Alright, so here it goes, a dinner that you can make and enjoy… and even impress with, using no more than a spoon, a can opener, and a toaster or toaster oven.
If you don’t like Tuna, feel free to try a chicken salad instead, canned meats (this does not pertain to spam for me since I have never tried the stuff) are really great to have around the dorm.
Dorm room essentials 101.. get a can opener.
Tuna Salad
– One can of tuna in water (this is important, do not get your tuna in oil, this is an added flavor and fat content that you do not need)
– Less than a tablespoon of Mayo (I use the light mayo from a squeeze tube)
– 1.5 tablespoons Sweet pickle relish. If you don’t like relish, then just put pickles on your sandwich, but this is an added delight. The relish makes you think that you are eating vegetables!
-1/2 teaspoon paprika
-1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
-Bread (see below for suggestions)
-Sliced or string cheese (optional… if you want to make a tuna melt)
Open your can of tuna and drain out as much liquid as possible. If you don’t know how to drain canned foods, you just simply open the lid with a can opener, and then with your fingers push the lid against the contents of the can and tilt upside down in a sink until liquid stops dripping out, then stick a knife or other thin utensil into the can to lift the lid up (so as to not slice your fingers on the sharp edges of the can. Flip the tuna (or chicken) into a bowl, this bowl does not have to be large. If any tuna is sticking to the bottom of the can, just scrape it out with a spoon. Add the Mayo and Relish and mix well, then add the paprika and ground mustard to taste.
Meanwhile, toast some bread. Toasted bread holds up better to canned meat sandwiches, since you’re dealing with chunks of food and not slices. I used honey wheat hot dog buns, but you can use normal bread, pitas , hamburger buns, tortillas, naan … pretty much any kind of bread that you love.
Once the bread is toasted, spoon the tuna mixture onto one half, and cover with the other half… and enjoy. It’s so easy, I know you can all do it. I used a 5 oz can of tuna and was able to spread it onto 4 hot dog buns evenly.
To make your sandwich into a tuna melt, simply leave one half of the bread off, and melt the cheese onto the sandwich using the broil setting on a toaster oven. It takes about a minute, but is worth waiting for that cheesy deliciousness.
So, I know that dorm kitchens try their hand at dessert. We have everything from brownies to “tiramisu” in our cafeteria, but I personally enjoy healthier desserts, with the occasional slice of chocolate cake, or scoop of caramel ice cream. Tonight my friend Mary and I had Apples with Cheese. I don’t think I need to explain this, but it’s the reason I left the cheese out of the tuna sandwiches. For two people, all you need is one apple and a few slices of cheese.
I used a Fuji Apple. I think they are delicious, and the organic ones are very sweet and sometimes even a little juicy. I sliced my apple into 10 relatively even slices, and then cut a lemon into quarters, and squeezed the juice of one quarter of a lemon on my apple slices. If you use two apples, use half a lemon. Lemon or lime juice will keep the apples from browning after they have been sliced, I also think that the citrus juice adds a great zing to this dessert.
The cheese I have in my fridge is called Comté. It’s divine. I eat it on anything from crackers to… well… apples. Try it if your local grocery store or specialty grocery store sells it. I just cut several long and about 1/4″ thick slices off of the block of cheese, and then cut those long slices in half.
For this dessert, since you are dealing with two simple and sliced ingredients, don’t be afraid to get creative with how you serve it. I would have taken a photo of my apples and cheese, but I couldn’t wait another minute to eat it all.. it just looked too good.
Enjoy this dinner/dessert combination. Even if you don’t live in a dorm, but are on a budget, or don’t like heavy dinners. This is a great idea. If you want to be lo-carb, you can also eat your tuna in a lettuce leaf (large lettuce leaf, that is). I know some stores sell lettuce leaves removed from the head in a bag.
Love and Happy Spatulas,
Ps. I would like to add that if you think there is something that you don’t know if you can make it in a dorm or not, but would really like to try, send me an e-mail and I’ll write a blog for you. Do not be afraid to cook! Cooking is a wonderful ability, and if you have the resources, there’s no harm in trying.