Lately, we’ve been trying to live both more healthily AND more frugally (and besides, we’re totally broke and can’t afford to do anything else! lol). My husband has had great results with a low-carb diet (that is, a diet low in carbs, not a crazy-strict system of food denial), I think largely due to his particular body type, and it’s always good for me to cut back on them.
However, a low-carb menu is generally a high-meat menu, and in our grain-subsidized economy that is not always a cheap feat. The problem, also, is that I am currently 7 months pregnant and generally wiped out by the process of getting through life with two preschoolers and a ridiculously large bump! So we put our heads together and worked out a weekly meal plan that is not only low-carb and low-cost, but also simple, easy-to-cook, and more likely to actually happen!
So over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the meal plan we worked out, as well as the recipes for the dishes. Today (because that’s what I just made — just ignore the date), I’m sharing our Friday dish.
Combined and modified (mostly based on what’s in my pantry!), these two recipes have become the staple of our Friday nights. We do our best to observe the Friday sacrifice (although quite often we have to opt for that “give up something other than meat” option), and tuna has provided a tasty, low-cost meal that is both meatless AND low(er)-carb.
The only problem is, this bread is so delicious it’s hard not to eat more tuna just to get more bread! The whole wheat flours, however, are intended to off-set the processed flour intake, and they taste pretty yummy in the process.
The Greater Tuna Salad is modified from a recipe found (thanks, Google!) on The Cozy Apron. Some ingredients are left out/modified to suit our family’s tastes, so be sure to check out the original if you’re more daring than us (haha), but the biggest difference is that I eventually ended up tripling the recipe to feed our family of 2 adults, 2 kids, and one hungry monkey in-utero. ;)
The cranberry bread is an amalgamation of two recipes found online: the Best Bread Machine Bread recipe on Allrecipes.com and Betty Crocker’s Bread Machine Whole Wheat-Cranberry Bread recipe. (All pictures are stolen unabashedly from those much more professional websites!)
So, without further ado, here’s the recipe for a little slice (or sandwhich, rather) of heaven!
Whole Wheat Cranberry Bread
2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
2 TB granulated sugar
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
good squirt of raw honey/maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable or coconut oil (strongly recommend the coconut oil, if you have it on hand!)
2 TB softened butter
2 cups white whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Place the yeast, sugar, and warm water in the bread machine and let the yeast dissolve for about 10 minutes. It should look good and foamy when you add the rest, but I’m not persnickety about the time if I’m in a crunch.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, saving the cranberries. Set the machine to the “Bake Rapid” setting if you want it done in the least amount of time (on my machine, 2 hrs.), but any setting will do. It doesn’t have to be a “whole wheat” setting. I also set it to light crust, medium size, but again that’s pretty much between you and your bread machine. Don’t forget to press Start. ;)
- 5-10 minutes before the end of the kneading cycle of your bread maker (10 minutes after starting, on mine), add the cranberries and watch the dough wobble its way into picking up & integrating all the craisins!
- Remove promptly when it’s done baking, to prevent crust from getting too tough or burnt. Let cool, then slice for sandwiches! If you find it comes out too dry and crumbly for good slicing, add more oil or honey next round.
Greatest Tuna Salad
6 cans tuna, drained well
2 TB dill
1 to 1 1/2 cups mayo (depending on family preference and the dryness of your tuna)
3/4 tsp salt + a pinch
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper (because of the little folks, I usually just twist the pepper grinder for a good half-minute over the bowl, till we have about what we like)
1 good squirt dijon mustard
juice of 1/4 lemon
3-4 celery ribs, diced small
- Mix all ingredients in medium bowl.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
As soon as hubby walks in the door or you can wrangle those kids to the table, slap that salad on your bread and enjoy!