Pantry Clear: Chili Tuna Rice

As you can see from my last post (see pantry clearing post #1), my pantry is all over the map – but the bulk of the ingredients center on Southeast Asia, specifically Japan.

Japanese is a cuisine my DH and I both love and both crave when we either need a little comfort (among other cuisines, tbh) but feel like we need to be a little nice to our bodies and digestive systems.

This dinner is quick, easy, and feels like a healthy hug. If raw egg yolk freaks you out, omit.


Chili Tuna Rice

1 cup premade sushi rice (1/2 cup short grain rice cooked in 2 cups water + 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp. sesame oil, and a few grinds salt)

1/2 can chili spiced tuna, drained

2 Tbsp. dried wakame

1 tsp. powder-style chicken bouillon

1/2 cup hot water

1 egg

1/2 tsp. ginger garlic paste

1 Tbsp. coconut aminos

1 tsp. butter

Generous sprinkle toasted sesame seeds

1 green onion, thinly sliced

Set the sushi rice on to cook however you cook rice. While the rice is cooking, boil the 1/2 cup water.

Add the wakame and chicken bouillon to a small bowl and add the boiling water over top. Stir to combine and let sit until the seaweed is reconstituted. Drain loosely when you’re ready to serve and add back into the bowl.

Add the butter, rice, coconut aminos, ginger garlic paste, tuna, and egg yolk. Stir well to combine.

Top with the sesame seeds and green onions and serve.

Serves 1 for dinner

Quick Keto Tuna Bowl

This meal came about because I was too lazy to go grocery shopping after coming home from vacation, and had zero fresh food (but a lemon) in the house. I think I did pretty well for myself and was super sad that I didn’t have leftovers for lunch the next day.

gluten-free, keto

Quick Keto Tuna Bowl

2 ounces tuna in oil
1 tsp. white miso paste
1 tsp. soy sauce or coconut aminos
1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. sriracha
1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
Squeeze lemon
1 cup roasted broccoli

In a small bowl, combine everything but the broccoli and mix well. Add the broccoli (or whatever vegetables you want) for a rounded meal.

Serves 1

Tuna Chermoula Salad

This recipe is based off of a tuna chermoula toast I saw in a favorites of the week link roundup recently. I was struck by the simplicity of the flavors and the overall unexpectedness of encountering the humble canned tuna in presumably a party setting.

Chermoula is a really neat condiment. Popular throughout northern Africa, this sauce is made a zillion different ways and used as a meat marinade, accompaniment to fish or seafood, and dressing for vegetables. The version I’m making is seasoned to balance tuna’s meaty-but-dull nature.  I’ve seen versions that include the brininess of olives, sweeter versions including raisins, and versions that just straight up seem like chimichurri to me. If you happen to have preserved lemons on hand, they would make a fantastic swap for the lemon here. I, sadly, have run out.

gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, keto

Tuna Chermoula Salad

Your favorite canned tuna (I used a 6 ounce pouch of water packed tuna)
1/4 cup olive oil
Big hand full cilantro
Juice and zest of 1 big lemon (I had 2 small little sad lemons on hand)
1 clove garlic
1/2 inch ginger
1 tsp. sweet paprika
Big pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. cumin
Big pinch salt
Few cracks black pepper
1/2 avocado
2 cups roasted broccoli

If your broccoli isn’t already roasted, roast some broccoli florets sprinkled with salt, pepper and your favorite fat in a 400 degree (F) oven for 25 – 30 minutes). Let cool.

On to the chermoula.

Chop the cilantro, and add to a bowl. Add the lemon zest and juice, the garlic and ginger once those have been grated, the olive oil, paprika, cumin and red pepper flakes, and hit with a  big pinch og salt and pepper. Taste. Your sauce should be nice and acidic and there should be a bunch of it. Adjust as necessary for your personal salt and heat preferences.

Add the tuna and stir. Add the broccoli and stir. Chop the avocado and add last, gently stirring to combine.

Taste again and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Serves 2 for lunch

Simple Tuna & Grape Lunch

I had forgotten how quick, inexpensive and versatile a simple can of tuna was until I found myself without a good lunch protein and with zero desire to leave the house. Cue pantry staples FTW.

Gluten-free, Paleo

Simple Tuna & Grape Lunch

1 4-oz can Tuna
1 stalk celery
1/2 cup grapes, sliced
1/5 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup avocado oil mayo
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1-2 Tbsp fermented hot sauce
Big pinch Kosher salt
Few cracks black pepper
Plantain chips or something else for scooping

Combine in a small bowl.

