Whether or not you are trying to include more healthy fats in your diet, trying to lessen your red meat intake for the good of your heart or attempting to eat lighter in general, it may be time for you to take another look at fish. Specifically, pre-processed types of fish, like cans or packets of tuna or salmon, even anchovies or sardines. (I personally, will not eat either of those last two, but that may be how you roll.) So why is incorporating ready-to-eat tuna or salmon into your meal plans a good idea? So many reasons! Not only are they economical, but they’re also shelf-stable, meaning you can stock up when they go on sale and store them in the pantry until you need them. They are also extremely versatile, because you can make them into something simple and quick for a lunch or incorporate them as the main ingredient in a tad more upscale dinner.
When you think of tuna, your mind may automatically jump to something like the old-school tuna casserole, which is a shame, because tuna can be so much more. Fish like salmon and tuna are a lot heartier than your typical fish, so they can stand up to other ingredients really well. With the right recipes, they can be both interesting and tasty.
Of course, the most important reason to incorporate fish such as these into your diet, is that they are incredibly good for you. Fish like salmon and tuna are great sources of lean protein and are low in calories. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids, nutrients and vitamins like vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. They are also a very good source of phosphorus as well as vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin D and minerals such as potassium, iodine and magnesium.
The following recipe is something that I’ve tinkered with and is so customizable that you could tinker with it over and over and never mess it up. It’s basically a Tuna Stack built on rice. You can use any type of rice you want. This version uses siracha for a little kick and some avocado, so you’re bearded hipster son will eat it. (I should mention here that if you are pregnant, you should check with your doctor about safe levels of fish consumption.)
• 1/2 cup cooked white rice
• 2 tsp. rice vinegar
• 1 large or two small tomatoes
• 1/2 of a cucumber
• 1 large avocado
• 1 lemon
• 1 can good quality tuna
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 1½ tsp. Sriracha
• 5-6 tsp. soy sauce
• Salt and pepper to taste
Cook rice, allow to cool, and then toss with rice vinegar.
Dice cucumber and tomatoes into small pieces.
Toss together with a squeeze of lemon juice.
Mash a large avocado with some salt, pepper and another squeeze of lemon.
Thoroughly drain the tuna and mix with 1/4 cup mayonnaise and yet another squeeze of lemon.
To assemble, lightly spray a 1-cup measuring cup with nonstick spray and then press 1/3 of the cucumber and tomato mixture into the bottom.
Press 1/3 of the avocado mixture on top.
Press 1/3 of the tuna-mayonnaise mixture on top.
Press 1/3 of the rice mixture on top and smush down.
Lightly run a knife around the edge of the measuring cup and then turn over quickly onto a plate. Enjoy how cool it looks.
Top with soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste.
In another bowl mix the remaining mayonnaise with the Sriracha sauce and drizzle over stacks. Enjoy!
Miranda Beverly is the front-end manager and marketing coordinator at Maple City Market in downtown Goshen.