans (take our Chickpea "Chicken" Salad as proof).
Tuna salad is my go-to lunch when I'm working from home and need something quick. Plus, it helps me boost my veggie and seafood intake easily and affordably. Improvising the ingredients and herbs I use helps me get the flavors I'm in the mood for in just a matter of minutes. For more, check out these perfect 10-minute work-from-home lunch ideas.