Philacatessen | Salad for Dinner


In the midst and the aftermath of the High Holidays, there’s an awful lot of rich, delicious food consumed. And, of course, there’s an awful lot of effort expended cooking, setting tables, hosting and cleaning up. At some point, cooks (and stomachs) need a break.

That is how this healthy, protein-rich, low-fat salad came to be. I needed a simple, stress-free preparation that was healthy, light and low calorie. There are plenty of low-calorie salads around, but they leave you rummaging in the cabinet for cookies within 10 minutes of your last bite.

I craved a substantial, but light meal that would sustain me until breakfast, but not require a major trip to the supermarket or much work in the kitchen. Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, chickpeas and tuna did the trick.

This is as adaptable as you can imagine. No chickpeas? Use kidney beans or white beans or pintos. No tuna? Try chicken or tofu or whatever leftover protein you have lurking in the fridge. Ditto whatever veggies (or fruits? nuts? cheese?) you have hanging around.

Salad with tuna, chickpeas and tomato
Photo by Keri White

Main Dish Tuna and Chickpea Salad

Serves 2

  • 1 package baby lettuce, or one head lettuce rinsed and torn
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • ¼ of a sweet onion, sliced
  • ½ cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large can white tuna in water, drained
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Pinch salt, generous sprinkle garlic powder, generous sprinkle pepper

In a large, shallow bowl, place the lettuce to form a bed. Decoratively arrange the tomato, cucumber and onion slices on top.

Pour the chickpeas on the vegetables, then break up the tuna and spread it over the chick peas.

In a small bowl or cup, mix the dressing ingredients with a fork, and pour dressing over the salad. Toss at the table and enjoy.


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