Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Enjoy Spicy Tuna Melts!

Tunafish is one of those staples that most people stock up on when they are on sale and never know what to with it.  I mean we have tuna sandwich, tuna macaroni, tuna casserole... its kind of all the same ingredients in disguise.  This recipe has a “little bite to it” as my grandma told me tonight, and it is a crowd pleaser... for those who enjoy fish.  This recipe is quick, inexpensive, healthy, and tasty and exactly what I was craving tonight.  Who would have thought that a heated up tomato sandwich with melted cheese on top could be this good?  
As most people know, fish is a great source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids which help decrease inflammation and may decrease the risk of heart disease.  They are also important for cognitive function and key in growth and development in children.  In summary, they are wonderful to add to your diet whenever possible.  Tuna is a great option for that because it is shelf stable and cheaper than most fish.  Often you can find it on sale for about 1$.  Not too bad for a great source of protein that is low in fat!  I prefer the solid white over the chunk light because it has a bit more texture and feels more like a meat rather than a spread. 
I am a Vermont girl and really enjoy my cheddar cheese... with full fat.  Feel free to choose the 50% reduced fat, but I feel that the flavor of the full fat really satisfies me and I don’t tend to need as much cheese anyway!  Tip: To cut down on calories and fat, it may be helpful to use shredded cheese over sliced and be cautious with how much you put on.  If you have trouble with portion control, stick to the slice of cheese.  
This is a perfect lunch, easy enough to make for one (ready in 5 minutes) as well as for a small crowd.  Serve with a side salad and viola, a completely balanced dinner is served!  
Open-faced Spicy Tuna Melt
Serves 4
4 100 Calorie Deli Thins (or English Muffins)
3 cans of solid white tuna in water
2 Tbsp light mayo
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red hot pepper flakes
4 oz shredded cheddar or monteray jack cheese
1 large tomato, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
pepper, to taste
Combine tuna, mayo, garlic powder, pepper, and hot pepper flakes in a bowl.  Split the deli flats or English Muffins in half.  Scoop 1/4 cup of the tuna mixture on each half.  Place 1 slice of tomato, some red onion, and a slice of cheese on top.  Place under the broiler for ~5 minutes or until it is heated and the cheese starts to brown.  
Nutrition Facts: 
~300 calories, 22 g carbohydrates, 25 g protein, 12 g fat, 2 g fiber, 550 mg sodium

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