Hi! Welcome to “good mood food” from Kale Me Maybe’s Carina Wolff. If you’re somehow reading this and aren’t yet subscribed, be sure to do so below. You can expect recipes in your inbox every Tuesday, and paid subscribers receive even more!
I always claim to be such a summer girl: I love the beach, I love the sun, I love the long days and barbecues and bright nights and flowy dresses. I dread daylight savings, I mourn the autumnal equinox, and begrudgingly put on a jacket when the winter starts to dip. Yet every single year, I find myself having the best time in fall.
Contrary to what you might think, it has nothing to do with cozying up near the fireplace or seasonal lattes or watching the leaves turn (although those activities are lovely). Instead, I find that as night falls earlier and the temperatures dip, people start to come together. They gather for dinner parties, drinks at a new restaurant, movie nights, and bowling. During the summer, people are traveling around, off doing their own thing, frolicking around town until the sun sets far past dinner time. In the fall, people get off work to a dark sky, crave connection, and create situations in which to socialize.
I always end up feeling really connected to others during the fall and winter months. Between all the holidays and events, I always have something to do, and I love that. I’m already starting to feel it happen, and my mood is shifting. I’ve spoken often about how the pandemic threw off my routine and left me scrambling to figure out what my social life looks like these days now that life is returning to normal and I’ve also simultaneously aged into my thirties. I live for connection and togetherness, and as I’ve started bringing that back into my life, joy has come along with it. It makes me feel optimistic about the future. I may prefer 12 hours of sunlight, but spending more time with the people close to me is even better.
I know this isn’t everyone’s experience during the colder months, as it can often be a lonely and isolating time. If I have any advice for you, it’s create those connections yourself. Invite your friends over. Reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile. Create your own traditions.
Open-Faced, Tangy Tuna Salad Sandwich
I am always on a mission to get people to like canned tuna, and since I’ve already succeeded with my tuna-averse fiancé (who now admits he enjoys my tuna dishes), I’m convinced I can do the same with everyone else.
The key to canned tuna is to load it up with flavor. You can’t just slap a piece of water-logged tuna on a dish and call it a day. Use it as a blank canvas. Make incredible sauces and pair it with other ingredients you love.
This tuna salad is again inspired by my travels in Italy: the tuna itself is herby and filled with olive oil and vinegar. The salsa verde is also lemony and salty, thanks to the anchovies (don’t freak out — they’re very subtle, and Grant didn’t even notice it was in there, and he is the anchovy police). The whole dish is tangy and salty and will make you forget you’re even eating canned fish (even though I really love canned fish).
Ingredients (serves 2-3)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
Drizzle of olive oil
2 (5 oz) cans tuna in water
Drizzle of olive oil
Drizzle of white wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp mayo
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 anchovies filets, finely minced
2 tbsp olive oil
Baguette style bread, sliced in half lengthwise and cut into 8 pieces (about 4 in long)
Handful of arugula
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Add cherry tomatoes to a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for about 25 minutes until tomatoes are soft.
2. While tomatoes are baking, mix together the tuna ingredients in a medium bowl until evenly combined. Mix together your salsa verde ingredients in a small bowl.
3. When the tomatoes are ready, mash together with a fork so they form a jam-like consistency. Toast your bread slices, and spread the tomatoes over the bread. Top with arugula, then the tuna mixture, then the red onion slices, and then the salsa verde. Finish off with a little extra crushed red pepper.
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