Thursday, September 9, 2010

Back To School Idea: Tuna Boats

Me in own school days "awww"
When I was in school, I remember one of my favorite snacks was ants on a log.  Of course this had nothing to do with the little critters crawling around on the ground, but rather this was a delicious concoction of celery, peanut butter and raisins assembled to resemble little raisin ants trudging through the sticky deliciousness of peanut butter all held together with the refreshing crunch of celery.  This was always the perfect after school snack since it was filling, as well as just being fun, and tied me over til dinner.

After attending the Stop & Shop "Back to Reality" lunch at Sibling Rivalry a few weeks ago, I came away with my head bursting with all sorts of new ideas for fun, and healthy treats to send kids back to school with!  I decided to try one out this week for a light lunch for myself- and man- it filled me up!

Taking my cues from Ants on a Log, I decided it would be fun to make something as fun to eat, and perhaps a bit more nutritious.  I settled on Tuna Boats.  Through speaking with the mothers who attended the lunch, it appears that cucumbers have become a popular snack for kids, and since they are delicious, and refreshing (though a bit low on the nutritional scale) I thought that I would use them as my base for my boats.  I found petite sized cucumbers in my grocery store, I know these are also readily available at Stop & Shop, and sliced one in half the long way, revealing the perfect rows of seeds.  Now, what good are those seeds in a boat?  I took a melon baller from my utensil tray and just removed those right away.  In their place?  I piled high a lovely tuna salad, and viola- Tuna Boats were ready to set sail!

The tuna recipe I chose to use was a take on my own Healthy Tuna Salad recipe from last summer.  This year though I used a can of Cannelloni beans (with the packing liquid) combined with half of a jalapeno, scallions, salt and pepper.  I didn't add any oils or fats at all to this mix, and, after blending in my food processor, found it to be rich and creamy just as well.  I then combined a can of chunk tuna, and a tablespoon and a half or so of diced red onions, and blended this with the bean mix.  I love using bean purees in place of mayo-they add so much flavor, along with all of their great nutrients, and honestly, I can't tell the difference!  

The bean puree I had made did have a bit of a kick to it- so if your kids aren't into that you can either remove the jalapeno all together, or dial it back a bit by removing the seeds and the ribs of the pepper.  The flavors otherwise were rich and lovely, and when paired with the sweet bursts of water from the cucumber, it was delicious.  I paired my boat with a piece of string cheese- and was definitely full after wards, though I'm sure your child's favorite snacks would work as well!

1 comment:

Meghan@travelwinedine said...

Perfect! I am always looking for something filling, and the tuna and beans would do it. Plus the crunch of the cucumbers would be great. I struggle with lunches during the week, and I will definitely be making this!

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