Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pug's Tuna-Mac Salad

A great meal for a warm summer evening or a winter lunch with a bowl of tomato basil soup!
My mom, Pug, was a registered dietitian. When she got us all up into school, she took a job as dietitian for the Milwaukee County School system's School Lunch Program.  She planned menus, trained the cooks, ordered the food and in general supervised the whole program for a number of schools out in the county.  She also had some of the catholic schools around town.  I inherited all her standardized recipes when she died but by then I had learned many of the favorite recipes they used because we also had them at home.

Kim and I were busy today working in her new garden, watering her lawn and running errands.  It was hot (in the upper 80s) and we realized we had not come up with anything to eat for supper.  Neither of us was in the mood to cook so I suggested one of the all time favorites at her schools, hoping the girls would enjoy it too.  It's called Tuna-Mac Salad and Mom let me in on the secret ingredient that makes it so delicious.  I am willing to share it with you.  This is kind of a "cleaning out the refrigerator" type of recipe.  So you can get as creative as you want.  I am writing this so Kim will have it to make again since she and the girls did like it and that is not always the case with the girls!

PUG'S TUNA-MAC SALAD

Ingredients:

1/2 LB. ELBOW MACARONI OR SMALL SHELLS
3 CANS (5 OZ) TUNA
1/2 CUP CHOPPED CELERY
1/4 CUP CHOPPED DILL PICKLES
1/4-1/3 CUP CHOPPED CARROTS
1/4-1/3 CUP FROZEN PEAS, COOKED
1 CUP SHREDDED CHEESE (I LIKE CHEDDAR)
1/2 CUP MAYONNAISE
1/4 CUP PICKLE JUICE
SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
SECRET INGREDIENT--SEE BELOW

You can add chopped onion, sliced radishes, diced chunks of cheese, sweet pickles instead of dill, olives, chopped leftover Easter eggs or any other favorite item you want.  You can also leave out some ingredients (like celery, Carla, or peas, Erin) if you don't want them.

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.  Put tuna, all chopped vegetables, peas, cheese, and macaroni in a big bowl, toss lightly.  Mix mayonnaise and pickle juice in a small bowl.  Add to the tuna mixture and toss to coat everything.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Now for the secret ingredient----  Sprinkle 3 Tablespoons of sugar over the top and then stir in.  Do not put the sugar in with the mayo, it HAS to go over the top at the end.  My Mom told me that was the secret.  And she was the boss of the kitchen as all our family knew!

A very colorful way to get a nutritious meal.

1 comment:

  1. Yum, that looks good. Think I'll have to make that.

    ReplyDelete