Cucumber Tuna Boats was a recipe I found when I was looking for an easy way to get hubby and the kids to eat tuna salad. I’ve always preferred my tuna cold, and besides throwing it into a pasta salad, I was stumped for ideas. Making it into boats seemed like a fun idea and fairly quick to make.
The kids and hubby loved them, except for the time I ended up with cucumbers that were very bitter. In making the recipe you don’t taste the cucumbers until after they’re filled, so I had no idea they were mostly inedible. We spread the salad on bread instead and settled for sandwiches that night.
My son, JDawg, didn’t eat cucumbers for a lot of years after the Cucumber Incident. I’m not sure he even does yet, actually. If he does, it’s cautiously. I wouldl eat them for 3 meals a day, plus snacks. I often peel and slice a cucumber and munch away til it’s gone. Now you know my weird snacking habits. I should be thin with that habit. I’m not.
But these boats are a good way to eat low carb and healthy. I made the salad with mayo until we decided it didn’t agree with us. Now I use Greek yogurt and a splash of lime juice. I think it freshens up the taste of the salad more than mayo did. The lime helps to drown out a more fishy tuna flavor as well. I don’t like tuna to taste too much like tuna.
To make the salad, I usually just chop up what veggies I have on hand. This time I used a half of a red sweet bell pepper, 2 stalks of celery and a couple tablespoons of chopped green onion.
I put the Greek yogurt, lime juice and seasonings into a bowl and mixed well. I added the dressing to the veggies and stirred.
I drained two small cans of white albacore tuna to remove most of the moisture and added the tuna to the container and stirred it again. I covered the container and refrigerated it for a few hours to meld flavors.
I peeled the cucumbers, cut them in half the long way and used a spoon down the center to hollow the halves out. I stored them in a zippered bag in the fridge until dinner.
For dinner, after I’d served our soup up in bowls, I plated the cucumber boats. I used a small cookie scoop to form the tuna salad into cute little balls, placing them in a row of 5 or 6 down the center of the cucumber.
I’ve been known to actually make flags out of toothpicks for the boats, but didn’t this time. It’s also fun to serve them with bread sticks and call them “oars”. But again I didn’t this time, as we were having soup with our boats.
The tuna boats are a great meal for summer, with minimal fussing and heating the kitchen. But I also like to have a fresh veggie feast in the middle of winter to remind myself that summer will return some day. In the North, that would be August.
If you have smaller garden cucumbers these work better for younger kids, but they do like the challenge of eating the longer cukes as well. Serve them with a handful of stick pretzels and call them oars. The longer cucumbers could also be cut in half if necessary.
I happen to like Fritos crushed and sprinkled on the top; my P.S. isn’t a fan so I don’t do it when he’s around. Heh. You could sprinkle them will all kinds of things, including crispy bits of bacon. Have fun with them!
Cucumber Tuna Boats
2 small cans white albacore tuna
½ cup Greek yogurt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried onion
1 tablespoon lime juice
Mix together Greek yogurt, lime juice and seasonings. Stir in tuna. Refrigerate for several hours.
Peel. halve and hollow out centers of 2 large cucumbers.
Fill cucumber with scoops of tuna salad, using a small cookie scoop or a spoon.
Tip: If made ahead, the salt in the tuna salad will cause water to leach out of the cucumbers and leave them soggy. These are best filled right before eaten.