Whenever I’m cooking, I have several questions in mind. First, is the food healthy? Can I make the recipe healthier? Can I substitute something with less saturated fat or fewer calories? Second, is the food sustainable? Is eating this food contributing to the decline of certain species? Is it farmed, caught, killed, harvested, or produced in sustainable ways? And lastly, is the recipe flexible? If I didn’t come up with the recipe myself, I tweak it a bit until I have a recipe I created on my own. Can I change the flavors without losing the taste? Will my picky husband eat it?
Today I cooked up two delicious tuna recipes. One was from canned tuna, and the other was with tuna steaks. A word of advice when choosing tuna- seriously, LOOK carefully at the packages to see what you are buying. I specifically purchase Wild Planet canned tuna. They label their product as not only dolphin safe but turtle safe, and label how the fish is caught (pole and line caught fish, not nets, trawls, or long lines, which are the least sustainable and most damaging to ecosystems) and on their website, they discuss their partnership with Monterey Bay Aquarium in establishing the most sustainable sources of their products. Unfortunately, I also pay more than twice the amount for each can with Wild Planet, but it really is the price you should pay for healthy, sustainable foods. Their practices of catching fish require more time and smaller yields for their harvest. Other companies net their tuna, and no matter how sustainable they claim they are, if they are using nets, they are killing thousands upon thousands of other animals unnecessarily. I again, recommend reading and watching “The End of the Line” by Charles Clover.
Buying your tuna steaks requires the same diligence as your canned tuna. Not all steaks are equal, and while you’ll be hard pressed to find Bluefin Tuna in a Safeway or Publix, there are plenty of non-sustainably sourced fishes in the seafood section of your supermarket. Again, I am super fortunate to live in the Northwest, and visiting the Farmer’s Market (which just opened for their Winter season last Saturday), I can find locally sourced tuna, talk to the vendor and discuss their catching protocol. So, the lesson for those wanting to have their tuna and eat it too is to have constant vigilance.
Onto my recipes! For lunch I made Tuna Sloppy Joes with Lettuce Wraps. I got the recipe from an old old old cooking magazine called “Quick Cooking”, which wasn’t necessarily the healthiest options, just fast. The recipe, however was for ground turkey sloppy joes. While figuring out some of the recipes I wanted for my cookbook, “Poach Eggs, Not Rhinos”, I realized I had many, almost too many, poultry recipes, and was coming up a little short on my seafood recipes. And I thought to myself, what if I replaced the turkey with tuna? How would that go? Adding a few other ingredients and playing with the amounts of the original ingredients, and WALLAH! Tuna Sloppy Joes! I’ve had this recipe with buns before, but if you are looking to cut carbs or just calories and fat in general, I highly recommend you try this recipe with lettuce leaves as the bun, or a wrap.
- 3 cans Wild Planet tuna
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped (equal approximately 2/3 cup)
- 1 large stalk celery, chopped (equal approximately 1/4 cup)
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- In a non-stick skillet, cook onions and celery until just done, about 5 minutes. Add cans of tuna and mix thoroughly and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the next 7 ingredients (ketchup through pepper). Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve with bread/buns, tortillas, or lettuce leaves.
For dinner, I seared up some tuna steaks from the market and made it as one of my go-to recipes for tuna- Wasabi Ahi Tuna. I got this recipe from a Clean-Eating cookbook, and while I haven’t changed the actual tuna recipe too much, I created my own dipping sauce to go with it, which is really good and maintains the Asian flavor very well.
- Tuna steaks (about 4 oz per person)
- 1/3 C mixed black and white sesame seeds
- 1 tsp wasabi powder
- 1/8 tsp salt and black pepper
- 1 T sesame oil
- 4 T soy sauce
- 1 T honey
- 1 T rice vinegar
- 1 T apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp chile paste
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- Heat large, non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Brush oil over surface.
- Combine sesame seeds, wasabi, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix until well blended
- Rinse tuna steaks. Immediately coat with sesame seed mixture on all sides.
- Place steaks in pan and reduce heat to medium. Sear until lightly brown, about 4 minutes. Flip the steaks and cook for another 4 minutes.
- Combine soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, chile paste, and ginger in a small bowl. Stir until well-mixed, then pour into small dipping bowls.
Nutrition Information: per serving
Fat: 13.5 g
Carbohydrates: 5.6 g
Protein: 44.3 g
Fat: 0 g
Carbohydrate: 15 g
Protein: 2 g