First things first – I’m kind of embarrassed to even write this post. Tuna salad is a weird thing to get excited about. It’s one of those foods that’s soooooooooo good, yet makes you feel so strange about loving. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t smell great. Any time you eat tuna in your home, you must take out the trash right after because whatever receptacle housed that fish is never going to not smell fishy, no matter how much rinsing you do. Plus onions are involved so you do the math – stinky fish + stinky onions = don’t go near anyone for a little while after you eat this unless they too have enjoyed an illicit & smelly snack.
Well now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about why I love this so very, very much. For one thing, there’s no celery. Why has celery been invited to all the salad parties in like the last 100 years? You can’t get tuna, chicken, egg. or potato salad without that stringy little weed mucking up the works to save your life usually! If you can’t tell, I kinda hate celery. Which is why I was so delighted to discover that this tuna salad has none of that horrible substance and instead has dried cranberries which I absolutely love. Whoever thought of this combination is a genius. I know I never would have on my own. So now it’s time to own up – I have been trying to re-create the Whole Foods Cranberry Tuna Salad in my own kitchen for the last three years and I think I’ve pretty much gotten it down pat. For a little backstory, I discovered the salad when I was driving past a Whole Foods nearly every day to visit a family member who was in the hospital. It was kind of a trying time and I used to stop at Whole Foods to pick up something to eat that wasn’t made in the hospital while we hung out there every night. This salad and a crusty roll from the bakery department were my go-to meal and brought a little happiness (for me at least) to a pretty dark time.
This is mainly going to be a list of ingredients because you can make this salad for just you or you can make a big-ass bowl of it to last all week for lunches and snacks. Yummmmmmm
– Packaged Yellowfin tuna (I buy the pouches but cans are fine too)
– finely diced yellow onion
– dried cranberries
– lemon juice
– finely chopped Italian parsley
– garlic powder
– salt & pepper
– distilled white vinegar
Okay so I know you’re thinking “Honey? WTF?” but just trust me and put about a tablespoon in there. Same goes for the vinegar and lemon juice since you only need a little to provide that acidic bite that you’re after. Like I said, the proportions are really up to you based on how much you need but less is more when it comes to the liquids. A runny tuna salad is a terrible tuna salad they always say. Well maybe they don’t, but they should. Just taste as you go and experiment and I swear, this will be the best tuna salad of your whole stinkin’ life! Get yourself a crusty roll (or if you really want to be lazy just a few slices of plain ol’ bread) and make yourself a sandwich. If you’re feeling really ambitious, make these rolls and then eat your homemade tuna salad on them. Go ahead, feel smug. You earned it.