Serves 2 for lunch

Tuna Meatballs with Tomato Sauce and Zoodles

I happen to love Jamie Oliver’s recipes – and am a big fan of his efforts to bring attention to what children are eating in school. He has one of my all-time favorite pasta recipes (a lovely confection involving homemade noodles, mascarpone & caramelized peppers) that my mind still wanders to when it conjures up a noodle craving. Some day, I’ll tackle a paleo-fied version! I also love how he thinks about ingredients and writes recipes – his site is one of my go-to sources when I’m feeling underwhelmed by the forces of inspiration.

This recipe is based on one of his – it’s paleo-fied and uses more budget-friendly canned tuna (sacrilege!) in place of fresh, though I imagine this dish would be even better with the fresh.

Gluten-free, paleo, Whole30


Tuna Meatballs with Tomato Sauce and Zoodles

Based on The Best Tuna Meatballs In A Delicious Tomato Sauce (Le Migliori Polpette Di Tonno) by Jamie Oliver


1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp. dried oregano
15 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes with chiles
Kosher salt & black pepper
Possibly some vinegar


1 can water-packed tuna, drained
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 ounce salted almonds
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp. fresh herbs – I used basil, though parsley was what I really wanted (and didn’t have)
1 egg
1 tsp. black pepper


1 large zucchini

Dice the onion and garlic and add to a medium pan over medium/medium-high heat, along with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Sautee the veggies until beginning to brown at the edges, stirring frequently to avoid burning.  Add the oregano, tomatoes, salt, pepper and half a can of water and bring to a boil. Hard simmer/low boil 15 minutes, or until the water reduces out. Taste for salt/acid and add vinegar if needed.

While the sauce is working, knock out the meatballs. First, chop your almonds fine – or blitz them in a food processor – or bash them in a mortar – or in a baggie – just get them into tiny pieces. Chiffonade the basil. Combine all meatball ingredients in a small-ish bowl and work  with your fingers until combined.

In a large pan over medium heat, bring 2 Tbsp. olive oil up to almost-shimmering. Add the meatballs as you form them into ping pong sized balls. You should get 6-7 meatballs of this size. If you want to serve more than 1 hungry person, consider doubling the meatball recipe.

Fry the meatballs until browned, jiggling the pan around every few minutes to hit all sides.

Make zoodles in the fashion you prefer while the meatballs are cooking. I used my bff the spiralizer and they came together in about a minute. If you like cooked zoodles, throw into the pan during the last minute or two of cooking – I happen to like them raw, so added mine directly to the bowl.

Serve the zoodles topped with the meatballs and sauce – makes enough to serve 2 (zoodles and tomato sauce) – I ate all the meatballs myself and was happy with dinner. I imagine you could stretch the meatballs to feed two. This dish would be killer with the macadamia nut ricotta I made recently, too.

Chickpea, Fennel, Apple & Tuna Salad with Coriander-Carrot Vinaigrette

This light and refreshing lunch incorporates some of the gorgeous Coriander-Carrot Vinaigrette from Gluten Free Girl and the Chef I made last week to accompany Quinoa with Southern Greens & Eggs, blending those sweet and bright flavors with the crisp bite of fennel and apple and the soft pliancy of toasted chickpeas.

A satisfying lunch that won’t leave you feeling bogged down and bloated.

Gluten-free. Easily modified to become vegetarian or vegan by omitting the tuna.


Chickpea, Fennel, Apple & Tuna Salad with Coriander-Carrot Vinaigrette

The recipe for Coriander-Carrot Vinaigrette can be found here.

1 can chickpeas, drained
1 pouch water-packed tuna
3 Tbsp. beet horseradish
1/4 Granny Smith apple, diced
1/4 bulb fennel, shaved
2 tsp. sriracha
2 tsp. lime juice
1 tomato, chopped
3 Tbsp. carrot-coriander vinaigrette
Citrus salt to taste

Drain and rinse your chickpeas. Add to a dry pan over medium heat and toast until beginning to brown. Add to a large bowl when done.

While the chickpeas are working, chop the tomato, shave the fennel, and dice the apple. Add to the bowl when done.

Add the rest of the ingredients and toss to coat. Taste for seasoning and add lime juice and/or citrus salt as needed.

Serves 2 for lunch.

Light, Bright Tuna Salad

Light Bright Tuna Salad

This light, bright tuna salad makes a great weeknight meal. Bold and flavorful – you won’t miss the calories.

2 packets tuna in water
2 Tbsp. beet horseradish
2 Tbsp. dill, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, diced
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 Tbsp. capers
1 can garbanzo beans, washed & drained
2 ribs celery, diced
1/4 preserved lemon, diced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried ground chipotle
Salt & pepper to taste

Prep all ingredients. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Taste. Salt & pepper to your liking.

Serves 2 + 1 for a light dinner & lunch. You can beef this salad up with some crusty bread or crackers, but it is perfectly satisfying without.