Monday, September 7, 2015

Tuna Bites {AIP, Paleo, Whole30}

The other day I was over at a friend's house and we were talking about childhood comfort foods and how they still make us happy to this day. We talked about different people we know and what their food memories are and then I thought about mine. Mine was what our family called 'tuna mac.' It was a store bought box of mac & cheese (or 2 boxes as my brother & I got older), with a can or 2 of tuna mixed in at the end. Quick, easy and satisfying meal. It was what I cooked when I was responsible for a family lunch and was always one of my favorites. As I grew up, 'tuna mac' took on some different forms. In college it was a pack of instant noodles with a small can of tuna and a slice of cheese. In my first apartment it went back to the childhood staple, but often eaten out of the pot on the floor of the living room. Then it matured to tuna noodle casseroles where it would become 'healthy' through the addition of some broccoli or other green vegetable.

I obviously haven't eaten 'tuna mac' in many years, but the combination of a carb, some tuna, some veggies and something salty (to mimic the cheese) still makes me happy. These little 'broccoli tuna bites' hit the spot for me. They're just as good hot or cold (in my opinion), which makes them a good addition to the lunch box. They're also great for breakfast on the go, or eaten alongside a salad for a simple meal at home. 

Broccoli Tuna Bites
Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

2 standard cans tuna (6 oz)
1 cup broccoli florets - fresh or frozen & thawed
1 medium sweet potato - about 1 1/2 cups flesh
3 T cassava flour
1/2 T herbs - herbs d'provence
1 T garlic flakes
1 t sea salt
1 T gelatin + 4 T hot water

- preheat oven to 400F/ 200C
- remove cooked sweet potato from skin and place in a bowl
- roughly chop broccoli - with a knife or in a food processor until it's in small pieces
- add all ingredients except gelatin & hot water to sweet potato and mix well
- sprinkle 1 T gelatin over 2 T hot water and stir until dissolved
- stir gelatin mixture into sweet potato mixture
- form into 1 inch balls and press into a mini muffin pan
- forms 18-20 mini muffins
- bake at 400F/200 C for 20 minutes, then broil for 3-4 minutes to crisp up the top
- let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes
- turn out onto a cooling rack to cool
- eat warm or chilled

**These can be made in advance and frozen and keep well in the fridge or freezer...perfect for packing for school lunches or after school snacks. Just remove from the freezer and heat in the microwave or allow to come to room temp.

***This recipe shared on Phoenix Helix AIP Roundtable