Spring is springing in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After roaring lion cold at the beginning of March, we are surrounded by lambkin grass, singing birds and gentle rains. We’ve had the windows open several days in a row and I’m planning my very first gardening venture with a homemade compost bin. In honor of the weather warming, I present a light, sugar-free, gluten-free lunch. We call them Tuna Boats.

Fresh, colorful and effortless, these little guys are a complete meal. You don’t even notice that sugar and gluten are MIA. Local peppers come early here, but you could substitute them for cabbage wheels, baked potatoes or anything else you have in season.

Tuna Boats

2 large green peppers
3 carrots
1 can sustainably fished wild-caught tuna
Handful of unsalted sunflower seeds
Mustard and/or mayonnaise (sugar-free, gluten-free), to taste

1. Cut the peppers in half, removing the tops and seeds.
2. Wash, peel and slice the carrots into thin rounds.
3. Drain the can of tuna and dump the fish into a bowl. Add the carrots, sunflower seeds and enough mustard and/or mayonnaise to hold it together. Use as much or as little of the mustard’s spice as you like.
4. Arrange the pepper “boats” on a plate, 2 halves per person. Scoop the tuna mixture inside the boats and sail away!

Serves 2.

I have been making tuna salad like this all winter, but David deserves the credit for putting the salad in pepper boats. Fun and frugal, these sea-worthy vessels are ship-shape for Spring. Enjoy this small taste of sunny days to come.