BISMARCK, N.D. - Because most people don't like to fire up their ovens during the hot days of summer, cool foods such as salads are perfect for lunches. They can even make a main dish as long as we add some heft and heartiness to them. Start with canned tuna or salmon, add crisp salad ingredients and flavorful spices, and lunch is as simple as a big salad, a nice chunk of crispy bread or garlic toast, and some sun tea or lemonade.

Bloody Mary Tuna Salad

Prep time: 30 minutes

Makes 4 servings

I2 (5-ounce) cans solid white albacore tuna in water

1/2 cup vegetable juice (such as V-8)

1/2 cup celery, diced

1 1/2 tablespoons horseradish

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper

In bowl, add the vegetable juice, celery, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and ground pepper. Gently flake and fold in tuna, mix until all ingredients are coated.

Chill until ready to serve. For an added touch of elegance, serve this tuna salad in a cocktail glass.

Per serving: 87 calories.

Country Dijon Tuna Pasta Salad

Prep time: 20 minutes

Makes 10 servings

1 pound elbow or any round-shaped pasta, cooked according to package directions

1 cup non-fat plain yogurt

1/4 cup whole grain Dijon-style mustard

1 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced green bell pepper

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

1/2 cup diced red onion

1 (12-oz.) can solid white albacore tuna in water*

Garlic salt and pepper

Drain and rinse pasta in cold water; set aside. In a large bowl, mix yogurt and mustard until well blended. Add celery, bell peppers, onion and pasta into dressing mixture; blend well. Gently fold in tuna. Add garlic salt and pepper to taste if necessary. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

*Or substitute an equal amount of salmon or crab for a new twist to this standard favorite.

Per serving: 213 calories.

Salmon Caesar Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes

Makes 4 servings

1 (5-ounce) pouch skinless, boneless pink salmon*

1 (5-ounce) package romaine lettuce (about 4 cups)

2 cups seasoned croutons

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 cup favorite Caesar dressing

In large mixing bowl, toss lettuce with dressing. Fold in salmon and Parmesan cheese. Evenly divide salad onto four salad plates; top with croutons. Makes 4 servings.

*Or substitute approximately 2 (5-ounce) cans of drained salmon for one pouch.

Per serving: 365 calories.

Sesame Albacore Almond Salad

Prep time: 25 minutes

Makes 4 servings.

1 cup each: julienne-cut carrots, sliced celery and sliced cucumbers (cut in half)

1 1/2 cups seasoned rice vinegar, divided

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons sesame seed oil

1/2 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

2 (5-ounce) drained cans solid white albacore tuna in water

1/2 tablespoon toasted slivered almonds

2 (3-oz.) packages ramen noodles, cooked and cooled

1 small head Chinese cabbage, washed and shredded

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Toasted sesame seeds (for garnish)

Toss together carrots, celery, cucumbers, 1 cup rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic. Gently flake and fold in tuna and almonds; set aside. Toss noodles with remaining seasoned rice vinegar, half green onions and crushed red pepper flakes. Evenly divide noodles onto plates, top with shredded cabbage. Spoon tuna salad mixture over cabbage and garnish with green onions sesame seeds.

Per serving: 446 calories.

– Recipes courtesy of Chicken of the Sea

Reach Karen Herzog at 701-250-8267 or karen.herzog@bismarcktribune.com.

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