Some people call canned tomatoes their pantry staple. Or canned beans–that’s a biggie. But for me, it’s canned tuna or salmon. If I have that, I have a meal that can be ready in 15 minutes or less.
I could praise it all day long. There’s the convenience factor–no cooking, hallelujah–and the ease of those cute packaged versions. There’s also built-in portion-control, which can be your friend when you need it. And isn’t it kind of nice to pull a serving of fish from your cabinet whenever you want?
I have to say, though, more than any other reason…I just love the taste of it. Plain and simple. Maybe it’s because I grew up eating lots of canned tuna–with mayo for lunch or in a casserole for dinner–but I’d choose to eat it even if it weren’t so dang easy or good for me.
I’d still make my tuna burgers or a salmon salad or just whatever other thing I can dream up that may or may not make Sabrina want to move out of the apartment.
A few weeks ago, Chicken of the Sea sent me some of their new flavored salmon pouches: Lemon Pepper, Barbecue, and Sweet & Spicy, and asked if I’d like to create a recipe with one of them using only 5 ingredients. Uh, yes. Yes, I would. When I told Sabrina, she said, “This seems unfair because you already do things like this with tuna and salmon all the time.”
She IS a spoiler alert.
You get it. I was excited.
Chicken of the Sea makes wild-caught pink salmon pouches in plain, smoked salmon, and three new flavors: Lemon Pepper, Barbecue, and Sweet & Spicy. Each 2.5-ounce (or 3-ounce in the case of the smoked salmon) pouch is between 70 and 100 calories, and has around 13 grams of protein. The great thing about the pouches is that they add flavors on their own, which makes it easy to spice up a salad, sandwich…anything. For people who want to add more omega-3 fatty acids to their diet, but don’t love the taste of plain salmon, this could be a good option.
For my 5-ingredient recipe, I chose the Lemon Pepper salmon. It seemed light, fresh, and summery. I also knew that if I was going to be creating a recipe with so few ingredients (the salmon being one), it should be a something well-suited to make ahead and pack for lunch.
To stay with the season, I picked cucumber, tomatoes, mint, and feta for my additions. The cucumbers are crisp, the tomatoes are sweet, and the mint is bright and unexpected. It’s always amazing how a fresh herb can bump up the flavor and sophistication of a salad. (Do you pat yourself on the back when you think to add an herb? I do.) With the fresh lemon pepper flavor of the salmon, and the salty tang of the feta, you don’t even need a drop of dressing. Just stir it all together and let it sit for a little while to let the flavors blend and it’s a perfect healthy lunch.
If you want something to serve with the salad, try making quick tortilla chips:
Cut a whole wheat tortilla into 8 triangles. Spray them with cooking oil, sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic powder, and bake at 450 until browned and crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. If you bake them on top of a wire cooling rack set on top of a baking sheet, they’ll come out even crisper, but mine wasn’t available. Still good! So easy, perfect for dipping, and only about 100 calories depending on the size and brand of tortilla.
Salmon Salad with Cucumber, Feta, and Mint
- 1 Chicken of the Sea Lemon Pepper Flavored Salmon Pouch
- ½ cup chopped cucumber
- ½ cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 1 ounce feta cheese crumbled
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let flavors blend before serving.
This post is sponsored by Chicken of the Sea.