lunch

Italian Tuna Salad Stuffed Peppers

When someone asks me what food I DISlike, I truthfully have a hard time coming up with one. Except for cottage cheese- I still can’t stand it! In all seriousness, I find myself to be a very open and adventerous eater, but I haven’t always been this way. Much like my husband has grown to eat and enjoy more vegetables, among many other foods, I too have learned to introduce new foods into my diet over time for reasons of craving more variety and seeking nutrition from new sources.

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Canned tuna was something my college roommate would frequently make for lunch and I could not STAND to be in the house when she broiled up a tuna melt. She would offer me a bite and before I could even taste it the smell would shut down any curiousity I had.

For years this canned smelly fish was something I avoided like the plague; however, as I started working and bringing my lunch to work everyday, I became more open to trying quick and easy sources of protein. Little by little, I purchased different brands and got inspired to try interesting flavor combinations by different blogs, to finally now ENJOY canned tuna for lunch!

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Last week I was sent a dietitian care package from Wild Planet, and I knew I had to use the canned tuna for a lunch meal prep. Wild Planet uses sustainable fishing methods (line and pole caught) to source premium wild tuna from some of the best fisheries in the world. I’m trying out their canned Albacore Tuna that is not packed with additional water (no draining needed!), but plan to try some of their other canned and pouch varieties in the future. These small tuna mean they contain very low levels of mercury, but in no way skimp on protein (32 grams per can) or omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for brain health and fighting inflammation.

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My latest canned tuna creation are these Italian Tuna Salad Stuffed Peppers, which make a refreshing, delicious, and nutritious lunch!

What is your favorite way to enjoy tuna?

Italian Tuna Stuffed Peppers- serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 [5 oz.] cans packed in water albacore tuna

  • 3 tablespoons roasted garlic hummus

  • 3 celery stalks, chopped finely

  • 1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes

  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • ground black pepper

  • 2 green bell peppers, cut in half, cored, and cleaned

Directions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the tuna, hummus, celery, sundried tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar. Use a fork to mix everything together, taste and add black pepper as desired.

  2. Stuff each pepper half with equal amounts of the tuna salad. Pack in sealable containers and serve with your favorite fruit and some side snacks.

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Ginger Soy Broccoli Bowl

Post-Thanksgiving, I wanted to nothing more than bursts of exotic flavors coming out of my kitchen. I craved spice, umami, and lots of fresh herbs and spices! So, the first dish to satisfy that hankering was an Asian-inspired buddah bowl. I incorporated one of my favorite vegetables- broccoli- because Danny was traveling for work and would typically not request this green cruciferous veggie in a bowl meal.

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In total, this recipe takes all of twenty-five minutes to pull off if you’re smart and do some multitasking in the kitchen. Whenever you plan to roast something in the oven, I recommend to always get that going first, so that another prep step can happen while that is cooking away. In this case, that’s the veggies, which only take twenty minutes, and is just enough time to get your other bowl bits together.

This bowl makes an excellent make-ahead lunch, or dinner for two, and is packed with whole grains, plant protein, and lots of gut-friendly fiber, which we could all use a bit more of during the holiday season!

Ginger Soy Broccoli Bowl- makes 2 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of broccoli, cut into small florets

  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks

  • 1 cup edamame- if using frozen, heat in microwave for 2 minutes

  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas- from canned or fresh

  • 1 1/2 cups freekah- cooked accoridng to directions

  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil

  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

  • For garnish- sesame seeds, green onions, or cilantro

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place cut broccoli and bell pepper strips on a lined baking tray. Toss with sesame oil, avocado oil, soy sauce, and ginger until evenly coated. Slide tray in oven and roast for 20 minutes, turning once during cooking, until broccoli starts to crisp and brown. Remove from oven when finished.

  2. As vegetables are roasting, cook freekah accoridng to package instructions. While grain is cooking, measure out and set aside the warm edamame and chickpeas.

  3. Once all compnents are cooked and ready, you can begin assembling. Into two bowls, divide the freekah, edamame, and chickpeas evenly, then add in equal portions of the roasted vegetables. Mix everything together, drizzle roasting pan leftover sauce over everything, and garnish with sesame seeds, green onions, or cilantro, or a combination of the three.