Don't knock canned tuna.
It's rivaled in its versatility only by its price. A 5-ounce tin serves two — just add mayonnaise and bread — for about a buck.
"Water-packed tuna is low in fat and calories," said Marla Nawrocki, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Sutter Gould Medical Foundation in Modesto, Calif. "It is also high in protein and contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids."
A 2-ounce serving, about ¼ cup drained, of water-packed tuna has 10 grams of protein, 50 calories and 1 gram of fat.
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Processed tuna is the ultimate in convenience food. Open a pouch and eat or, with a little more effort, turn it into a sandwich for lunch. Tuna also can take a starring role at dinner — and with not much more effort than making a sandwich.
For example, tuna casserole is as easy as emptying a 10½ -ounce can of cream of mushroom soup into a 1-quart casserole dish. Mix in ½ cup milk. Drain a can of tuna and add it to the soup along with 1 cup crushed potato chips and 1 cup cooked green peas. Sprinkle top with ¼ cup crushed potato chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Other tuna-based dinner options include tuna burgers and tuna in a bean salad with onions. The list goes on.
A quiet revolution in canned tuna means it's time to stop turning up your nose at this pantry workhorse.
Crispy tuna sliders with citrus slaw
1 small red cabbage, shredded
1½ tablespoons sugar, divided
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
1 fresh lime, juiced
½ cup minced fresh parsley, divided
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 fresh red chili pepper, minced
1 rib celery, minced
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon celery seeds
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon heavy cream
3 green onions, finely sliced
2 cups canned tuna in water, drained
½ cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
To make slaw: In a large bowl, combine cabbage, 1 tablespoon sugar and ½ teaspoon salt. Toss; cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. In a jar, combine poppy seeds, mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Dijon, lime juice, ½ tablespoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon sea salt and lots of black pepper. Close lid and shake until blended. Pour dressing into cabbage, along with a ¼ cup parsley, and toss.
To make tuna patties: Heat olive oil in large pan over medium heat. Add garlic, chili pepper, celery, cayenne, celery seeds, ¼ teaspoon salt and ground pepper to taste. Sauté for three minutes, then take off heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together egg, cream, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, green onions, ¼ cup parsley, garlic-chili-celery mixture, sea salt and black pepper to taste. Fold in tuna and bread crumbs. With lightly floured hands, shape about ¼ cup tuna into a patty. Dredge each patty in flour and freeze for 10 minutes. Heat ½ cup canola oil to 350 degrees in large frying pan, and fry tuna patties for three to five minutes, until golden and heated through. Place each patty on a bun and top with the citrus slaw.
Makes 8 sliders.
from Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen Cookin for Trouble, by Ballantine Trade Paperback
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¾ pound rigatoni
8 ounces ricotta cheese (1 cup, pushed through a sieve)
1 (7-ounce) can imported tuna in oil, drained
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups (about 5 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
Coat 13-by-9-by-2 baking dish with butter. Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add rigatoni and boil until half-cooked (see package for directions). Drain and transfer rigatoni to large bowl of cold water.
Blend ricotta and tuna in a food processor until soft and smooth; set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix cream and Parmesan, season with salt and pepper; set aside.
Fill pastry bag with a ¼-inch-wide conical nozzle and fill rigatoni with ricotta-tuna mixture. Arrange in orderly rows in baking dish. Pour cream mixture over stuffed rigatoni and refrigerate for three hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove rigatoni from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake uncovered until brown and bubbling on top, about 25 minutes. Serve hot with parsley sprinkled on top.
Makes 6 servings
from Bake Until Bubbly: The Ultimate Casserole Cookbook by Clifford A. Wright.