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Friday, October 5, 2012

Three Step Tuna Snack!

I was planning on having good ol' tuna and broccoli for my meal two today, but, I accidentally grabbed my Tupperware filled with green bell peppers instead of broccoli when I was heading out the door this morning!  So, it was time to improvise!

*Open-faced green bell pepper topped with tuna and chopped walnuts*

For this tasty little (and when I say little I mean big) snack I only used 3 ingredients!

- 1 3 oz can of Chunk Light Tuna in Water (I used StarKist)
- 1 large green bell pepper
- 1 handful of chopped walnuts

Health Benefits:
Tuna is an incredibly nutrient-dense food. It's rich in protein and an excellent source of minerals such as selenium, magnesium, and potassium; not to mention the B vitamin complex, and of course, the ever so important omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Nuts in general have a variety of nutritional benefits. They contain plenty of high-quality protein that can substitute for meat; vitamins and minerals; dietary fiber; and they are dairy and gluten-free.  "Walnuts rank above peanuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios and other nuts," Joe Vinson of the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania said in a statement. "A handful of walnuts contains almost twice as much antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other commonly consumed nut."
Green bell peppers are low in calories, fat-free, and low in carbohydrates, so they make a great addition to any diet plan. Also, they are high in in fiber, Vitamin C, and many other vitamins and minerals.

Now, if I was at home in my own kitchen I would have had more ingredients to work with and I probably would have added some chopped celery, onions, olive oil, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  But, I was at work and this was what I had.  Luckily, I always carry nuts around in my purse just in case ;)
Anyways, I personally enjoy eating tuna plain because I am used to it from competition dieting.  However, I know most people would prefer a little more zaz!  It's common to prepare tuna salad with mayonnaise, but mayo tends to be high in fat, saturated fat, and of course calories.  Therefore, I would encourage you to cut the fat and calories by trying a few simple substitutes.

Nonfat plain yogurt has about 120 calories for an entire cup, is fat free and has 12 g of healthy protein. Also try Greek yogurt, it too has about 120 calories and 16 g of protein. Both have a creamy consistency like mayonnaise but are high in bone-building calcium.

Half an avocado contains 145 calories and 14 g of fat. Unlike the fat found in mayonnaise, avocados are high in monounsaturated fats, which studies have shown to lower cholesterol levels.

Hummus is made primarily from chick peas, which are high in protein and fiber. Two tablespoons have 70 calories and 6 g of fat.

Tuna can be dressed simply with oregano, salt, pepper, and some fresh olive oil.

Tuna also pairs well with onion, parsley, capers and tomatoes.  These are all low-fat, high-flavor options.  You could also try mustard, ginger, sesame oil, honey, soy sauce and garlic.

You can also add a tablespoon of Walden Farms dressing, which is calorie free, sugar free, fat free, carbohydrate free, gluten free, and cholesterol free!  They have numerous flavors such as Honey Dijon, Sesame Ginger, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Italian, and Ranch!

- Wash your green bell pepper and cut so it is open faced without any seeds.
- Open can of tuna and drain water, scoop tuna on to pepper.
- Chop up walnuts and sprinkle on top of tuna.

Easy! Enjoy! :)


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