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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Herbed Tuna Pasta Salad (Cold Meals for Hot Summer Days)

Free of gluten, corn, dairy, eggs, nuts and soy

Happy Day after Canada Day! In case you missed it, this weekend I shared a post on Canadian Food that some of you might get a kick out of.

It was so hot the past 2 weeks that I was in Greece that I was *almost* looking forward to a typical rainy day in Vancouver, BC.

Of course, now that I'm back in British Columbia the heat is breaking records!

And who wants to cook over a hot stove in a fiery kitchen?! This tuna pasta salad concoction is one of our favorite hot weather meals. It's super healthy, fast, only requires turning on the stove for literally 5 minutes (yes, you can cook noodles by only turning on the stove for 5 minutes), and is delicious and refreshing.

I'm working on putting together photos from Greece, and I will share some of my experiences shortly (including a letter that will be going to Expedia, Delta Airlines and Alitalia Airlines for the nearly 6 hrs of time wasted trying to ensure a gluten free meal for my 9-10 hour flights, and the extremely unhelpful staff responses).

In the meantime, you can rest assured that my efforts to get in shape in order to hike a couple of small mountains in Greece to see the Byzantine fortresses were successful, as evidenced by this rather colonialist picture of me conquering the fortress of Mystras.

That's right, I did what no Slavic or Venetian invaders could do 1,000 years ago. Mind you, I didn't have people volleying rocks and shooting at me...

As you can see from this view from the top of the fortress, you can see for miles around the Peloponnese, past Sparta to the Taygetos Mountains. While the small mountain we scaled wasn't anything like the Rockies, in 40C heat (104F-ish) it was a big deal for this inexperienced hiker.

Anyhoo, more to come. Here's a summer pasta recipe!

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

8 oz gluten free brown rice penne, spiral, elbow or shells pasta (i.e. approximately 1/2 of a 16oz bag of Tinkyada brown rice penne)

 A handful of fresh herbs. My preference is:
    1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
    1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley**
    1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 handful grape tomatoes, sliced in half (or 1 Roma tomato, diced)**
1/2 c diced cucumber**
1 can tuna*
3 Tbsp olive oil (or more as needed)
1/2 Tbsp white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to boil. (Optional, add 1/2 tsp oil and a bit of salt to keep noodles from sticking). Add noodles and boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit approximately 10-15 minutes, until noodles are just soft. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water until cooled.

2. Prepare the rest of your ingredients while the noodles are cooking. Combine all ingredients with the noodles in a large bowl and toss gently. Adjust flavouring to taste.

* Sustainable, healthy and low-mercury tunas are preferable. If you are wondering what the best brands are in your area, Greenpeace has a great site with rankings set up so you can make an educated choice.  Click the following: for Greenpeace Canada, for Greenpeace's recommendations in the US

Also, beware misleading labels! In Canada, most tuna that is labeled "packed in water" is literally packed only in water. When I moved to the US, I discovered that most of those labeled "packed in water" are actually packed in some weird chemical soup broth that contains soy!! (Seriously guys? What the...?!)

** OAS Information:Tomatoes, cucumber and parsley are common allergens for people with oral allergy syndrome (fresh fruit and vegetable allergies). Some may find dried herbs a safer option. Alternatively, basil may be used to replace the parsley. Instead of fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes can be used.

What's YOUR favorite hot weather meal?

This post was shared on the following great link parties: Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Musings of a Housewife, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesdays


  1. I make something similar, but never thought to add white vinegar.

    I ran into the same problem with tuna containing soy here in the U.S. The tuna packed in olive oil, however and thankfully, is soy free! It also tastes better than other tuna I've had.

    1. Hi Stephanie, thanks for pointing out the tuna packed in olive oil! I've switched over to that, too as a result of the weird broth mix.


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