Tuna Togetherness

by Rachel on June 10, 2009

Earlier this week, I wrote about the importance of Omega-3s. (Can we just call them OMG-3s? I like to abbrev like a teenager.) We talked about flax seeds and flax oil, but there is another simple,  inexpensive way to get your favorite fatty acid: eat tuna!

Tuna is often seen as a boring lunch option. It was always on the trading block because for so many of us, it was just a mayo mess on white bread, soggy by lunch time. (Note to moms: pack the tuna and sandwich ingredients in a separate containers, for cafeteria assembly!)

I love tuna because it is a great source of protein. It’s low in fat and high in essential vitamins and minerals, like B-12. If you’re concerned about mercury levels, know that it’s not on the list of high-mercury fish, and it’s safe to eat twice a week.

Few things are more comforting than a creamy, warm tuna melt. Unfortunately, many store-bought or restaurant tuna sandwiches are super high in saturated fat because of all the added mayo and cheese. It’s so worth it to just make your own!

Tuna goes great with a lot of  flavors, from spices to vegetables, so it’s an ideal starting point for creating a yummy sandwich filling.

All these recipes make two servings. Save some for lunch tomorrow, or make both servings for a picnic date! Start with six ounces of chunk light or chunk white tuna packed in water, not oil. (You can also substitute canned salmon in any of these recipes.) Then try some of these mix-ins!

Classic tuna salad: 1/4 cup chopped celery, 1/8 cup chopped pickles, 3 tablespoons light mayo, squeeze of lemon juice. Serve on a toasted whole wheat mini bagels with Romaine and mustard.

Creamy Southwest tuna: 1/2 avocado (mashed), ground black pepper, squeeze of fresh lime juice, 1/8 c chopped fresh cilantro. Serve in a whole-wheat tortilla with shredded romaine and shredded cheese.

Curried tuna: 1/2 c shredded Granny Smith apple, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 c chopped red onion, 1 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp cinnamon. Serve on top of naan (Indian flatbread).

Pineapple tuna: 2 tbsp light mayo, 1 tbsp unsweetened crushed pineapple (drained), 1 tsp teriyaki sauce, 1/8 c chopped green pepper, 1/8 c chopped celery, pinch garlic powder. Serve in lettuce wraps.

Greek tuna: 3 cloves fresh garlic (minced), 1 tbsp non-fat Greek yogurt, 2 oz crumbled feta cheese, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 c chopped cucumbers, 1/4 c chopped white onion, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1/8 c fresh dill. Serve over a salad of baby spinach and chopped tomatoes, or with pita chips.

Sweet and savory tuna: 1/4 c chopped grapes, 1/4 c dried cranberries, 1/4 c red onion, 1 tbsp chopped walnuts, 2 tbsp olive oil. Serve on a whole wheat roll with cheddar cheese.

OMG crazy tuna: 2 tbsp flax seed oil, 1/4 c fresh chopped basil. Serve on sprouted grain bread with thinly sliced tomatoes and a slice of fresh mozzarella.

Crunchy tuna (for all of you who layered potato chips in your sandwich in the cafeteria): 1/4 c chopped green pepper, 1/8 c chopped white onion, 3 tbsp light mayo, 1/4 c crushed baked chips (like Popchips or Baked Lays…or Baked Doritos, if that was your thing). Serve on Wonder Bread with American cheese. Refuse to trade.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 lauren alysse June 12, 2009 at 1:59 pm

rachel, thank you SO much for this post!
i LOVE tuna, and these are GREAT easy recipes for me to make.
thank you thank you thank you!

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2 Skin Care Guru June 15, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Love those tuna togetherness recipes. My favorite was the greek since it had a lot of zip to it:-)

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