The other day, well, yesterday actually, I went to go put on a pair of jeans I quite like. They did not fit. It wasn’t just the common but endurable “oh these are rather snug” tightness. The button and hole suffered a good inch or so gap. Opting for some denim with more give I pondered my culprits. The third helping at Easter brunch? The weekend of discovering the best places for beer in our new neighborhood? The empty dish of what was once filled with cheesy strata after one of those bacchanalian nights? Hmmm… Summer is just around the corner and in Chicago, as in most places, this means the beaches open up and the bulky clothes that let us ‘conceal’ a few extra pounds when we indulge in winter comforts like pot roast and shepherds pie, well, those fleeces and sweats are replaced with shorts and two-pieces.
Eating out needs to quiet down in my household. Not only is the dining tab pricier than cooking at home, but unless I am in a situation where it is nearly impossible to gorge yourself (tapas-style with 5 servings of each item and 6 guests) I will overeat and usually order something richer than I would eat at home. Having recently moved back to the city from a two-year stint in the suburbs I feel so spoiled with dining options. I have to pace myself or I’ll be crawling back to the suburbs just to afford rent again. It will be my challenge this week to figure out the best grocery stores in the area and get back into a routine of weeknight cooking. All the money I save with grocery shopping can go towards a new pair of jeans…maybe a scale wouldn’t be a bad plan either?
Tuna Salad with Dijon-Citrus Vinaigrette
When I mixed this little salad up I had a genuine hankering for some canned tuna. Unlike many times, this wasn’t one of those moments where I am just trying to tastefully get rid of my canned foods. Whats so great about a simple recipe like this is once you have the dressing and proteins, you can throw in anything else you like. If I had some tomatoes and a cucumber in my fridge, those probably would have been in there too.
1 can albacore tuna, drained
1 can cannellini beans, drained
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup kalamata olives, halved
Add the tuna and cannellini beans together in a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and mustard together. Sometimes I will throw in a splash of white wine vinegar to give the dressing a bit more of a bite. Pour this onto the tuna and beans. Add the celery and olives. Toss everything together gently until blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.