Shelley’s recipes

Healthy family favourites from the Purchon household

This fresh, healthy and affordable salad is a taste of summer available all year round. It takes five minutes to make – perfect if like me you work from home, or want something that keeps well in a Tupperware for lunch at work.

I must admit that although this is my twenty fourth cookery blog post, it’s the first recipe I’ve shared with you that I invented myself. I made this salad up back in my twenties when I was living in Spain. There was very little in the way of convenience foods in 1990s Madrid, but lots of fresh ingredients, and so I learned to cook with them.

This is one of the only meals from that time of my life that I haven’t tired of. I love the texture of chick peas, and they bring a lot of fibre to this meal without it being too chewy. Eating a range of colourful vegetables means you’re getting lots of phytonutrients. This recipe also provides a lot of vitamin C, because none of the plant-based ingredients are cooked (water soluble vitamins like vitamin C are sensitive to heat.)

Lemony tuna and chick pea salad

Serves 2

Prep time: 5 minutes


    • ½ onion (I used red.)
    • 4 small or 3 large tomatoes
    • 1 pepper, red or yellow
    • 1 tin chick peas, drained and rinsed
    • 1 tin tuna, drained
    • Lemon juice and olive oil to taste
    • Approx. 1 tsp dried oregano
    • Salt and pepper


Finely chop the onion and mix it in a large bowl with the juice of half a lemon. Leave it there while you prepare the other ingredients, so that the lemon juice can take the edge off the onions (No-one likes onion breath, especially at work.)

As the other ingredients become ready, pile them on top and mix them together at the end. Taste it. You might want to add more olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt or pepper. I used almost a whole lemon and 4 tsp oil.

If you make a batch, it keeps well in the fridge but by day two the tomatoes will be mushy. You could use cherry tomatoes instead, or make it without tomatoes and add them when you eat it.

You can play with this recipe easily. Swap beans for chick peas. Swap vinegar for lemon juice. Other crunchy vegetables (celery, fennel) can work well instead of pepper, but chop them more finely. Throw in some olives or capers if you like.

Do let me know if you make it – mention it to Russell or send me an email. I would love to know what you think.

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