Last winter, we started this series with a filling pasta dinner.IMG_1821 Now, summer is here, and we are featuring a recipe for a fresh tuna nicoise salad.

This is the second in the series of blogs showcasing simple, heart healthy recipes that cost under $3.00 a serving to make. We will provide a nutritional analysis, total cost, and cost per serving for each recipe. At the end of the series, we will provide a link to a file with all the recipes that we’ve presented.

All the recipes in this series have no more than 5 grams of saturated fat, at least 5 grams of fiber, and no more than 600 mg of sodium. And, best of all, they’ll be taste-tested and guaranteed delicious!

Each of our recipes will be standardized to serve six.  If you need to buy a larger package of an ingredient than the recipe calls for, freeze or store the rest. Likewise with leftovers: put them away for another meal. Putting leftovers in the refrigerator immediately after serving decreases the temptation to overeat. Out of sight, out of mind!

Here is a protein packed, fiber rich salad for any summer day:

Tuna Nicoise Salad

  • 3cans (5-oz) solid white albacore tuna
  • 6hard boiled eggs
  • 1 1/4lbsmall young red potatoes
  • 2medium heads romaine lettuce
  • 1ptgrape tomatoes
  • 1/2lbfresh green beans
  • 1small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4cupsmall pitted black olives
  • 1/4cupred wine vinegar
  • 1/4cupextra virgin olive oil
  • 1Tbspfresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2TbspDijon mustard
  • 1/4tspblack pepper, or more to taste
  1. Prep: hard boil 6 large eggs, cut the grape tomatoes into halves, trim the green beans, mince the thyme if using fresh, and drain the canned tuna.
  2. In a jar (any container with a tight lid), place the olive oil, red wine vinegar, thyme and mustard. Cover and shake until well blended. Add the pepper.
  3. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain with a strainer. While the potatoes are still warm, cut them into halves or quarters, depending on the size of the potatoes. Place them in a bowl with the thinly sliced onion and dress them with ¼ cup of the dressing.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, fill a medium sized pot halfway with water. Bring to a boil, add the green beans, lower the heat to a simmer and cook until tender but still firm to the bite (3-5 minutes). Drain and rinse with cold water.
  5. Cut the hard cooked eggs into quarters.
  6. Tear the lettuce and divide into 6 different bowls or plates. Arrange the potatoes, hard-cooked eggs, green beans, tomatoes, onions, and tuna on top. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and top with olives.
  7. Serve immediately, slightly warm or at room temperature.
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Alternatively, the eggs, potatoes and green beans can be prepared in advance and refrigerated, and the salad served cold.

Nutrition Information

Calories 420

Total Fat 25g

Saturated Fat 5g

Protein 35g

Carbohydrates 26g

Fiber 7g

Sodium 476g

Cost of this recipe based on local supermarket prices this week:

15 oz canned solid white albacore tuna in water (3 cans): $2.98

6 large white eggs (@1.68/dozen): $0.84

1 ¼ pounds Hannaford red potatoes: $0.93

2 medium sized heads of romaine lettuce: $3.98

1 pint of grape tomatoes: $2.49

½ lb fresh green beans (2.00/lb): $1.00

1 medium red onion (0.08lb @ 1.99/lb): $1.59

¼ cup small pitted black olives (2 oz @ $1.39/6oz): $0.46

¼ cup red wine vinegar (2 oz @ 2.14/32oz): $0.13

½ cup extra virgin olive oil (4oz @ 7.99/25.3oz): $1.26

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (2/3 oz @$1.00/12oz): $0.05

1 tablespoon fresh thyme (0.15 oz @ $6.89/1.25oz): $0.82

1 tablespoon black pepper (0.24 oz @ $3.29/3oz): 0.72

Total cost: $17.25

Cost per service: $2.85

When you are at the grocery store and unsure of how much a handful of an item (such as green beans) may weigh, use the scales hanging in the produce section to help you buy the appropriate amount. This will also keep you within your budget and avoid buying too much or too little of a product for a recipe.

Happy Cooking!

Christine Albertelli is a student in the University of Vermont Master of Science in Dietetics program. She is completing her clinical rotations with Nutrition Services at the University of Vermont Medical Center.

Philip A. Ades, MD, is Medical Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation at the University of Vermont Medical Center and a Professor at the Larner College of Medicine at UVM.

Maryann Ludlow, RD, CD, CDE is a registered dietitian at the UVM Medical Center.

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