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Tuna Fish - Necessity for College

Updated on August 30, 2017

Survival is Impossible without Tuna Fish

Every college student MUST acquire or take a stack of cans of tuna fish to college. This is an absolute requirement! You simply cannot survive without it. It is cheap, nutritious, and you just have to have your daily ration of mercury, you know!

Tuna fish was my mainstay for food for college. I'd open a can and sit in front of the typewriter working on my homework, or reading a book, and poking my fork into the can every so once in awhile, and taking a bite.

Heck, I grew up on tuna fish! My father was a college student. We had tuna fish in macaroni and cheese frequently. You'd think I grew tired of it. Not so! In fact, I still like tuna fish to this day! Tuna works well with macaroni and cheese, and that's cheap, too.

Of course, if you want to eat healthy, that's a different topic altogether.

The photo is in the public domain. Others used under the Fair Use Doctrine.

Tuna Is a Survival Food

I remember when you could get a can of tuna fish for 50c. Heck, I can remember when you could get the cans reserved for folks on WIC and food stamps for 19c. Those days are long gone. But you can get a can of tuna fish today for around $2, I think, and I can easily make two meals out of an ordinary can of tuna fish.

The key is mixing it with other ingredients.

My favorite quick mix is to pour out about 6 ounces of plain goat kefir and mix in a half can of tuna fish. That's because I don't like mayonnaise. Lots of people like mayonnaise, so if kefir isn't your thing, put mayonnaise all over it instead.

You can mix in relish, or chopped dill pickles, or chopped celery, or chopped carrots. Or whatever other kind of fresh vegetable appeals to you.

If you need ideas, go down to your nearest Subway and see what they have on hand. I buy tuna fish salad there, and mix in most of the vegetables. I can't have onions, but if onions are your thing, add them. Fresh, or fried in batter. Makes no difference. Serve on a bed of lettuce, or other favorite green, or fresh baby spinach leaves.

If you happen to live in the desert, during the time of year when tumbleweed grows, harvest it young, saute it in a little butter, and mix that in! It resembles cooked spinach, and is actually quite delicious. I am talking about the one also known as Russian thistle, Salsola iberica. Tumbleweed can also be boiled lightly. (I have usually seen young tumbleweed during the monsoon rains in late summer.)

Tuna mixed with nopalitos would be good, too. Nopalitos are made by harvesting young prickly pear pads before they develop thorns, while they still have the leaf buds. Then, cutting off the edge, slicing or chopping into chunks, and boiling three times in a fresh pot of water with salt each time, for a few minutes. Add a little hot sauce. Very Mexican!

Tumbleweeds...can grow to be as big as small cars. In the late 1930s, tumbleweeds completely engulfed the small town of Lester in western Maricopa County. Several chickens were smothered, and the townsite had to be abandoned.

I made that up.

— Clay Thompson

Start a Movement

Trader Joe's used to carry a slim box with a silver bag inside, full of tuna fish mixed with Thai green curry. Yum! The taste of the curry was authentic, unlike the stuff they sell as simmer sauce. But they kept discontinuing it. I yelled, screamed, pleaded, cajoled, begged, wrote emails to, them, to no avail.

So I need you to hop on board. YOU form long lines of demonstrators and go march around their offices, and YOU write them lots and lots of emails, and yell, scream, plead, cajole, and beg them to bring this product back. They say they don't have enough sales. So after they bring it back, go buy a whole bunch of these on a regular basis. They cost less than $2, so there is another cheap meal.

Once they had discontinued that, I discovered they had a little can of vegetables in green curry sauce. It seemed to use the same green curry sauce that was in the tuna, so I'd buy one of these, dish out half of it, mix in a half can of tuna, and I had almost the same thing, this time WITH vegetables.

And then they discontinued that one.


Now I'm stuck with tuna in kefir! It's not bad, but I sure like that green curry!

Tuna on Pizza

My very favorite thing to eat for dinner was tuna on pizza. We had a wonderful pizza place close to campus. They made the most delicious crispy thin crust, and you could get all the usual wonderful vegetables. I liked my pizza with green peppers, black olives, mushrooms, and plenty of cheese. I would take in a can of tuna fish and ask them to add it to my pizza. I got some strange stares, but they did it.

Every Monday after I got the money from home, I would go splurge on this. I was in seventh heaven!

You should try it. It's really very good. Just pile on lots of extra cheese. And nowadays you can get artichoke chunks. These go really well with it, too. And add those little chunks of cherry tomatoes.

And I still serve tuna pizza, even today. Makes my mouth water just to look at it!

Do You Like Tuna Fish?

Do you like tuna fish?

