Pesto Pasta with Spicy Tunafish Salad

My go-to pantry clean out meal

You know the nights where you get home and realize you are starving but have absolutely nothing in your fridge to make dinner out of and you just refuse to pay the absurd price of NYC delivery? (I mean really, after the tax, tip, delivery fee, etc, I want to scream). Well, I’ve been there. Many and many of times. Each time, I check my pantry and freezer to assess the essentials I always have on stock and, more times than not, end up making this exact dish. It was at first a random combination I happened to have on hand that I questioned, “will this work, or am I crazy?” and has now become a staple in my budget friendly lifestyle. Don’t knock it until you try it!

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Ingredients (makes 2 servings):

  • Pasta of your choice (3 cups) – I prefer brown rice/quinoa pasta because I am GF
  • Canned tuna (1 can) – I prefer a brand like Safe Catch where it is wild fish
  • Jalapeño (1)
  • Lime (1)
  • Avocado (1/2)
  • Kale (1 handful / few leaves)
  • Cucumber (1/2)
  • Pesto (1/2 cup) – see below, make ahead of time!
  • Mayonnaise (1 tablespoon)
  • Spicy brown mustard (1 tablespoon)
  • Avocado oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Chili powder

Pesto Ingredients to make ahead of time:

  • Avocado (1)
  • Lime (1)
  • Basil (1 package)
  • Walnuts (½ cup)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Directions:
If looking to make this a pantry staple, prepare the pesto whenever you have time

  1. Prepare the creamy avocado pesto:
    1. In a food processor, combine 1 avocado, 1 package of basil, ¼ cup of walnuts, the juice of 1 lime, around 1 cup of olive oil, and salt & pepper
    2. Blend until it reaches a smooth creamy texture
    3. Add more olive oil if necessary
    4. Pour the pesto from the blender into an ice tray and place in the freezer
    5. Once frozen, remove the cubes from the ice tray and keep in a freezer safe bag
    6. **This does not include garlic because it is low FODMAP compliant, but if garlic is something you enjoy eating and can tolerate then add it in**

Once step 1 is complete and your freezer is stocked, you can now use this pesto at any point in the future to follow the remaining steps

  1. Cook the pasta to your liking
  2. While the pasta is cooking, wash and de-stem the kale and saute on a skillet with avocado oil for ~5 minutes
  3. Prepare the tunafish salad
    1. Remove the tuna from the can and place in a bowl
    2. Prepare the vegetables: thinly chop the jalapeño and the cucumber
    3. Add 1/2 avocado, chopped cucumber, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of spicy brown mustard, red pepper flakes, chili powder, and salt & pepper, to the bowl with the tuna
    4. Mash all together and set aside
  4. Reheat 1/2 cup of the pesto if using from the freezer
  5. Once done, remove the pasta from the boiling water and leave 1/4 cup of the pasta water aside
  6. Place the pasta back in the pot with the extra 1/4 cup of pasta water and the pesto and stir to combine
  7. Plate the pasta in a bowl and top with the sauteed kale, tunafish, and chopped jalepeno

Allergen Information:

  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free (if using approved pasta)
  • Soy Free

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