A plain, unadulterated "tuna on wheat--hold the mayonnaise" is a perfect option for a light high-protein lunch. For dinner, most people tend to rely on the usual tuna casserole of noodles, cream soup and peas.
But there is a large variety of other uses for a can of tuna. When combined with a wholesome group of ingredients, it provides a healthy boost of the day's recommended allowance for protein. Tuna, like other deep sea fish, also is high in omega-3, the highly touted substance linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
Health agencies are currently recommending fish meals two to three times per week, which is easy to do alternating between the afternoon and evening meals. Try substituting tuna for beef in dishes like tacos, enchiladas and tettrazini, but always select tuna packed in water. A 3 1/2-ounce serving of the fish packed in oil contains about 265 calories and 18 grams of fat, whereas the same amount packed in water, boasts a mere 117 calories and a trace of fat.
OCEAN GARDEN FETTUCCINE
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 small yellow squash, sliced
1 tablespoon flour
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 cup skim milk
3/4 cup chunk tuna, packed in water
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup diced tomato
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 tablespoon white wine
8 ounces fettuccine, cooked and drained
6 lemon slices
Melt butter in skillet. Add mushrooms, onion and squash and saute until tender. Add flour and oregano. Cook and stir 1 minute. Slowly add milk, stirring and cooking over medium heat until thickened. Add tuna, peas, tomato, parsley and wine. Heat thoroughly. Toss hot fettuccine with vegetables. Season to taste with pepper. Place on warm platter and garnish with lemon slices. Makes 6 servings.
PER SERVING: 260 calories; 16 gm protein; 35 gm carbohydrate; 6 gm fat; 92 mg sodium; 369 mg potassium.
Protein 25% Riboflavin 17% Vitamin A 13% Niacin 34% Vitamin C 28% Calcium 06% Thiamine 18% Iron 12%
ORIENTAL TUNA STIR FRY
1 tablespoon oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger root
1 cup broccoli florets
1 onion, sliced into rings
1 sweet red pepper, sliced into rings
1 cup Chinese peas
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 (12-ounce) can chunk tuna, in water
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
2 cups cooked rice
Heat oil in skillet over high heat. Add garlic and ginger and stir fry a few seconds, just long enough to release flavors. Add broccoli, onion and red pepper. Stir fry until tender-crisp. Add Chinese peas and mushrooms and cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Add tuna, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Cook and stir just until tuna is heated through. Serve over cooked rice. Makes 4 servings.
PER SERVING: 312 calories; 28 gm protein; 21 gm carbohydrate; 12 gm fat; 439 mg sodium; 469 mg potassium.
Protein 44% Riboflavin 09% Vitamin A 17% Niacin 66% Vitamin C 32% Calcium 07% Thiamine 10% Iron 15%
CURRIED TUNA CASSEROLE
1 (12 1/2-ounce) can chunk tuna, in water
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon curry powder
Drain and break tuna into large pieces. Combine rice, celery, parsley and tuna in medium bowl. Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice and curry powder. Add mayonnaise mixture to tuna mixture and toss lightly. Place in medium casserole dish and bake at 400 degrees 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through. Makes 4 servings.
PER SERVING: 385 calories; 34 gm protein; 39 gm carbohydrate; 10 gm fat; 440 mg sodium; 787 mg potassium.
Protein 52% Riboflavin 25% Vitamin A 42% Niacin 82% Vitamin C 146% Calcium 09% Thiamine 26% Iron 22%
CRESCENT TUNA MELT
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped dill pickle
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 (6-ounce) can chunk tuna, in water, drained and flaked
1 (4-ounce) can refrigerated crescent rolls
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds
Combine mayonnaise, pickle, mustard and onion in medium bowl. Stir in tuna. Unroll dough into 2 rectangles. Place on ungreased baking sheet with long sides overlapping 1/2 inch. Firmly press perforations to seal. Press or roll to form 10x8-inch rectangle. Spoon tuna mixture in 2 1/2-inch strip lengthwise down center of dough.
Sprinkle cheese over filling. To give braided appearance, make cuts 1-inch apart on each side of rectangle just to edge of filling. Fold strips of dough at angle halfway across filling, alternating from side to side. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 375 degrees 18 to 22 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 3 servings.
PER SERVING: 290 calories; 20 gm protein; 18 gm carbohydrate; 15 gm fat; 675 mg sodium; 215 mg potassium.
Protein 31% Riboflavin 09% Vitamin A 04% Niacin 38% Vitamin C 03% Calcium 09% Thiamine 05% Iron 10%
1 large apple, cored and diced
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin orange segments, drained
1 1/2 cups sliced celery
3 cups cooked rice