Restaurant Food

Some years ago, we had a really neat restaurant in town, that served natural type food. My favorite dish there was made up of broccoli, cheese, walnuts, and a bunch of other good stuff. I miss that place! But it gave me an idea.

So here's what you do.

Mix together the following:

lightly cooked broccoli

mushrooms sauteed to brown in butter

plenty of cheese, with a little milk to make more of a sauce


palm hearts

quinoa or basmati rice

chia seeds

and plenty of tuna!

Crush a bit of oregano or Italian seasoning and add for more flavor.

Quick and easy. I serve something like this for dinner even today, and sometimes I make it with chicken, sometimes with tuna fish, and sometimes with salmon.

Several years ago, I visited my family. That included my mother, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. It seemed only fair for me to do kitchen duty some of the time, so I decided what to fix. One night, I fixed this dish. Everyone loved it! And my mother said, "I didn't know you could cook!" I couldn't stop laughing at that remark.

And a few weeks later, my sister told me she had prepared the dish, and it was a success.

Sure, you can do something like that in college. You can get little cans of mushrooms. You should have walnuts or pecans for snacking anyway. The most difficult part would be the broccoli, I imagine, but it's readily available, and if you have a refrigerator in your dorm room, you can certainly keep some for a few days. Palm hearts come in cans, too.

You can mix this all together and nuke it to melt the cheese. You can make enough for several meals, and that will save you time.

Nutritional Value of Tuna

Some people are sensitive to tuna. Obviously, people like that will have to find something else to eat. And the prevalence of mercury contamination is a concern. To minimize the chance of too much mercury, eat the smaller species: skipjack, yellowfin, and tongol. Do not eat albacore. These are bigger, older fish, and have had longer to accumulate mercury. Besides, they're more expensive.

Aside from the protein in tuna, it contains Omega-3 fatty acids, and a very interesting ingredient known as selenoneine, which is a compound of selenium. It binds the mercury so that it is less toxic. It is also an anti-oxidant. Tuna is also rich in magnesium, some B vitamins, tryptophan, and potassium, and is very good for people trying to control the accumulation of body fat. Tuna is also anti-inflammatory.

Eating tuna and salmon regularly within a week seems to protect against some kinds of heart problems.

If you cook your own tuna, save the juice. It is full of anti-oxidant peptides.

Recently, people have become concerned about the possibility that tuna could contain radiation from the Fukushima disaster. I am concerned about that, too. So look for tuna from other parts of the world. If radiation is of particular concern, eat seaweed with it. Seaweed is excellent for decontamination from radiation. It is one reason the Japanese are much less likely to suffer from their disaster than almost anyone else in the world. They eat lots of seaweed.

For more information, go here: 10 Health Benefits of Tuna.

Which Reminds Me

of more ways to serve tuna.

How about mixing tuna and cottage cheese? For a bit of zest, add some chopped olives and a little bit of hot sauce.

Make up some miso, and add a beaten egg and some seaweed, and a bit of tuna for a very nice soup.

Tuna would be good mixed with ramen, too.

Miso and ramen are potential sources of monosodium glutamate, which is a very dangerous thing to eat on a regular basis, or even at all. So be careful if you want to try these ideas. To avoid the MSG in ramen, you can discard the sauce, and add your own flavoring.

How about tuna in olive oil with cheese and angel pasta? Go for French or Continental dishes.


Tell me how you like to prepare tuna fish.

Or just let me know you stopped by. All relevant comments welcome. :)


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    • steadytracker lm profile image

      steadytracker lm 4 years ago

      I am a tuna fanatic. But I will only eat solid in water. While I know its not true, I believe that you get more in the can when it is solid, and that the cuts are the best because they cannot hide substandard cuts in fresh water.

    • Bercton1 profile image

      Bercton1 4 years ago

      I love tuna and I am also having it for lunch today. Nice lens!

    • Pat Goltz profile image

      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @Diana Wenzel: There may be several plants called tumbleweed. I'm referring to the one also known as Russian thistle, Salsola iberica. You can also boil them lightly.

    • LoriBeninger profile image

      LoriBeninger 4 years ago

      Cute lens...and so true!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Well, I like tuna, but am not as inventive as you are. My college foods seemed to be mostly cottage cheese, hot dogs and on all-you-could-eat night we'd go for pizza at Pizza Hut. I shared a dinky, run-down apartment with another girl.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      I had no idea I could harvest the young tumble weed plants on my property for food. Thanks for some awesome tips here. Your modified restaurant tuna dish recipe is one I will try. It actually sounds really delicious. I enjoy tuna in many different forms: tuna salad, tuna casserole, tuna and mac/cheese, etc. I even eat it just plain and simple.