Friday, April 30, 2010

Tuna Nicoise Stovetop Casserole

This recipe is one of the first on my "to make" list from the March/April 2010 issue of Clean Eating Magazine. It looked colorful and easy to make--i.e., very short--and the ingredients are things I usually have lying around anyway. I made it for lunch today because The H is out of town (again, I know!) so he and his fish allergy would not be endangered. I'm nice like that.

Tuna Nicoise Stovetop Casserole
from Clean Eating Magazine
serves 8

2 cups couscous
8 small red potatoes, cut into halves, or 4 large red potatoes, quartered
2 6-oz cans or pouches water-packed tuna
1/2 lb frozen green beans, thawed
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced

Juice and zest of one lemon
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp white onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
Sea salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

Olive oil cooking spray

1. Cook couscous according to package directions.

2. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil; cook potatoes 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a large bowl, mix tuna, green beans, olives, and potatoes. Add couscous once it is cooked.

3. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice and zest, Dijon, onion, garlic, vinegar, oil, parsley, salt, and pepper. Pour over tuna-couscous mixture.

4. Heat large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Reduce heat and spritz with olive oil spray. Saute the tuna-couscous mixture about 5 minutes, or until heated through. Serve immediately.

My changes:
Quinoa for the couscous
Used a rice cooker for the quinoa
Lime instead of lemon
Shallot instead of onion
Doubled the garlic, even though I halved the recipe
Did not mix ingredients in bowl before heating in the skillet

I could have done without the potatoes, or at least made them much smaller. The flavor of the quinoa/beans/olives was fantastic, but getting a mouthful of plain, blah potato kind of killed the moment. Everything else had a delightful, well-rounded flavor and texture.

I'd say this would be good with chicken, or at least without the tuna, but I really think the tuna adds a subtle (very subtle, if you use canned like I did, since it breaks up so small) extra touch that would be missed if you subbed another protein. The magazine lists the cost of this recipe at $10.00 for the whole shebang, which comes out to $1.25 per serving. Not bad, especially for something so flavorful, fresh, and clean. Tell your friends--clean eating doesn't have to be expensive!

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