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Easy dinner recipes: Three tempting tuna salad sandwich ideas

Love a good tuna sandwich? Reader Frima Telerant had a recent request for our Culinary SOS column:

"We were returning from a New Year's trip to Sedona and were delayed four hours at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. The saving grace was the best tuna sandwich I've ever eaten. Hard to imagine something so simple was so outstanding. The sandwich was from La Grande Orange cafe at the airport. The tuna had large chunks of fish, golden raisins and what I think was sweet pickle relish. The sandwich had fresh-sliced tomatoes and cucumbers and lettuce, and it was on toasted nine-grain (or was it 12?) bread. The combination was delicious. Do you think they would share the recipe?"

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La Grande Orange's tuna salad sandwich: Fresh tuna salad is topped with fresh cucumber and tomato slices and crisp apple in this simple sandwich, served between two slices of toasted whole-grain bread. Best of all? The entire thing comes together in only 15 minutes.

Italian tuna and shiso sandwich: In this recipe, chunks of Italian tuna are tossed with mayonnaise for richness, tart capers, a little lemon juice and salt and pepper for a bright salad that comes together in minutes. To finish the sandwich, spoon the salad between two slices of toasted English muffin, a little red onion, tomato, lettuce and fresh shiso leaves. It's another sandwich with great flavor that takes only minutes to prepare.

Tuna and cucumber with citrus mayonnaise: For this take on tuna salad, chunks of tuna are tossed with cucumber, celery and onion along with a mayonnaise flavored with citrus zest, green onion, parsley and salt. Serve the salad on its own, with fresh grapefruit and pita, or combine the salad with the pita for a quick sandwich and a perfect meal if you're on the go.

In 2009, Food did a story on fresh tofu in Southern California. We included a recipe for fresh, homemade tofu -- very light in flavor, this delicate tofu is almost like a custard with its creamy texture.

The method is simple: Combine some cold soy milk with nigari water (a brine used to set the soy milk) and steam the milk until it sets up like a custard. The whole process takes about 15 minutes.

- See more at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dailydish/2012/03/test-kitchen-tips-homemade-tofu.html#sthash.6Tjk9w9Z.dpu

In 2009, Food did a story on fresh tofu in Southern California. We included a recipe for fresh, homemade tofu -- very light in flavor, this delicate tofu is almost like a custard with its creamy texture.

The method is simple: Combine some cold soy milk with nigari water (a brine used to set the soy milk) and steam the milk until it sets up like a custard. The whole process takes about 15 minutes.

- See more at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dailydish/2012/03/test-kitchen-tips-homemade-tofu.html#sthash.6Tjk9w9Z.dpuf

In 2009, Food did a story on fresh tofu in Southern California. We included a recipe for fresh, homemade tofu -- very light in flavor, this delicate tofu is almost like a custard with its creamy texture.

The method is simple: Combine some cold soy milk with nigari water (a brine used to set the soy milk) and steam the milk until it sets up like a custard. The whole process takes about 15 minutes.

- See more at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dailydish/2012/03/test-kitchen-tips-homemade-tofu.html#sthash.6Tjk9w9Z.dpu

In 2009, Food did a story on fresh tofu in Southern California. We included a recipe for fresh, homemade tofu -- very light in flavor, this delicate tofu is almost like a custard with its creamy texture.

The method is simple: Combine some cold soy milk with nigari water (a brine used to set the soy milk) and steam the milk until it sets up like a custard. The whole process takes about 15 minutes.

- See more at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dailydish/2012/03/test-kitchen-tips-homemade-tofu.html#sthash.6Tjk9w9Z.dpuf

In 2009, Food did a story on fresh tofu in Southern California. We included a recipe for fresh, homemade tofu -- very light in flavor, this delicate tofu is almost like a custard with its creamy texture.

The method is simple: Combine some cold soy milk with nigari water (a brine used to set the soy milk) and steam the milk until it sets up like a custard. The whole process takes about 15 minutes.

