Power Protein: Unexpected Ways to Enjoy Tuna


Finding ways to fuel my body in a healthy way is always a top priority for me! Of course, there are the traditional protein-packed smoothies but finding other ways to soak up nutrition is key.  I have recently fallen in love with the Tuna brand Tonnino Tuna. Honestly,  it's the best Tuna I have tasted! Sure the price point is a bit higher but it is worth it with each can packed with gourmet, sustainable, yellowfin tuna. Below are a few healthy and delicious recipes from Celebrity Chef Roble and nutritional tips from Nutritionist Nikki Ostrower.

Tuna “poke” with warm rice, sesame dressing, scallions, cucumber and seaweed salad.

What is Tuna Poke? It's- Iodine from seaweed plus zinc from tuna are important elements that nourish the thyroid for optimal hormone function. Try the recipe below if you are looking to add Tuna Poke into your diet regularly. 

*Serves 4


  • 3 jars Tonnino tuna, drained and broken into medium chunks
  • 2 cups short grain sushi rice
  • 4 each scallions, green tops only, slices into thin rings
  • 1 cup prepared seaweed salad, (found in Japanese markets or prepared sushi section of the grocery store)


  • 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 ½  tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp honey
  • ½ tsp ginger, peeled and minced
  • ½ tbsp toasted sesame seeds

For Cucumber:

  • 1/3 English cucumber, cut lengthwise, de-seeded and cut into thin half moons
  • ½ tbsp kosher salt


1- Combine the sliced cucumber and salt and mix together in a bowl.  Allow to sit for 1 hour.  Remove excess liquid and set aside.

2- While the cucumbers are sitting, rinse the rice in several rounds of cold water until the water run clear and drain in a colander.  

Add rice to a medium sized pot with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt on high heat.  When it comes to a boil, cover and reduce heat to the lowest setting.  Cook for 18-20 minutes or until the rice is soft and water has been absorbed.  Allow the rice to rest for 5-10 minutes, fluffy with a fork, cover to keep warm.

3- Combine all ingredients in a glass or stainless steel bowl and whisk to incorporate.

4- Coat the tuna with the sesame dressing and allow to marinate for 15 minutes.

5- To assemble, divide the warm rice into four bowls, place dressed tuna, seaweed salad and cucumbers on the rice, drizzle extra dressing over the top and finish with sliced scallions.

Tuna Tostada with avocado, scallions, lime, cilantro and chipotle sour cream

*Serves 4


  • 3 jars Toninno tuna with Jalepeño, drained, cut into large chunks and jalepeños chopped
  • 4 each small corn tortillas or pre made tostada shells
  • ½  cup vegetable oil
  • 2 ea scallions, washed, ends trimmed and cut into rings
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, washed and dried
  • 1 each lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • sea salt

For avocado dressing:

  • 1 ea ripe haas avocado, skin and pit removed
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • juice of half a lime
  • salt to taste

For chipotle sour cream:

  • ½ cup sour cream or Mexican crema
  • 1 ea chipotle peppers from the can (in adobo sauce)
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • sea salt to taste


Heat the oven to 325F.  Lightly brush both sides of the tortillas with oil and season with salt. Place tortillas onto a cookie sheet or bake sheet and toast into the oven until crisp, about 10 minutes. When crisp, transfer onto paper towels to cool.

Combine all the ingredients for the avocado dressing into a mini prep or food processor and blend until smooth.  This can be prepared ahead of time if kept in a small container with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface.

Combine all ingredients for the chipotle cream into a mini prep or blender.  Blend until smooth. This can hold covered in the fridge for up to two weeks.

To assemble, dress the tuna chunks with the avocado pureé in a bowl.  Spread any remaining avocado onto the tostada shells and evenly distribute dressed tuna on each shell.  Drizzle with chipotle sour cream and top with scallion slices and cilantro leaves.  Serve with a lime wedge and enjoy.


North African seasoned tuna with hummus, marinated onions, tomato, yogurt sauce, whole wheat pita

*Serves 4


  • 4 jars Tonnino Tuna, drained and broken into large flakes
  • 1 tbsp ras el hanout, Moroccan spice blend or other North African spice mixture
  • ½  cup hummus
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, washed, dried and cut into quarters
  • 4 ea pieces of whole wheat pita bread
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt

For marinated onions:

  • ½ ea medium yellow onion, cut lengthwise, peeled and cut into thin half moons
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ tbsp vinegar
  • ¼ tsp honey
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

For yogurt sauce:

  • ¾  C- Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 ea- English cucumber, peeled, de seeded and grated
  • 1 tsp- Garlic, grated
  • Juice and zest of ½ lemon
  • 1 ½ Tbsp- Dill
  • Salt and pepper


Combine all ingredients for the Marinated onions into a glass or stainless steel bowl.  Mix thoroughly, cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge. Drain excess liquid right before use.

