Tuesday, 3 September 2013

CHILI CON . . . TUNA???

As you know, my recipe posts are few and F    A    R between... and tend to be of the non-healthy variety on the rare occasion they DO appear. But of late I have been trying to eat more healthily and try and cook a bit more . . . and try to limit my carbs a bit also.

So last night I was browsing through recipes online (which is surprisingly fun and so soooo much easier than the cooking part), and it was only later as I was brushing my teeth that I suddenly thought . . . what about chili con carne? (Which is one of my favourite home made meals by the way.) But instead of the carne, how about replacing the meat with tuna???

It made sense to me. For one thing I LOVE tuna nearly as much as I love minced beef. But also - and this is more crucial - on any given day I am FAR more likely to have tuna in the flat than minced beef. With minced beef, I've either forgotten to buy it, forgotten to EAT it (and it's out of date) or sensibly put it in the freezer and then UNsensibly forgotten to defrost it on time. So I figured . . . if chili con tuna tasted good then I would be more likely to have the ingredients for it in the flat next time I had a chili craving.

So after I got into my bed last night, I did a google search on my phone . . . and sure enough I wasn't the first person to have thought of such an experiment. Recipes for tuna chilli were all over the place! So it wasn't as strange an idea as I thought. Although mentioning it on twitter got me weird reactions, from people threatening to unfollow me for insulting beef(?), to dirty "fish-smelling" jokes. But a couple of people also seemed interested in the results.

Tonight, I gave it a shot. Rather than following any of the recipes I found online, I decided to try and make it using my normal chili recipe. Obviously the difference being that I would cook most of the veg before the "meat" part of the dish.


"Chili Con Tuna" - Paula style . . . ;-)

So I started by heating up a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan. From there,  I reckon you can pretty much use whatever veg that you like to bulk this up. I went for red onion, white onion, a couple of chopped up cloves of garlic, a tiny bit of chopped up chili, and some frozen mixed peppers which I defrosted in the microwave before adding them. Oh, and then I threw in about half a carrot grated up because I usually put that in mince chilli and despite me not generally liking carrot that isn't raw, it always seems to just add a little something.

(I added a bit of water to the pan too early on just to stop too much sticking to the bottom of the pan or burning too quickly. My new flat has a gas cooker and I'm not used to it yet, so have a tendency to accidentally overcook everything!)

Then I threw in a can of tuna in brine (185g tin, drained first) and about half a carton of chopped tomatoes in basil (approx. 200g) .mixed it all together and then added dried hot chili powder (1tsp), cumin (half tsp) and paprika (half tsp). I gave it another stir, chucked on a bit extra chili powder for luck and then served it with cauliflower rice, a teeny bit of grated cheese (that's what I generally put on my chili as a reward for avoiding normal rice) and a little bit of sour cream and chive dip.

It was DELICIOUS. I had originally only served half of the tuna mixture onto my plate with the cauli rice (I'd planned to have the other half for lunch cold tomorrow with some red kidney beans to bulk it up) but I was enjoying it so much I ended up going back for seconds. So I guess we will have to say this particular recipe probably only serves one person if you're doing the low carb thing with it - so if you're cooking for two, you may want to double the tuna and chopped tomatoes quantities at least. And obviously you may want it spicier.

It's pretty healthy as well and one serving of my particular concoction contains less than 400 calories according to myfitnesspal (are you on myfitnesspal? If so, I'm pollypoptart79 - befriend me! Especially if your food diary is public because I'm nosy...) so if you ARE ditching the white rice and serving it with veg, it's not going to register too high on the old calorie counter.

I've got a long day at work tomorrow, topped off by pole fitness and then the gym (see? I'm taking this bikini body thing seriously!) so I'm fairly sure that this recipe is going to be repeated again when I get home tomorrow night . And I can't bloody wait!


What's your favourite go-to healthy recipe at the moment?

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