Night classes are the worst, but sometimes they are unavoidable. I always face a choice on those nights: eat before class, when I’m not really hungry, or sit through a lecture gradually getting hungrier and hungrier! Needless to say, when I finally get out of class, I’m hungry and tired. I don’t want to make a complicated meal, but I also don’t want to eat out of a can! So, this recipe is for all foodie students on a budget.
Over my years at college, I have become inventive, using the dining hall and bookstore cafe as a grocery store when I’m in a pinch. My other trick is canned seafood; it’s a time saving/cheap technique. However, I always doctor up canned food a bit, playing around with flavors to make meals interesting. One of my latest discoveries is pre-packaged lemon pepper tuna. These packets are single serve and only $0.89 at Aldis. No need to buy lemons for one recipe because the tuna is already marinated in lemon juice! With flavor taken care of, this recipe uses only four main ingredients: olive oil, tuna, cream cheese, and brussel sprouts.
Thrifty tip: I usually snag a single serve portion of reduced fat cream cheese from the bookstore cafe, which also sells bagels.
Now I know there are a lot of qualms about brussel sprouts, but they are delicious when prepared correctly. Boiling them will give you a chewy, slimy vegetable, but roasting them results in crispy edges and an earthy flavor (not at all slimy). If I had the time after class, I would typically roast brussel sprouts for about half an hour to forty-five minutes, but in this recipe I use a different technique. To cut roasting time, I par-steam them before placing them under the broiler. This ensures soft brussel sprouts but in much less time. The end result are brussel sprouts that are tender on the inside (though not mushy) with crispy edges and a wonderful char.
Creamy Lemon Pepper Tuna with roasted Brussel Sprouts
- 1 single serve pack of lemon pepper tuna
- Brussel sprouts
- 1 single serve cream cheese package (or approximately 1.5 Tbsp)
- Dash of olive oil
Preheat oven to broil
Wash and trim brussel sprouts (to save even more time, buy pre-cut sprouts)
Saute brussel sprouts in a pan with a bit of oil
Pour in 2 tablespoons of water and cover, allowing the brussel sprouts to steam for 2 minutes
Remove the lid and place the pan directly in the oven for 2-5 minutes, or until the sprouts begin to brown. You can stir them once to ensure an equal char.
Remove the pan from the oven and stir in cream cheese and lemon tuna packet.
Note: Substituting salmon or any other seafood would likely also taste delicious. Most stores sell a few different flavor packets of tuna or salmon.
Yes, seriously that’s it. Its so easy to make and takes approximately ten minutes to prepare. Most importantly, it has a wonderful richness and creaminess that is more satisfying than any canned soup (or worse eating tuna straight out of a can).
Price wise, its cheap, especially in fall when brussel sprouts are in season.
So be adventurous and don’t settle for Ramen Noodles!
But wait, there’s more… brussel sprouts offer so many health benefits, one of which is brain health! To learn a bit more, check out the link and info-graphic below: