We are so excited to see our food packs starting to go out this month to end summer hunger in Calgary!
There are pantry staples in these packs such as canned tuna, salmon, pasta and rice. This month’s Nutrition Nuggets is all about how to use these some of these pantry staples to make easy, nutritious meals for your family.
Tuna or salmon in a can are some of the easiest protein sources to add to a meal or snack. In addition to a good quality protein, they both contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and helping with heart health.
They both can be added to almost anything to add protein to a meal. You can add it to a bagged salad for a meal or put it with crackers or vegetables for a snack. They even have snack packs now, which can be found in some of the Grab & Go Snack Packs from I Can for Kids.
Here are some tried and true ways to eat tuna (you can substitute salmon in any of these recipes) and provide a balanced meal for your family:
Tuna melt: This is a classic and only requires that you have a bread item, mayonnaise or avocado, chopped veggies (optional) and cheese.
See a recipe here: https://www.favfamilyrecipes.com/perfect-tuna-melt-recipe/
Tuna patties: This is tuna’s version of the crab cake. There are many versions of these and you can make them easily with the items you have in your kitchen. The base is tuna, bread crumbs, an egg and spices.
Check out this recipe: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/tuna_patties/
Tuna mac and cheese: This is an easy way to make a tuna casserole with items in your pantry or freezer. Cook a box of mac and cheese, add canned tuna and frozen or canned veggies – voila! Dinner in less than 10 minutes.
See recipe here: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1112217
Tuna tomato casserole: Instead of a cheesy sauce like above, try a tomato sauce with vegetables and a can of tuna for another fast meal.
Tuna fried rice: Do you have leftover rice laying around? Fried rice is a great way to use up vegetables or have a quick meal with added frozen vegetables.
Try this version of fried rice with a can of tuna: https://ayellowbowl.com/tuna-fried-rice/
Let us know what your favourite family meal is with tuna or if you tried any of the above!
*For pregnant, breastfeeding women or young children, there are concerns with the amount of mercury in albacore tuna. The guidelines are to limit the amount to:
- 300 g a week for women who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding
- 150 g a week for children age 5 to 11
- 75 g a week for children age 1 to 4
Note this only applies to albacore tuna as it has higher mercury levels. Choose canned light tuna and there are no restrictions.