10 Meals with Tinned Tuna
Good for you and very versatile. Ten quick and easy recipes and ideas for the humble tin of tuna. Great for the bachelor, college student, and super-busy mom.
If you have a tin of tuna in the cupboard, you have a nutritious meal waiting.
Tuna is good for you as a source of protein with high levels of zinc, vitamin B12, iodine and some Omega three essential fatty acid. Tuna steaks should be eaten in moderation owing to concerns regarding the level of mercury these fish can accumulate as they get older. The tinned tuna are generally young tuna so the issue is negated
Ten Meals with Tinned Tuna:
Top your base with tomato paste, a little cheese then throw on the tuna, some sliced mushrooms, some diced capsicum, maybe an olive or six, more cheese then sprinkle with oregano and “Voila!”
You can make a standard green salad and throw in the tuna. Olives, capers and Spanish onion always go well with tuna too. A nice variant is Tuna and Butter Beans salad. Use a 400g tin of butter beans, rinse them and throw into a bowl with a 185g tin of tuna, some lettuce, parsley, tomato, maybe throw a few capers in and dress with either a vinaigrette or mayo. Try adding some Dijon mustard to the mayo.
These are great and can be made with a variety of ingredients giving a great diversity to such a simple dish. For a 185 g tin of tuna, one large potato or maybe three small ones is enough. Zap them in the microwave or boil if you are a traditionalist until they are soft enough to mash. Mash them loosely in a bowl, add the tuna, finely chopped onion, an egg and about a tablespoon of flour. Stir it all and then form cakes in your hand and place each cake onto a floured plate. Flatten carefully, sprinkle with more flour and you are ready to fry these in oil. They take about 8 minutes per side to go brown. Now for the variety. Use sweet potato or pumpkin in place of potato. Or a mixture. Add some boiled carrot to the mash. Or squash some tinned chickpeas or butter or red kidney beans instead. Add coriander or parsley or one of your other favourite herbs. Use finely chopped celery, or Swiss chard stalks, or broccoli, whatever as long as you chop it reasonably finely but not to baby food consistency. Add some ginger, or garlic, or dry mustard. Cook in different oils, olive, or peanut or rice bran or sesame oil. Yum Yum.
Make the filling first as it needs to be cold to use. You need a small onion diced and cooked with a clove of garlic until soft, two tomatoes thrown in and diced red pepper that has had the seeds removed. Cook until these are soft adding a teaspoon of sugar at some stage and seasoning to taste. Add the flaked tin of tuna, 185g at the end and leave to cool. Cheat and use bought pastry or make your own with 250g plain flour, ½ tsp of turmeric sifted into a bowl with a pinch of salt. Add 125g of cubed butter or hard margarine and knead with your fingers until you have a breadcrumb type consistency. Then add five or six tablespoons of cold water and knead to a stiff dough. Roll this out on a floured board to about 5mm, ¼ inch thick and make a series of circles. A bread plate or saucer makes a good template to cut around. You will get six to eight out of this mix. Place the pastry on a greased baking dish, beat an egg and use the egg to brush the edges of the pastry. Place some filling in the middle and fold over crimping the edges with a fork. Oh, ain’t it pretty! Bake at 170 deg F for 20 or so minutes or until browned.
Tuna and Noodles:
Fry a sliced onion until soft with some garlic and ginger. Add some diced celery and carrot slices you have made with a vegetable peeler. Meanwhile make a packet of instant noodles but without the flavouring and drain well. Throw the vegetables in, a 185gm tin of drained tuna, seasoning to taste, a squeeze of lemon or lime, a teaspoon of fish sauce and two tablespoons of Soya sauce. Oh, I think there is a Tuk Tuk at the door.
If cooking for one or two, use a 185g tin, or if more use a large tin. Bolster the other ingredients to match the number of people. Boil or microwave a chunk of pumpkin and two potatoes until they are able to be mashed. Make a white sauce or use a packet. Fry some onions until clear and add these to the white sauce. Throw in some cut green beans, peas, fresh or frozen, a small can of corn kernels, any other chopped vegetable that takes your fancy, mix it all well, add a tin of tuna and complete mixing. Place the tuna mix in a pie dish or casserole dish. Smear the vegetable mash over the surface. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese or other cheddar on top and bake in the oven at 375 F for 25 minutes or until cheese has browned. Mmmmm.
Tuna Tortilla Bake:
For one soft tortilla, use a small can of tuna, place in a bowl and add; a chopped green or spring onion, seasoning, a chopped clove of garlic, a diced tomato, four tablespoons of tinned cannelloni beans( that have been rinsed and drained), two tablespoons of plain yoghurt and a table spoon of olive oil. Put his mixture on the tortilla and wrap to cover the mix. Place this on a non tray or pan and place in a heated oven for four minutes at 425 F, watching to make sure you do not burn it.
Cook about 400g of your favourite pasta until just cooked. Drain. In a saucepan, fry a decent sized chopped onion, and then add chopped garlic, a sachet or 3 three tablespoons of tomato paste, a few chopped olives and a dozen or so capers if you have them. Stir in a large tin of tuna, mix around then add the pasta. Mix well and serve. If you have used tuna in spring water rather than olive oil, you might want to add a tablespoon of so of olive oil too. Eat wearing Italian shoes for the atmosphere.
Again, use the vegetables that you either have on hand or that you like. There are no hard and fast rules. Slice an onion into rings and throw into a saucepan with some oil. Add some chopped vegetables such as peppers, cauliflower, zucchini or squash, peas, beans and cook accordingly adding a teaspoon of curry powder at the outset. Add the juice of a lemon or lime and add a good pinch or three of chopped coriander. Serve with rice. Velly velly good.
Tuna and Corn Stuffed Potatoes:
Wash four large potatoes and prick with a fork then bake in the oven at 400 degs F for an hour or until tender. Skewer to test. Let them cool so you can handle them. Slice of the top of each and scoop out the insides but leaving a good rim. In a bowl, mix the potato you have scooped out with a 185 g tin of tuna, 200g tin of corn kernels, a finely chopped green or spring onion or chives, half a cup each of sour cream and grated cheese. Spoon this mixture into the scooped out potatoes. Pace the lid back on, and put back in the oven for twenty minutes. Hey presto!
I am sure some of you will have other great ideas and there will be those that yawn with a tired ” Oh that’s kids stuff”. I did not put the recipes in for tuna thermidor, or tuna tartlets with caviar and truffle oil. The point is have a tin of tuna in the pantry and you will never be short of a meal.
The same applies to tinned salmon and sardines. Make a plan to have one meal a week with a healthy food like fish and tinned is fine. And then there are the sandwiches and toast treats. Toasted bread, tuna and pickled beetroot. Toast, tuna, capers, grated cheese under the griller. I really should have eaten before writing this.