The Moodie Foodie: Quinoa Tuna Bake

Recipe, photography and nutritional analysis by The Moodie Foodie

I don’t know about you, but I love a good oven bake anytime – but especially when it’s cold and miserable outside. This gorgeous recipe is a remake of the classic tuna bake. Mmm, tuna bake: loads of white sauce and butter, criminal levels of cheese, macaroni… But not this little number! This one is light, healthy and just so tasty. But fear not, it still has everything it needs to be an authentic tuna bake. I’ve used white sauce (but a lovely light version), exchanged butter for olive oil (unsaturated fats are so much better for you), chosen reduced-fat tasty cheese, replaced the high-GI macaroni with low-GI quinoa (plus quinoa is a powerhouse of protein and iron), and I’ve upped the vegetables, which is always a good thing. My kids love it – even my meat-loving husband gives it the thumbs up!

From the ingredients list it may not look like much, but trust me – the servings are huge and filling, and just what you need when the weather turns cold outside!

Quinoa Tuna Bake

Quinoa Tuna Bake

SERVES 6  PREPARATION 10 mins  COOKING 45 mins

HALVE IT / DOUBLE IT / EAT IT TOMORROW / MAKE IT AHEAD / LOW IN KILOJOULES / LOW IN SATURATED FAT

Equipment

  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • chef’s knife
  • chopping board
  • garlic crusher
  • grater
  • can opener
  • sieve
  • fork
  • baking dish
  • saucepan with a lid
  • non-stick saucepan
  • wooden spoon

Ingredients

  • olive oil spray
  • 1½ cups (375ml) vegetable stock, plus 1 cup (250ml) extra
  • ¾ cup (100g) quinoa
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 medium (240g) onions, sliced or diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 large (450g) zucchini, grated
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced or diced
  • ¼ cup (40g) wholemeal plain flour
  • 1 cup (250ml) no-fat milk
  • 1 cup (120g) fresh or defrosted peas
  • 400g can tuna in springwater, drained, flaked
  • ½ cup (60g) grated low-fat sharp cheddar
  • salad greens or vegetables, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C / 160C fan. Lightly spray a baking dish with olive oil spray.
  2. Place stock and quinoa in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low. Cover and slow simmer for 15 mins, until quinoa is cooked. Remove from heat and stand for 5 mins.
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a non-stick saucepan on low. Add onion, garlic, zucchini, celery and a pinch of salt. Cook for 6-8 mins, until soft. Stir through flour, then extra stock and milk until well combined. Increase heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 mins, until sauce thickens.  Stir through quinoa, peas and tuna. Season with pepper and pour into prepared dish. Scatter over cheddar and bake for 20-25 mins, until bubbling and golden. (I like to finish with 3-4 mins under a grill, so it’s golden and crispy on top.) Serve with salad greens or steamed vegetables.

Nutrition info (per serving):

1083 kilojoules, 5g total fat (2g sat fat), 26g carbohydrate, 4g fibre.

 

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