my name is lulu. i love to cook. i love to share my cooking with friends and family and as a working girl, i know how important it is to save money. one of the easiest methods of doing that is by bringing lunch to work. but after week three it seems you are eating another sandwich that doesn't quite taste as good as the one you bought at the deli a few weeks back. and you being to think "that 8 bucks was worth it". well, it wasn't. hopefully, this blog will inspire you to create some new and exciting lunches, that will keep your wallet - and your palate happy. lulu.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday - First cold of the fiscal year

Its ironic that my first blog ever is actually from my apartment - not from my job. Lunch was prepared in my kitchen, not the company kitchen. And the cherry on this irony sundae is I can't taste a thing...my senses are all off, but it didn't stop me from whipping up something delicious. My dog, chuck, can attest, as he dove for the tiny morsel of food that accidently spilled over the top of the bowl as I aggressively mixed and mixed.

My original "go-to" today was a tuna sandwich. When i was a kid and had to stay home sick from school with a cold, my mother would call this woman named Aunt Estelle to come and take care of me. She wasn't MY aunt, but she was definitely someone's aunt as she wore a long gold necklace adorned with small gold charms of her nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews names. She would park me on the couch turning the television on to the "Price is Right" and go into the kitchen to prepare the tuna sandwich. I would ask for it, loved it, and knew it tasted different and better than any other tuna sandwich. But for years i couldn't figure out why. As I got older i would watch her in the kitchen preparing the sandwich. I don't know if she did it purposefully, but she would always sneak in that secret ingredient. Finally, when I was 11 I got a glimpse of what it was. Simple. It was so simple. Vinegar. White wine vinegar. A splash. Who knew!! Well, I knew and have never had simple tuna again.

As the years have gone by since my Aunt Estelle days I have traveled and tasted many different combinations of food. Some I never would have imagined. My most recent trip to Italy in August sparked this newest tuna creation. And just like Aunt Estelle's it is SIMPLE. White beans, Cannolini beans. They come in a can, you know.

So today, with a sandwich in mind* (though i looked at last week's bag of bread - saw the mold - and went with more of a tuna salad), I grabbed a medium-sized bowl, put a can of bumble bee tuna (in water) in it, added a healthy portion of mayo, salt and pepper and in a separate bowl, put the can of beans. Before I put the beans in the bowl, I dumped them into a colander and washed them off. Then I put them in the bowl, added about 3 tablespoons of olive oil, a pinch of kosher sea salt and pepper and then tossed them around. After that, I took about half a lemon and squeezed the fresh juice on the beans. Once that was done, I put about half the can of beans into the tuna and mayo mixture and tossed it all around.

*If this were a sandwich I would use the beans as a spread and line one piece of toast with this yummy mixture. Then taste each ingredient in every bite!

I hope you enjoyed today's lunch suggestion...i couldn't quite taste it but thank God my memory served me well, because i was right back there on the couch with Bob Barker and Aunt Estelle.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Lulu,
    This is so perfect for me right now and I'll tell you why. About a year ago I was having lunch with a friend of mine and I was complaining about where my finances were at the time. She suggested that I keep receipts of all the things I had purchased for the next full year. I did as she suggested and as I sat in the floor adding up the receipts from just my lunches, I was completely floored. Let just say I could have put a new roof on my house with the money I spent. Well, maybe that's a little bit of an exaggeration but not much.
    I look forward to making the tuna recipe and the ones to follow.
    I am inspired!
    Thank you,
    Jenny Myers

  3. And for your reading pleasure I posted twice! Sorry.

  4. Cannolini beans in tuna?! Never even thought of it (and I'm Italian!). The last thing I made with Cannolini beans was pasta e fagioli, which is super easy and also a good comfort dish. My grandmother simply put celery, stuffed olives, green onions, and eggs in the tuna I've come to love. But, I'm going to have to try tuna this way being I so poor and I eat so much of it!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Well Brandy, the Cannolini beans and tuna is very Tuscan, so its probably NOT one of those famous Italian dishes! I'm excited for you to try it! Thanks for reading.

  7. Jenny! I am so happy that you can relate, this is exactly why i am blogging! Making lunch is a great way to save money, but sometimes you need a little help in getting creative. We all have jobs that keep us occupied all day and the last thing we want to do at night is think about what to make...
    Thank you for being inspired!!

  8. That explains it! My maternal grandmother is Sicilian. You mix that with Southern Louisiana and here I am! I grew up on gumbo and spaghetti. It's a wonder that I survived this long! I'm trying to get away from all meat, so I hope you'll advise on some great fish dishes.

  9. Interesting spin on the tuna sandwich, gives it a bit more substance I imagine? I too write a food blog where the merits of a tuna sandwich were discussed. Despite the blog's saucy title, it is in fact a food blog written by gay girls!


    Keep up the good food bloggin'!

  10. Hey Lulu,
    Thank you for the delish recipes...have your ever thought about writing a cookbook of healthy recipes or starting a small-scale healthy food delivery service? I have but haven't done it, but would love it if someone delivered healthy foods to me a couple of times a week!
    Animo! Annie