Tuna Salad with Beets and Black Olives

Tuna Salad with Beets and Black Olives (Serves 3-4)

I made tuna salad with a can of beets as one of the ingredients. Tuna stained with beet juice looks a bit like salmon, and the purple chunks of beets look a little odd in tuna salad, but I am happy to report that Tuna Salad with Beets and Black Olives tastes good.

Prep time: 15-20 minutes


3 cans of tuna (mine was packed in olive oil)
1 small sweet yellow onion
1 can of beets
1 can of black olives
2-3 tablespoons of mayonnaise (recipe for making it yourself below)
1 tablespoon of mustard
Dried cranberries (infused with apple juice/not sugar)
Red chili powder
Garlic powder


Finely chop onion and add to a mixing bowl. Drain beets and olives. Cut beets into bite size pieces and add them and the olives to bowl. Add tuna and a handful of dried cranberries. Add a nice dusting of salt, garlic powder, and red chili powder. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise according to taste and a tablespoon of mustard. Mix ingredients. Taste and add more spices as needed. Serve with almost any fresh vegetable. I’ve been eating mine with baby cut carrots or arugula lately.

Notes: I recently bumped the volume of tuna in my salads from 2 cans to 3. Adding two cans of vegetables – beets and olives – demanded I add more tuna too, especially since I typically eat tuna salad with fresh vegetables like lettuce or baby cut carrots too.

Homemade mayonnaise is surprisingly easy to make and bumps up the flavor of this dish. I learned to make mayonnaise from Melissa Joulwan. She promised me it would be easy and she was right! Don’t accept the soybean oil, sugar, and preservatives of store-bought mayonnaise anymore. Make some homemade yourself. I’ll walk you through it below or you can click here and let Melissa walk you through it.

Homemade Mayo

1 egg
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups olive oil (light, not extra virgin)


Place the egg, mustard powder, salt, apple cider vinegar, and 1/4 cup of olive oil in a food processor and whirl until well mixed – 20 to 30 seconds. You can mix by hand in a bowl with a whisk like Julia Childs did in the old days, but that is a lot of work. Now here comes the important part: Drizzle in the last cup of olive oil very, very slowly while you keep running the food processor – as in, take about 3 minutes to drizzle in one cup of oil. Don’t get in a hurry and dump a lot of oil in at once or the mixture can collapse and stop looking like mayonnaise. IF your mayo collapses, not all is lost. Put the mixture in the refrigerator for a few hours and then stir it vigorously. Such “failed” mayo doesn’t look as pretty, but it still tastes good and works fine in tuna salad. Once you are done, transfer your mayo to an air-tight container, and store in the refrigerator until needed. Homemade mayo should be good until the expiration date of the egg.

Melissa Joulwan warns of the importance of starting with all ingredients at room temperature. I have had success using a cold egg, but am mixing with apple cider vinegar and not lemon juice like Melissa. That difference might make a difference.

Note: Instead of mustard powder, you can substitute curry powder to point the flavor of your mayonnaise in a different direction. I used a Masala curry blend to make the mayonnaise that went into my Tuna Salad with Beets and Black Olives. The Masala curry includes mango powder and is kind of sweet. My wife ate all the mayonnaise I made with yellow Jamaican curry a few weeks ago. I may try a red chili powder mayonnaise next.

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