Recipe A Day #3: Spicy Tuna, Tomatoes and Red Beans

I can't guarantee it just yet, obviously, but I’m highly confident today's recipe will end up being the easiest of this entire month of brand new recipes.

The original inspiration for this dish came from an excellent cookbook: Jules Clancy’s Five Ingredients Ten Minutes. Seriously: this is a great, great cookbook. If you're the kind of person who wants to cook more at home but who doesn't want to spend a lot of time (or money!) doing so, then Jules' book is for you. Get it.

Okay, onto today's recipe--which, by the way, took me less than 15 minutes from start to cleanup, and cost only about $1.20 a serving.

Spicy Tuna, Tomatoes and Red Beans

2-3 Tablespoons olive or canola oil
¼ to ½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, to taste
2 5-ounce cans tuna, in water, drained
About 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 teaspoons paprika
1 14.5 ounce can of dark red kidney beans
small handful of fresh parsley

1) Heat the oil and hot red pepper flakes on medium high heat for about 1 minute. Then add the two cans of tuna, the grape/cherry tomatoes and the paprika. Mix well and saute for 4-5 minutes until tomatoes begin to soften.

2) Add beans, combine well and saute for another minute or two until everything is well-heated. Serve immediately on a bed of white or brown rice, and garnish with the fresh parsley.

Serves 3.

Recipe notes:
1) Spiciness: Feel free to tweak the hot pepper flakes or even leave them out. Also, keep in mind: sauteing the hot pepper flakes in oil for a minute first will help release even more heat and flavor.

2) Other spices/variations: I could imagine a creative experimenter coming up with wildly different variations of this recipe merely by experimenting with the spices: replacing paprika with curry for example, or with ground chipotle pepper, or even thyme or poultry seasoning. You could create an entirely different recipe around the same ingredients. Also, regarding the beans: feel free to use cannelini beans, or plain red or pink beans, or honestly, any bean type of your choice.

3) For a 100% pantry recipe variation: All you have to do to make this recipe 100% pantry ready is substitute a can of well-drained diced tomatoes for fresh tomatoes, and use a few shakes of dried parsley in lieu of fresh parsley. See my post The Best Way to Save Money By Cooking From Your Pantry for more on this.

4) A final comment on Jules' book: What I find so valuable about Five Ingredients Ten Minutes is how it shapes your mind to think about how to come up with a wide range of permutations of a relatively small number of basic ingredients and a relatively simple collection of cooking steps, and voila: all of sudden you have the basic tools to produce a shockingly wide range of varied, creative and easy recipes. Get this cookbook. You won't regret it.

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1 comment:

Diane Baker said...

Spicy tuna and tomatoes are a great combination. These two are quite zesty with a little hint of sweetness, so I can’t really think of a much better pairing. And wow, I can see from the image you provided that you did a good job! The tomatoes looked crisp and the tuna looked evenly spiced.

Diane Baker @ AlejRest