Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tuna Mac

When I was in college one of my roommates introduced me to the concept of tuna mac.  She would take canned tuna, mix it with mayo and various other things, and then mix it in with plain, cooked macaroni.  Gourmet food it was not, but when you're an 18 year old living in the dorms you make do with the limited resources you have.  Now tuna mac is not something I make often, nor do I make it in a form that resembles what my roommate used to make in the dorms back in the day, but every once in awhile when I have leftover tuna in the fridge I toss it with some freshly cooked pasta and veggies.  Or sometimes I top some baby spinach with it and make a salad, but that's for another day.  Today I took the leftover tuna mixed with homemade pesto from my tuna tartines, and mixed it with farro pasta, shredded radicchio leftover from the turkey parm burgers, and fresh basil.  I'm on this kick right now of trying to be better about reusing ingredients leftover from previous meals.  How often do you buy a batch of fresh basil for some recipe or another and then end up throwing half (or more) of it away later in the week because you forgot all about it?  I know it happens to me all of the time.  So this was an attempt on my part to clean out the fridge and be more environmentally (and budget) conscious by re-using ingredients!  Not only was my lunch healthy, it was tasty!  I loved the slight bitterness of the radicchio contrasted against the sweetness of the red onions and the nuttiness of the pasta.  And then the basil and tuna really brought it all together.  Suffice it to say that I'm rather proud of myself at the moment. 

Seeing as I am going to be wearing a bikini (and a wedding dress, but that's a long story that I won't get into here) on the beach in Aruba in two short months, I'm trying to cook more figure-friendly and/or health conscious than usual.  All things considered, I am a moderately healthy eater.  I try to get in my servings of fruits and vegetables, I don't drink a lot of soda or caffeine of any sort, and I try to limit my intake of both red meat and fried food.  I'm not psycho about it.  I love food way too much to deprive myself of a nice juicy burger and french fries, or a big slice of Carvel cake (a guilty pleasure) every once in awhile when I get a craving.  And I refuse to diet because that would take all of the fun out of eating and cooking.  Which would then take a lot of the fun out of life.  But I am trying to be a good little eater and eat whole grains instead of white, and bake instead of fry, as much as possible.  We will see if it was all worth it two months from now!

Recipe after the jump!

Tuna Mac

1 cup cooked farro pasta (or other whole wheat pasta), cooked according to package directions
1/4 cup leftover tuna with pesto (see tuna tartines)
1/4 cup minced red onion
3/4 cup radiccio, cored and thinly sliced
1 tbsp fresh basil, julienned 

Add radicchio and red onion to freshly cooked farro pasta.  Stir to combine.  The heat of the pasta will cause the radicchio will wilt down, about 1 minute.  Add tuna and fresh basil.  Stir to combine. 

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