Growing up, my mom didn’t cook often. She could cook – and when she did she filled our house with delicious Puerto Rican inspired food – my favorite being her famed tostones with a sprinkle of sea salt. But, since my nana lived with us and my nana lived to cook, over time I think my mom just leaned into nana’s love and was happy to let the responsiblity of cooking regular meals out of her hands.
With that said, my mom was our snack queen. It was my mama that took our armfuls of just harvested avocados and whipped together the guacamole we’d devour by the spoonful; it was my mama that mixed our over-ripe papayas, bananas, and mangos into cold cottage cheese; it was my mama that would take our just-picked calamansi lemons and squeeze warm juice over green pepper boats filled tuna. Yep, it was my mama that welcomed us in from the mid-day, sticky island heat and made in-between meal snacking something of refreshing delight.
So yesterday, as I retreated inside from the 90 degree weather craving something light and refreshing for mid-afternoon sustenance, I spied these two things…
and, as a vision of my mama flashed through my mind, I knew what I had to make: pepper boats filled with lemony quinoa tuna salad.
All you need is 5 minutes and:
- 1/2 cup of pre-cooked quinoa
- a can of tuna (I like the tuna in olive oil because it’s less dry)
- 1 sweet bell pepper
- 1/2 a lemon
- 1 TBS of soy sauce (or liquid amines which taste almost identical)
- 1 TBS of olive oil
- 1 tsp of black pepper
Since there’s no mayo or sticky binder in the salad, yes – the filling might be a little loose as you eat. But hey – it’s summertime! Make up a plate, head outside in the shade, and don’t let a little mess get to you. The kids with popsciles dripping down their arms don’t seem to care…