Vegetarian our household is not; and it’s very unlikely to be. This dish – oven baked tuna is a suffered compromise between a protein eating enthusiastic teen (my youngest son) and a reformed health eating obsessive (me).
I used to be vegetarian. I was strict with it for about five years before I met John. Then I met him, we moved in together and my healthy eating left as my love and commitment grew.
You see, John and all our sons somehow believe that if there is no meat on the table the meal is incomplete.
For some time now, I’ve believed that we eat far too much red meat. I’ve been cooking more bean stews (healthy, fast and varied since the different beans taste different), lentils and other soups (reputedly lentils are very good for women of particular age) and vegetables.
And it’s been getting better; our diet has improved not least because we cook everything from scratch and eat no ready meals at all (all this salt and sugar does no one any good).
Then our youngest son became a teenager and decided that he wants ‘the perfect body’. He started doing a lot of exercise (only body weight, of course) and caught up on his reading about diet.
In brief, our youngest son discovered protein.
So something that was floating at the back of my mind firmly moved to the centre of attention. We even had a very big argument about diet; this ended up with me printing out an article about the health hazards of eating more red meat (and processed meat) than we strictly speaking need and nailing it to my son’s door.
We had to reach a compromise and this compromise is fish.
Now we eat fish on average twice per week. Oven baked tuna (I know that tuna is a specific kind of fish but stay with me on this one, okay) is a very firm family favourite.
Oven baked tuna is a versatile dish that you could have as a family meal or serve at a dinner party.
This is also a dish that can be very expensive (if you buy the tuna at a high brow fish shop) or very affordable (if you buy frozen tuna which as quality is very similar to the expensive kind). It’s your choice!
I have started buying frozen tuna which means that a portion of this dish costs approximately 85 pence. Not bad for all this tasty goodness, protein and peace with my teen boy.
What you need to prepare oven baked tuna?
- 400 g of tuna
- Salt and black pepper for seasoning
For the mixed breadcrumbs:
- 40g breadcrumbs
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 anchovy fillets (this is also about taste; I put more anchovy)
- 2 tbsps finely chopped parsley (if you don’t have any you can also use dried parsley)
- 6 tbsps olive oil (again, you can use more than this; the important thing is to have enough so the mixture is like paste)
- Olive oil for greasing the dish
- 4 lemon wedges
(This quantity serves 4 people.)
Preparation of oven baked tuna
Defrost the tuna if you’re using frozen. Once it is defrosted cut in 2 cm chunks and arrange in a greased ovenproof dish.
Pre-heat the oven to 220C.
While the oven is heating prepare the breadcrumbs mix.
Put the breadcrumbs in a small bowl.
Peel and chop finely the garlic; add to the bowl.
Chop finely the anchovy; add to the bowl.
Chop finely the parsley; add to the bowl.
Add enough olive oil so that when you stir the mixture it becomes like a thick paste.
Spread the breadcrumbs mixture over the tune (it is arranged in the ovenproof dish, remember?),
Place the dish in the pre-heated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes (check the tuna and if you like it a bit more pink take out after 15 minutes).
Serve garnished with lemon and a side of rice (or carbs of your choice). I’m off carbs so I have mine with salad.
Why oven baked tuna is eat for less at its best?
Oven baked tuna takes approximately 25 minutes to prepare and is 310 calories per serving.
It is valuable protein and at 85 pence per serving it is hard to beat.
Oh. And it is really, really tasty.