Fiesta Tuna Salad Sliders

So one day I reeeeeaaaaallllllly wanted Mexican food. Of the oh-so good tasting, but so-oh not good for your waist-line variety. Like an endless basket of tortilla chips with some of that authentic creamy, white queso for dipping, and maybe even some sour cream and quac on the side. (We want guac. We want guac. Thank you, Elmo for that little ditty that’s now stuck in my head) But that wasn’t on the menu. Going out to eat wasn’t in the cards, and clearly my pantry and fridge were letting me down. (Again, I griped about having no known Mexican restaurants that deliver in my vicinity. Because, well because… how is this not a thing already?!)

Then I remembered this fancy, schmancy recipe (except it’s totally not, but if tasty-ness was currency, it’d be golden). Fiesta tuna salad sandwiches may not have been sinfully delicious chips dipped in warm, gooey queso, but as my Mama always said, “Beggars can’t be choosers.” And it was Mexican food. Good Mexican-style food. Good for you too, to top it all off. My how my day had changed. While I got down to chopping the veggies I’d need, my mood gradually changed from “deprived of tortilla chips” and being lulled to “problem craving coming to it’s conclusion”. Mean Mami Mexican food crisis averted. At least for today. Seriously, you don’t want to get in my way when I’m craving Mexican food. It could escalate quickly and then we’d be in a full-on nuclear melt-down and that just isn’t gonna work for me. Now that I had a new idea, and some direction to go in other than to Old El Paso, I snagged some supporting ingredients from the pantry and salsa-ed my way through the rest of the recipe.  Olé!

Now I’m going to enjoy another delicious sandwich with this spread for lunch tomorrow too, but this time as a tuna melt! Gotta keep those taste buds on their toes. Trying to go light? This makes a great dip with either tortilla chips or crackers. (Hello, my next tailgating party!)

Fiesta Tuna Salad Sliders

 Fiesta Tuna Salad Sliders

recipe adapted from Taste of Home

6 cans, 5 oz each, water-packed white tuna or albacore, drained and flaked
1 large red onion, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2/3 cup reduced fat mayo
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely diced (optional)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp black pepper
12 ciabatta sized slider buns, or more depending on how ‘stuffed’ your buns are
12 slices of pepper jack cheese
lettuce leaves


1. In a large bowl, combine the first nine ingredients. Set the tuna salad in the refrigerator to ‘chill’.

2. Once the tuna salad is cold, spread it over the bun bottoms. Top each with a slice of cheese and some lettuce.

3. Put the tops back on, and serve!

Zucchini Fritters with Chili Lime Mayo

My MIL is like the plant whisperer. So, I wasn’t surprised two weeks ago when bags full of summer squash started appearing on my doorstep. Seriously, these things were huge…and plentiful. But I was stuck in a rut. A zucchini rut.

When the dark green squash lands in my kitchen, it  always met one of three fates:

1. Being sliced into rounds, topped with Parmesan cheese, and baked;

2. Shredded up and baked into some form of zucchini/vegetable bread; or

3. Shredded or diced and hidden in various casseroles to trick my kids (and husband?) into eating more veggies.

While I love all of these uses for zucchini, I knew there had to be some sort of unheard of zucchini greatness out there to help shake things up and pull us out of our rut.

I don’t normally fry our veggies, but when I saw this recipe I immediately decided I was making an exception. The hubs took one bite and couldn’t believe that something so delicious could be made from just zucchini and onions. They reminded of a crispier version of potato latkes. They’re great plain, but the spiced mayo makes a perfectly paired dip adding just the right amount of tang & spice. We served the fritters as a side with dinner, but they would also make a great light lunch.   Looking for a way to rise out of your own stagnant zucchini or side-dish rotation? Is your bounty overflowing with the green garden veggies and you need to get creative to use them all up? Whatever your reason, you can’t go wrong with these. Just look at them. Gorgeous, isn’t it? They taste just as great.

Zucchini Fritters with Chili Lime Mayo

 4 Sons 'R' Us: Zucchini Fritters

recipe adapted from Family Feed Bag

vegetable oil for frying
3 cups grated zucchini
1 cup diced onion
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

For the Mayo

1 cup prepared mayo
1 tbsp lime juice, lemon will work as a substitute
1/2 tsp chili powder

4 Sons 'R' Us: Zucchini Fritters with chili lime mayo

1. Pour the oil in a skillet so that it is half an inch deep and turn the heat to medium.
2. While waiting for the oil to heat up, combine the zucchini, onion, and eggs in a large bowl. Stir the mixture to combine. It may get a little frothy, but that’s ok.
3. In another bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, 1/2 tsp of chili powder, salt, and pepper and stir to combine
4. To finish the batter,  add the dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture and fold it all together.
5. Once your oil is hot (dip a spoon with some batter on it into the oil to test, if the oil starts bubbling in contact with the batter, it’s ready) you can drop the batter a tablespoon at a time into the oil, frying for 2-3 minutes per side. If you want a more substantial fritter, form the batter into loose ‘patties’ and fry in oil 3-4 minutes per side.
6. When the centers are firm, remove them from the oil and allow the to drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.
7. To make the dip, simply combine the prepared mayo, lime juice, and chili powder in a small mixing bowl and stir it all up.

Delicious Dill Dip

Over the years, I’ve come to find that, in the summer, there’s nothing better for a light lunch or snack than some garden-fresh veggies. This Delicious Dill Dip is the perfect refreshing compliment for them. Even better, I like the sneaky little way it has of getting my kids to eat every last nutritious bite of good-for-them ‘green-stuff.’ I’m not sure who is more surprised, myself or my boys, when we discover a veggie plate can be emptied, and left without even a stray crumb of broccoli, quite that quickly. Never ceases to amaze us. However, even if you’re on the fence about how tasty raw, fresh veggies actually might be, could be… they do make the perfect edible spoon to get dip from bowl to mouth. Technically, you don’t even have to eat the veggies, but it might be more ‘socially acceptable’ than just digging into said dip with a spoon. And it’s that good. You’ll consider it. I’ve just got to make sure I keep that tid-bit under-wraps. You know, in the interest of trying to teach good-manners, and all those other sorts of life-lessons Moms must met out.

Delicious Dill Dip

4 Sons 'R' Us: Delicious Dill Dip

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well.
  2. Chill for at least one hour before serving.
  3. Serve with fresh veggies, slices of crusty bread, crackers, or pretzels.