Aug 24 - header

This week has been so hot and muggy that the thought of turning the oven on just seems crazy. So Saturday night I thought I’d try one of the Food Network’s no cook recipes from their No Cook Month special. I was inspired by their shrimp wraps, crab salad in lettuce cups, and South Georgia caviar, but since August is a major budget month for me post-moving, I figured I’d combine two of them and make tuna salad wraps with the “caviar” on the side.

When I got to the Food Coop, they were out of my brown rice wraps, so I modified the plans once again to make straight up tuna sandwiches and my version of the “caviar” – no corn since I’m allergic to it, no pimentos since I couldn’t find them, and no peppers since they were $6.99 a pound, and that’s outside of my budget. I replaced the corn with Eden Organic cannellini beans and figured I’d wing it from there.

I used 2 cans of Natural Sea tongol tuna and Kraft’s olive oil mayo and then Steph added the yoga sprouts and a chopped green apple (which I originally bought to replace the pepper in the “caviar”) to the tuna salad. We served it on Ener-G yeast free brown rice bread with local grown green lettuce and more of the yoga sprouts.

For the “caviar” I used a can of Eden Organic black eyed peas, the Eden Organic canellini beans, a giant can of Bionaturae diced tomatoes (I drained the juice into a tupperware dish to make sauce out of later), half a chopped yellow onion, and a splash of olive oil with salt, pepper, basil to taste. It made a ton of bean salad. Lately I’ve had a voracious appetite (I think finally making up for all that weight I lost last year to Lyme and then all the work I’ve been doing in the move) so I had a huge tuna sandwich and seconds of the bean salad.

My modified bean “caviar”:

Aug 22 - beans

And the whole shebang:

Aug 22 - dinner

The next morning I saw Martha’s recipe for mango and bean salad (she gives me yet another reason to buy a blender – mango salad dressing), which I totally want to try. It also inspired me to try cucumbers in my bean caviar. We ended up having enough leftovers of both the tuna and the “caviar” for another dinner, but both Steph and I liked it so much that we figured we’d make even MORE for lunches this week. So last night I made it all over again and added cucumber and avocado to the new bean salad and mixed the left over bean “caviar” from Saturday night in. I liked it even better the second time, but Steph liked it without the cucumber.


Aug 23 - beans

Aug 23 - dinner

We have at least 8 servings left over, so I’m going to use it for lunches and as a fish topping throughout the week. I also want to try it as a topping on cold pasta salad with olive oil. Why was I turning my stove on when I could’ve been making no cook dishes like this all month?

The Breakdown (Saturday & Sunday’s dinners combined)

Where I Got It: Flatbush Food Coop

What it Cost:

  • Natural Sea Tongol Tuna $2.39 a can x 4 cans = $9.56
  • Woodstock Farms organic sweet relish $4.49
  • Eden Organics black eyed peas $2.19 a can x 2 cans = $4.38
  • Eden Organics cannellini beans $2.19 a can x 2 cans = $4.38
  • Bionaturae diced tomatoes $1.99 28.2 oz can x 2 cans = $3.98
  • Cucumber $1.29
  • Avocado $.79
  • Lettuce $2.99 a bunch
  • Green apple $.89 each x 2 = 1.78
  • Yellow Onion $1.08
  • The Sproutman yoga sprouts (lentil, pea, alfalfa) $1.99 (these things last forever and can be used on anything!)
  • Energ brown rice bread – already had
  • Canola oil, salt, pepper, basil – already had
  • Kraft olive oil mayo – already had

Grand Total: $25.73

How Many it Served: Four dinners (me + Steph for two nights) + two lunches (me + Steph) + at least ten servings of leftover bean salad that can be used throughout the week. That comes out to $4.29 a meal (6 meals) not even counting all those leftover beans. That’s what I call stretching my money 😉

Any Groceries Left Over?: I used most of what I bought up on this meal. The spices and condiments will last me a while though.

I’ll let you all know how the bean “caviar” works as a fish topping. I already tried it as a salsa (with potato chips since I can’t have corn, natch) and it was delicious.


p.s. Steph and I will be turning 27 in just a couple days (twins, y’all!) and we’re planning a little get together at one of our favorite outdoor spots in Brooklyn. Can’t wait!