The Skinny Daily Post™

Short, daily essays on weight loss and fitness
from a really average woman who lost 100 lbs.
and works every day to keep it off.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2003  

Not So Plain Old Tuna

What might be the most difficult habit for me to break is the habit of not eating particularly well during the day.

I do passably well at dinner, especially when I'm in the mood to cook, AND there's something in the house to cook, AND there's time to cook. In those circumstances, I can put a good meal on the table. You bet.

But a majority of the time, I'm running from event to event and haven't planned anything. The cupboards are nearly bare. Nothing fresh in the house. A person can eat only so many protein bars and shakes before that habit gets old. I'm going to try to be better about packing my lunches for work, and so I've gone in search of foods I can use to replace my former habits of grabbing handfuls of crackers or pretzels and calling that a meal. That means fast non-dairy protein.

One of my newest best friends is good old tuna fish. Tuna! Poor, dumpy old forgotten fish, which is nearly always on the shelf, staring blankly out at the world, waiting to be noticed.

Now I thought I'd forever ruined my taste for packaged tuna on a years-ago highly restrictive diet that advocated eating it straight from the can. It's hard to choke tuna down in this way (though I can still do it in a pinch).

Today we can get tuna in the U.S. in clever little pouches that I'm just sure must have had their start across the ocean, where better packaging is born.

My in-a-pinch meal is that torn open 7-oz. pouch with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and chipped carrots mixed in. That's fast and tastes great when I'm hungry.

Then there's the age old tuna/mayo, celery route. Always a classic. But there are other ways to eat packaged tuna, when you've got just a little more time, or even someone to impress:

Cubano Fish

Juice ½ lime
2 T. olive oil
¼ T. red pepper flakes
zest of ¼ orange
salt and black pepper to taste

Whisk dressing ingredients together and toss with:
1 7oz. package tuna
½ C. canned black beans
12 halved cherry tomatoes
1 handful roughly chopped cilantro (the important ingredient!)

A cup or so of this stuff is a great lunch and yummy great straight out of a Tupperware bowl, or served atop pretty greens for a luncheon. Trade the canned tuna for fresh grilled tuna and you've got a dinner for kings.

JuJu's Decadent Tuna

In a past life I baked for a living, and used to stuff croissants with this mixture. So now in this life, without the bread, I find it's really not a bad little meal:

1 7 oz. package tuna
¼ c. sour cream
zest of ½ lemon
a pinch of dried dill weed
3 T. dried cherries
3 T. pine nuts
salt and white pepper to taste
Toss these ingredients together and let them sit a spell so the cherries can plump.

This recipe yields around 3 reasonable low-carb servings.

I don't have to tell anyone how important fish and fish oils are, right? Or nuts and nut oils for that matter?

We all know we should be eating fish and seafood 3-4 times per week. Some of us have better access than those of us hopelessly land-locked. For us land-lubbers, there are the canned seas to explore and vacations full of fresher fruits de mer to imagine.

Good luck with your tuna explorations, friends.


Charlie and the Pouch, PR gone Haywire
More Charlie, sounding disturbingly like my freshman boyfriend
A Cubano to stare at while you eat your tuna. I promise it improves the flavor.

posted by Julie |
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