{recipe} Asian Chopped Salad with Tuna and Mint

Before I say anything else let me tell you that THIS WHOLE DINNER HAS UNDER 200 CALORIES and is VERY TASTY AND FULFILLING!!! OK, I’ll stop yelling at you now so you can look at the picture.

Now I have never been into dieting or counting calories, but from time to time, often around the start of swimsuit season, I begin to eye my middle section and think that it’s starting to look like Costco up in here with all these muffin tops. This extra unwanted pudge is most likely a result of my personal interpretation of the food pyramid, which, if I’m being honest, looks about like this:

From this pyramid you may deduce a few things. Such as: I am a food hedonist and I really don’t like to deny myself anything. I like to eat animals and gorge on starches. I loves me some wine and meat… and butter, heavy cream, and cheese are all vying for the role of “Karen’s BFF.” So, my goal is to change up my pyramid a bit while still maintaining my lust for life and all of its edible/drinkable wonders. This will mean reinforcing some good habits and rewiring some bad ones. I am aiming for a pyramid that’s more like this:

I’m also in love with this iPhone app called LoseIt! which lets you set calorie goals and then log all of your exercise and  food. It’s great at helping me figure out what some of my good and bad habits are! Tonight my goal was to eat something really tasty, filling, and low calorie, since I had totally crammed a huuuuge bagel with ginormous snowy peaks of cream cheese for breakfast, and I had a fair bit of wine last night (I’m going to let you interpret the phrase “a fair bit” however you wish…) I decided it would be fun to challenge myself tonight.

I wouldn’t have believed it was possible until I did it. But I am here to tell you: I am virtuous. I ate my veggies. I got my balance. My pyramid is turning a corner. I am still full, hours later. And I did it all for 190 calories. But don’t be afraid! I have sacrificed NO deliciousness for this meal. It’s the real deal: and I didn’t even have any wine or butter or bacon to go with it.

Asian Chopped Salad with Tuna and Mint

serves one.


  • 1/2 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 5-7 mint leaves, chopped finely
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped finely
  • 1 three oz. can solid white albacore tuna in water, drained
  • 1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper


  • Combine veggies, mint, and tuna in a bowl and toss.
  • Mix together lemon juice, ginger, oils, vinegar, soy sauce, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toss dressing with salad.
  • Bask in the imagined glory of how thin your thighs would look if you ate like this every night!

The calorie breakdown, with the amounts in the recipe, in case you’re interested…

  • 1/2 carrot: 13 calories
  • 1/2 cup sprouts: 4 calories
  • 5 mint leaves: 3 calories
  • 1 1/2 cup spinach: 15 calories
  • 2 scallions: 6 calories
  • 3 oz. tuna: 80 calories
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice: 4 calories
  • 1 tsp ginger: 2 calories
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar: 3 calories
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil: 20 calories
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil: 40 calories
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce: 1 calorie

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