{foodie loves friday} Coolest Tuna Salad Ever!

*FYI ~ I'm changing up how I do my Foodie Fridays.  Instead of each week being a step-by-step (come on New Kids on the Block fans, you know you wanna sing it...step...by...step...LOL!) recipe, I'm gonna do whatever pulls at my heart strings for the week, instead.  And by that, I mean, I could just post a recipe because I thought it was SO yummy that I had to share it, or I'll post a picture of a certain food and write about the meaning it provided me that day, or tell a story of how that food connected me that day, or just what's on my mind when it comes to that certain food.

You know how photographers (like one of my favorites, J*) post pictures of people and then tell a story behind it? Well, that's where my heart is guiding me with my food pictures...to connect or reconnect with the story behind it.

Because right now, I feel that these days, the focus on food is HEAVILY weighed on one side...the "nutrition" side...the "gotta-eat-a-certain-way-to-look-a-certain-way" side.  Yes, high quality, fresh food is important, but at the same time, focusing on food as love, as a memory, as a connector, as a tradition, as a positive comfort, is also important (a side I feel like society has lost touch with).

So I'm here to balance the focus of food.  To shine a new light on food.  A light that shines the love of food brightly.  And that's why I'm calling this weekly posting, Foodie LOVES Friday!  Because isn't that what food is REALLY about, anyway...love?  I think so!

No more rules! No more trying to "figure" it out.  No more fear! No more worry!  No more labels!  Imagine that! I mean, really, imagine it...living life purely enjoying all the positive qualities that food brings to our lives.  Just living each day, choosing to eat food out of pure enjoyment, pure pleasure and pure satisfaction! Yes, please! :)

Because isn't life SO much better when it's savored and fun?  I think so!

So with that, let's get started!

I made this for lunch yesterday and it was SO freakin' good!

I didn't have this dish written on my menu plan.  The ingredients just snuck up on me outta know where!

It reminded me of the Collard Greens with Cranberries and Walnuts that I make all the time during the fall and winter season.

Well now that the weather's been telling me so loudly graciously that it's summer...summer...summertime (I always LOVED that song!), my body has been craving more and more cooling foods. You know, foods that are cold, crisp, light, hydrating and refreshing.

So when a fun, easy and cold dish pops in my head like this, I'm on it!

With this dish, I had the tuna salad made ahead of time (tuna, mayo, celery, cranberries and walnuts...I wanted to add onion but I ran out of time). While Lil' C was content playing by herself for a few minutes, I grabbed my pots and cooked some pasta and steamed some kale (for a minute or two).

I then put the pasta in the freezer so it would cool faster and set the kale on the cutting board to cool before I chopped it up.

Once I felt everything was at the right temperature, I mixed everything together in a big bowl and placed a scoop on my lovely dish.

I grabbed my camera because I thought it looked SO beautiful...kinda like Christmas in June! :)

What I love most about taking pictures of my food (and life around me) is that it helps me to slow down and get present in the moment. I look at all the yumminess and my mouth starts to water.  I view the colors.  The details.  The way the light shines on the different ingredients.  It truly is like a painting on a canvas ('cause you know food is art and the plate is it's canvas, right!?).

When I do this, my body prepares for what's to come, which means, I'm more settled, more present and calm when I take my first bite. I eat slower. I eat until I'm satisfied. And, most importantly, my brain got the signal that it's chow time so I won't be hungry after I'm done (so if you follow me on instagram...now you know why I post so many food pics!)

Speaking of the first bite, guess what happened?


You know, like the fireworks that went off when Remi, from Disney's movie Ratatouille, put a piece of cheese and strawberry in his mouth...if you haven't seen it, and you're a foodie, it's a must, even though it's about a rat...but it truly represents the real beauty of food (LOL! Yes, I'm a BIG KID who loves Pixar!).

Now, these weren't just ordinary fireworks.  These were FLAVORFUL fireworks!

Oh my gosh! Heaven! And, in that heavenly moment, I thought, "I have to share this on my blog! It's the perfect mix of color, crispy, crunchy, sweet and smokey. It must be shared!"

And now here I am making that thought a reality! Yes! :)

Now, I know this exact recipe maybe out there somewhere, but I didn't look it up to find out. So, maybe you've tried it before.  If so, please let me know if FLAVORFUL fireworks went off for you!  I just love to hear about that.  I mean, I can talk yummy food all day!

Or maybe you have an awesome blossom (thanks Brig for this!) summer salad recipe you love to prepare. Either way, let me know! I love spreading the foodie love and I love hearing about the foodie love!

And I'd love to add it under my fun summer eats section in my recipe book. :)

So if you end up trying my dish, let me know how it worked for you!  Did you do anything different to it? Not like it? Made another COOL pasta salad instead?  This foodie would love to hear!  So if you get a minute, be sure to comment below and let me know.

Happy Friday and remember...

{life IS yummy!}


Coolest Tuna Salad Ever!

1 can of tuna salad
2 to 3 tablespoons of mayonaise
2 celery stalks (diced)
Handful of kale (steamed for one or two minutes and then cooled)
Handful of dried cranberries
Handful of chopped walnuts
1 cup of pasta of choice ( I used Ancient Harvest Quinoa Vegetable pasta - saw it for the first time at Whole Foods this past weekend and I grabbed it right away! I really love quinoa pasta...not because it's healthy...just because it's yummy to me!  And, yes, I eat just white pasta, too! Mmmm...yummy! yummy!)

1. Prepare pasta ahead of time and then put in refrigerator to cool (if preparing right away, place in freezer for a few minutes for quick cooling).
2. Mix tuna salad with chopped celery, chopped steamed kale, cranberries and walnuts.
3. Add tuna mix to pasta and then mix with wooden spoon.
4. Place coolest tuna salad ever in your favorite serving dish.
5.  Turn off all distractions, sit down by yourself or with your family, take a few deep breaths, say how much gratitude you have for your food, your family, your life and dig in, slowly and savor the deliciousness!