To prepare the yogurt sauce, drain off any excess liquid from the grated cucumbers.  Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix to incorporate.  Season with salt and pepper to taste

Heat your oven to 325F.  Brush indented side of the pita with a little olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, place the pita oil side up on a bake sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes to slightly crisp up.

To assemble, mix the tuna with the yogurt sauce to dress.   Evenly spread the hummus on top of each pita and distribute the tuna on top, layer on the marinated onion and sliced cherry tomatoes.  Evenly sprinkle the spice blend over the top of each.  

Enjoy open faced or rolled up. 

Spicy tuna roll with tobiko

*Serves 4


  • 2 ea jars of Tonnino tuna, drained and flaked
  • 8 ea nori sheets
  • ½ cup tobiko
  • 2 ea green scallion tops, sliced into thin rings

Soy sauce for dipping

For sushi rice-

  • 1 ½ cup sushi rice
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tbsp kosher salt

For spicy mayo:

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp grated fresh ginger


Wash sushi rice in a bowl with multiple batches of clean water.  Water should run almost clear before use.  Allow to drain in a colander for 20 minutes.  Place the drained rice and 1 ½ cups of water into a small pot band bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to it’s lowest setting and allow to cook for 15-18 minutes.  The water should be completely absorbed.  Turn off the heat and let it sit covered for an additional 10 minutes.  While the rice is sitting, place the vinegar, sugar and salt into a small pot over low heat to dissolve the sugar and salt.  Transfer the rice into a wood or glass bowl and with a wood spoon mix the rice while sprinkling in the vinegar mixture so all the rice gets seasoned.  Allow the rice to cool at room temperature.  Do not refrigerate.

While the rice is cooling, mix all ingredients together for the mayo in a bowl.  Dress the tuna with the spicy mayo mixture.

To assemble, lay a sheet of nori on a sushi roller or kitchen towel wrapped in plastic wrap.  With wet fingers, press a thin layer of rice on the bottom ¾ of the nori sheet.  About 1/3 of the way up, add a line of the tuna mixture.  Starting from the bottom, roll tightly, working up until the nori flat at the top wraps around the roll.  If the nori has trouble sticking the roll, dab a little water on it with your fingers.   Repeat 7 more times.  

When all the rolls are complete, cut into bite sized pieces, top with a dollop of tobiko and garnish with sliced scallions.  Serve with a side of soy sauce for dipping.

Tuna cake with arugula and celery salad, lemon-caper aioli

*Serves 4


For cakes-

  • 4 ea jars of Tonnino tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 ea large egg, beaten
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 4 tsp Dijon or yellow mustard
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp parsley leaves, washed, dried and finely chopped
  • 2 ea green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or grapeseed oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

For salad-

  • 2 ea medium handfuls of baby arugula
  • 1 ea celery heart stalks, washed, ends trimmed and sliced thin
  • celery leaves
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • zest and juice of ¼  lemon
  • salt to taste

For lemon-caper aioli

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • zest and juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 tbsp whole capers, rinsed and finely chopped
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • salt to taste


In a small bowl, whisk together for the lemon-caper aioli.  Cover and store in the fridge until use.

In a bowl mix together the egg, mayo, mustard, Worcestershire, hot sauce, parsley, scallions, salt and pepper.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flaked tuna and bread crumbs, season with salt.  Gently combine the mayonnaise mixture with the tuna so the flakes stay somewhat intact.  Portion the mixture into 4 even batches.  Gently form each batch into a ball, careful not to squeeze and press too hard.  Lay the ball on a sheet tray or plate and press down with the palm of your hand to form a cake.

Heat a cast iron or heavy bottomed sauté pan over medium high heat.  Add the oil and when it starts to shimmer, carefully place the tuna cakes in the pan and cook on until deep golden brown, about 3-4 minutes on each side.  Remove the cake and transfer onto paper towels.

To assemble, combine the arugula, sliced celery and celery leaves in a bowl, dress with the olive oil, lemon juice and zest.  Season with salt.   Evenly distribute the salad onto 4 plates, place one tuna cake over each salad, add a dollop of aioli on each cake and finish with chopped chives

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