Tag Archives: mediterranean tuna pasta

Eat Like It’s 1959: Mediterranean Tuna Pasta & Tuna Cakes

2 Jan

So, 2012. Hi.

Lorraine, a born hostess

Stephen and I, and a small group of our dearies said “farewell” to 2011 this weekend.

Ajla visits from DC!

It was a pretty good year. It deserved a party.

The ladies ... we're looking .... um ..... well, there's always 2013

I have a good feeling about 2012 – I think we’re going to be friends. In fact, I’m ready to tackle it like a fierce February wind, howling over the Nebraska plains. 2012: With a Vengeance.

However. I will attempt to temper my rabid enthusiasm with a dose of pecuniary medicine. First step? Finding creative recipes that are frugal, yet fab. The first frugal edible that springs to mind is canned tuna. The second thing that springs (or rather lurches) to mind is extreme boredom, with random blips of aesthetic (ugh, mayo-logged wet sandwiches) and moral revulsion (surely I’m not the only child of the 80’s who automatically associates dead dolphins with tuna fish).

Not fab.

Still … Tuna’s pros are hard to ignore:

  • The fish is a fantastic source of Omega-3’s, a fatty acid essential for our health, but something our body cannot manufacture; Omega-3’s ensure cardiovascular efficiency, stymie cholesterol, fight inflammation and combat cellular degeneration.
  • Tuna is brimming with high-quality protein and selenium, important for our overall health, energy levels and ability to detoxify. (My liver is begging for selenium after the holiday onslaught of rich desserts and extra glasses of vino.)

The cons, however, are equally compelling:

  • The high levels of nervous system-ravaging mercury make it a dicey choice for young children and pregnant moms. (The FDA says 12 ounces a week is safe, but I’d reduce it to 6 to be safe and source it from small, organic companies that carefully spell out where and how they catch their fish).
  • The worst offenders in the tuna category are solid white and chunk white – albacore and chunk light have lower levels of mercury and other toxins found in large ocean-dwellers. Albacore is more substantial and “chunky” than the chunk light, so it’s what I go for every time.
  • Then there’s the “dolphin issue”. Despite the cheerful “no dolphins harmed” label on the can, there is little guarantee that dolphins have not been injured in tuna-fishing expeditions – not to mention scores of other large fish. Since scandals in the 1980s and a widespread consumer boycott of tuna, the industry has shaped up, but there are still widespread abuses and problems in the industry, resulting in upwards of 100,000 tuna-fishing related shark, porpoise and other wildlife deaths each year, depending upon which report you’re reading. The World Trade Organization recently ruled that it is no longer legal for companies to use the “dolphin safe” label on their can. So far, the WTO ruling has not been enforced. Stay tuned.

In other words, tuna is complicated, even if America’s favorite way of eating it – the dreaded tuna salad Sammie – is anything but.

To shake things up, I revamped a few tried and true recipes starring our scandal-ridden hero, canned tuna, and also trotted out a few slightly tarted up old faves. It looks like tuna can be as delish and exciting as it is wholesome and fiscally responsible.

Here’s to a 2012 as well-rounded as Kim Kardashian’s rear! Click on for recipes for Mediterranean Tuna Pasta and Tuna Cakes, plus links to my favorite classics, kicked up a notch.

Continue reading