I’m sure everyone reading will identify with this…there are some days when you just can’t be ARSED to make a healthy meal but still want to stay on track with your diet. It can be all too tempting to make a carb-loaded sandwich, or buy a calorific meal from a supermarket. Simple Tuna and Sweetcorn Pasta Salad from the Hairy Dieters was created for such occasions.
By definition it’s simple and quick to pull together, it’s filling yet still under 200 calories, and, well, that’s about it. Of course, part of the motivation for maintaining our diets is creating appetising, visually appealing recipes. But sometimes when willpower is severely lacking you’ve just got to stay on track, either with a bog-standard pasta salad or with a humble jacket potato. As for this salad, it tastes pretty good, but I would recommend bulking it out with some gem or romaine lettuce to stretch the servings to four.
Recipe: Simple Tuna and Sweetcorn Pasta Salad
Calories: 183 calories per portion
Book: Hairy Dieters – How to Love Food and Lose Weight
Prep time: Approx 10 minutes
Cooking time: Approx 10 minutes
Ingredients: 100g pasta shapes (such as fusilli or penne), 200g can of tuna in spring water (drained), 195g can of sweetcorn (drained), 3 tbsp light mayonnaise, 3 tbsp cold water, 2 tsp white wine vinegar, 10 cherry tomatoes (halved, about 100g), ¼ cucumber (cut into 1.5cm dice), 1 yellow pepper (deseeded and cut into 1.5cm dice), 2 spring onions (finely sliced), ground black pepper, romaine or little gem lettuce leaves to serve (optional).
Cost per portion: Approx £0.98 (including little gem lettuce leaves)
Method: Half fill a large saucepan with cold water and bring to the boil. Add the pasta, stir well and bring the water back to the boil. Cook for 8-10 minutes until tender, or according to the packet instructions, stirring occasionally.
Rinse the pasta in a colander under running water until cold, then drain well and tip it into a large mixing bowl. Flake the tuna on to the pasta with a fork and scatter the sweetcorn on top.
Put the mayonnaise, water and vinegar in a small bowl and whisk with a small metal whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture over the pasta.
Add the tomatoes, cucumber, pepper and spring onions, season with a few twists of black pepper and toss all the ingredients lightly together. Serve with lettuce leaves if you like. Perfect for lunch boxes and picnics.
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