- See more at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dailydish/2012/03/test-kitchen-tips-homemade-tofu.html#sthash.6Tjk9w9Z.dpu

You can find all three recipes below.

And for more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

LA GRANDE ORANGE'S TUNA SALAD SANDWICH

Total time:
15 minutes | Serves 2

TUNA SALAD

2 tablespoons golden raisins

2 tablespoons chopped celery

2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Pinch ground black pepper

1 (6-ounce) can tuna (water-packed), drained

In a medium bowl, combine the raisins, celery, relish, mayonnaise, chives and pepper. Gently fold in the tuna. This makes about 1 1/4 cups salad; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

TUNA SALAD SANDWICH

Tuna salad

4 slices toasted whole-grain bread

A few thin slices cucumber

A few thin slices apple

A few thin slices tomato

Small handful mixed green lettuce

Divide the tuna salad into two portions, spooning each onto a slice of toasted bread. Top the salad with a little cucumber, apple, tomato and lettuce, then top each sandwich with a second slice of toasted bread. Serve immediately.

Each serving: Calories 437; Protein 25 grams; Carbohydrates 38 grams; Fiber 5 grams; Fat 21 grams; Saturated fat 3 grams; Cholesterol 42 mg; Sugar 15 grams; Sodium 716 mg.


ITALIAN TUNA AND SHISO SANDWICH

Total time: 15 minutes | Serves 4

Note: Recipe by Fred Seidman. Italian tuna can be found at Italian markets and select supermarkets.

1 (7-ounce) jar Italian tuna, drained

1/4 cup good-quality mayonnaise, plus 4 teaspoons, divided
1 teaspoon capers in salt

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice, about 1 teaspoon

Freshly ground black pepper

4 English muffins, split and toasted

1/4 cup shiso leaves, cut into thin strips

4 thin slices red onion

4 small romaine leaves

8 "Sweet 100" tomatoes sliced crosswise or 4 thin slices regular-size tomato

1. In a medium bowl, use a fork to break up the tuna into small pieces. Stir in one-fourth cup mayonnaise. Rinse the capers in a strainer under cold running water several times to remove excess salt; drain and pat dry on paper towels. Chop the capers if they're large; otherwise, leave them whole. Stir them into the tuna salad, along with the lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

2. Spread 1 teaspoon mayonnaise over the top half of each muffin. Spread one-fourth of the tuna salad on the bottom half of each muffin, and top each mound of salad with 1 tablespoon of the shiso leaves.

3. Rinse the onion slices in a colander under cold running water twice, then drain and pat the slices with paper towels. Divide the onion, romaine and tomato slices evenly among the four sandwiches, on top of the shiso and tuna salad. Top each sandwich with a second muffin half. Cut in half and serve immediately.

Each serving: 348 calories; 15 grams protein; 29 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 19 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 17 mg. cholesterol; 519 mg. sodium.

TUNA AND CUCUMBER WITH CITRUS MAYONNAISE

Total time: 20 minutes plus 1 hour chilling | Serves 4

1 (12-ounce) can tuna packed in water, well-drained

1/2 cup minced celery

1 cup chopped peeled cucumber

2 tablespoons minced white onion

3/4 cup nonfat mayonnaise

1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest

2 tablespoons sliced green onion

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

Red leaf lettuce

12 pink grapefruit sections

2 whole-wheat pitas

1. In a medium bowl, break up the tuna with a fork and stir in the celery, cucumber and white onion.

2. In a separate small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, lemon and orange zest, green onion, parsley and salt. Fold the mayonnaise into the tuna until it is evenly mixed. Chill until ready to serve, at least 1 hour.

3. Just before serving, divide the tuna mixture evenly among 4 chilled plates lined with a lettuce leaf. Garnish each with 3 grapefruit slices and a pita half.

Each serving: 284 calories; 1,140 mg sodium; 15 mg cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 41 grams carbohydrates; 30 grams protein; 0.92 gram fiber.

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