Potato-Overload Leftover Makeover: Tuna Veggie Patties

Tuna veggie patty on a white plate.

I don’t know about you, but I have a horrible time judging how many potatoes to cook, even for just two people. I always end up cooking too many, or find myself wishing I had cooked up more — though I tend to err on the side of caution and the old family motto of better to have too much rather than not enough!

This week, I found myself in this very predicament. I had two bags of mini white potatoes and thought, “I’ll just cook them all up!” Well, that’s about 2 lbs of potatoes. For two people, I really should have been thinking this through a little bit. We couldn’t possibly get through all those potatoes and still have the rest of the leftovers (chicken, veggies, etc.). So, yesterday, I found myself staring at about a pound or so of cooked potatoes and nothing to go with them, as the rest of the meal components had already been devoured.

What on earth was I going to do with these potatoes?

I had a revelation while at work: Mom used to make us salmon-potato patties for breakfasts on the weekends sometimes with canned salmon. Now, as I’ve likely said before, I’m not a seafood/fish fan, but I can eat canned tuna or canned salmon. I always have cans of low sodium tuna in the pantry. Salmon, not so much — I really get grossed out picking out all the icky bits in salmon, so I tend not to buy it. I’m very particular about salmon — it can’t have any of those little bits in it (you know the stuff). Anyway,  I digress. I got thinking: why not do the same thing but with tuna???

I also had some uncooked veggies in the crisper that were needing to get used up soon before they went bad, so I decided to put my own twist on these. Mom’s were always salmon and potato with salt and pepper for seasoning. She may have even added onion to hers, but I don’t really recall. That was a lonnnnng time ago! And seeing as I can’t eat onion right now, I was looking for other ways to spruce these patties up. So here’s what I did…

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Lower sodium tuna croquettes

Two golden brown tuna croquettes (tuna cakes) on a plate with corn and baked potatoI think I’ve already said this but I’ll say it again: I do not like fish or seafood as a general rule. It’s true. I wasn’t even much of a frozen fish stick fan when I was a kid. Some of it upsets my stomach. A lot of it throws my texture issues for a loop. And mostly, I can’t stand the smell.

However, one thing I do eat because we had it a lot as a kid and I got a taste for it is canned tuna. Specifically, I enjoy Clover Leaf’s white tuna packed in water. I’m not a fan of all the fancy ones they have out now, like the dill-flavoured ones, jalapeno, lemon and herb and all that jazz. I guess with canned tuna, I’m a bit of a purist.

As I mentioned recently, I found out that Clover Leaf produces a low sodium version of this tuna, so I was pretty pleased with the prospect of looking for it in the grocery store. The difference is 100mg less sodium per half can. Considering half a can is a good-sized sandwich, this is awesome. Instead of 340mg in a whole can, it’s only 140mg for the whole can. And honestly, I can’t taste much of a difference.

Just beware: the flaked can has more sodium than the solid can. Do what I do and read every label.

With that said, I found myself with the prospect of baked potatoes and steamed corn on the cob last night but had no planned protein. Checking the cupboards, I grabbed three of the cans of tuna and thought to myself, “Tuna croquettes!” If you are asking what a croquette is (as I was, when I first heard it), just think (in this case): fried tuna cake. Kind of like a crab cake.

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A COMPARISON: Tuna sandwiches

A side-view of half of a toasted tuna sandwich, loaded with tuna, green onion, lettuce, tomato and light provolone cheese on whole wheat bread.I used to think that a tuna sandwich was a healthy meal choice. In theory, it is. But no two tuna sandwiches are the same, it seems, and some are better for you than others. Admittedly, I am not a big fish-eater, so eating the tuna out of the can without any mayo is a cringe-worthy thought for me. Tuna salad sandwiches are my “thing” and pretty much the only way I get any fish into my diet.

But let’s compare: my old tuna salad sandwich to my new tuna salad sandwich. Both are between two pieces of bread. Both have cheese. Both have butter, lettuce and tomato. One is toasted. One is not. But one of these things is not like the other, so to speak. Let’s have a closer look, shall we?

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Different tuna salad sandwiches

A tuna salad melt wrap on a plate with grill marks on the tortilla from the pan.I’m not a fish-eater. I don’t care for it or seafood at all. It’s a little bit of a texture issue and a little bit of a smell-based thing. I’ve also eaten fish and been nauseated after. So it’s not for a lack of trying. But one fish I seem to have no issues with is canned tuna, so I try to get it into my diet whenever I can. But plain old tuna salad between two pieces of white bread gets boring sometimes. Here’s what I do to spruce up an old childhood favourite… Continue reading

Tuna on English Muffins – a boost of brain food

Tuna sandwich on English muffin, cut in half to show the layers of cheese, lettuce, tuna and tomato.I’ve never been a fish/seafood fan. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I hate fish and seafood. I know, I know — bad foodie! For some reason, I just can’t get past a lot of the smells, tastes and textures inherent in fish or seafood.

One thing that I am generally alright with, however, is canned tuna. Yes. Canned tuna. Not fresh and nothing else. Why? Mom used to make tuna macaroni salad when we were kids and we at that stuff by the bucket. It’s a taste and texture that I’m used to.

I’ll eat salmon sandwiches if someone else pulls out every single little bone and scrap of skin or fatty tissue. If I have to do it, I’ll end up green around the, ahem, gills. Continue reading