Make a quick and balanced lunch with grilled or canned tuna, crisp green beans and corn. Tuna is a good source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are appropriate for a heart-healthy diet. The vegetables add essential dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. The meals possible with these ingredients are endless.
1. Tuna Salad
Toss together a tuna salad with corn, green beans and fresh greens such as spinach or wilted kale. Add a cup of kidney beans or chickpeas for added protein. Avoid mayonnaise and store-bought dressings, which are high in sodium, sugar and saturated fats. Instead dress your cold tuna salad with low-fat yogurt and homemade dressing made by mixing olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh or dried herbs.
2. Baked Pasta
Bake a pasta casserole with tuna, corn and green beans by layering these ingredients with whole-wheat pasta and low-fat cheese. Combine the tuna with shredded cheese and add pepper to taste. Then make a ground layer of cooked pasta and top with layers of tuna and cheese and corn and green beans. Cover your casserole with a layer of shredded cheese and bake until the cheese is completely melted. Serve with whole wheat bread or eat a serving on its own for a healthy and balanced hot lunch.
3. Tortilla Wrap
A tortilla wrap is a convenient way to have lunch on the go or at your desk. Make your wrap with a whole-wheat tortilla for added essential dietary fiber and nutrients. Add tuna chunks, crisp green beans and corn. Dress up your tortilla with a dab of low-fat yogurt, salsa and hot sauce.
4. Tuna Pizza
Pizza is often considered unhealthy because it is typically made from refined, white flour and fatty ingredients. Put together a tuna pizza with whole-wheat and low-fat ingredients for a healthy, filling lunch. Use a pizza base or naan made with whole wheat and spread it with pizza sauce. Add shredded tuna, corn, chopped green beans and other toppings such as fresh herbs, olives and red peppers, if you prefer. Top with shredded low-fat cheese and bake in the oven.
Canned tuna is fast and convenient, however, ensure you are using low-fat and low-sodium varieties that are packed in water and not oil. HealthyTuna.com notes that most two-ounce servings of canned tuna could contain up to 250 milligrams or more of sodium, while reduced sodium options have as little as 35 milligrams per serving. The USDA advises most healthy adults to limit their daily consumption of sodium to a maximum of 2,300 milligrams. In reality, many people eat more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day. If you are using canned or frozen corn and beans, also ensure they do not contain added salt and sugar.
- Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images