Easy and cheap food in a can? How common, you say. I’ve already written an article about tinned food. Looking back through it, there are a few things that I’d like to add to it. Canned food isn’t a bad guy of national health and there’s nothing wrong with convenience. Using food from a can, you can knock together a quick, cheap and satisfying meal in minutes.
The original article was more of a list article of tinned and canned products that I kept in my cupboard, with only a few suggestions of what to do with them. So in this article, I’ll give a few suggestions of how you can use cans to make something a bit different…and maybe save a few quid.
I’m not really into drafting articles, so if I accidently repeat anything here from the last article about canned food, I’m sorry.
Canned Fish. Canned fish is a great product. I’d be lying if I said tinned tuna was as good as fresh tuna. It simply isn’t. But it’s a great product. And if you get the stuff in spring water, and not the oil, you get a pretty decent shot of healthy fish oils too. A quick suggestion for tinned tuna, or mackerel, is to cook some pasta as per packet instructions; add your canned fish, stir through into the pasta with one tablespoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of ground ginger, and a teaspoon of chilli powder. You’ll feel great afterwards. I mentioned a mackerel omelette in the last article. Tuna would work too, but not as well. Tinned salmon, mixed into a simple salad with a vinaigrette is brilliant.
Chopped Tomatoes. Chopped tomatoes are another great product. They have certain health benefits that you don’t get with fresh tomatoes. Chopped tomatoes are extremely flexible and you need them for chilli con carne, spag bol, some curries and all sorts of other sauces. You can make a very quick curry by adding can of chickpeas to a can of chopped tomatoes and curry powder to taste.
Stag. I’m not afraid to admit this: I love Stag. I love it on jacket potatoes…with rice…stirred through pasta…I even ate a can of Stag cold once. (In my defence I was in a shocking mood at the time.) Don’t get me wrong, I make a mean chilli with a chocolate, coffee and lime twist, but there’s something about Stag that draws me in. I won’t accept substitutes. It’s Stag or nowt, as I told a woman at Asda the other day.
Sweet corn. Tuna and sweet corn sandwich is a classic. It’s great on salads for a bit of crunch. And sweet corn goes down pretty well in a stir fry. There’s a bit of a food myth that sweet corn is completely indigestible. Fibre isn’t, and that’s true of all fruits and vegetables. Just chew your food.
Soup. Even though I’ve admitted to eating Stag, which may or may not contain horse meat, I might retract what I said in the last article about tinned soup. It’s better from a tub. Less tinny. And it’s even better made fresh, and other than chopping, making your own soup can take just as long as boiling a can. I’m thinking of adding some recipes for blender-free soups soon.
Canned beans. We’ve already spoke about baked beans. Canned beans is a tricky one for me. Canned chickpeas, aduki beans, kidney beans and all of their friends are very convenient from cans. And most of the time it’s a great product. But soaking and cooking your own beans, although it’s very time-consuming and requires a bit of forward-planning, is the cheaper and tastier option. Saying that, I use canned beans more often than not. Hopefully, when I get a pressure cooker, I’ll boil my own.
Canned vegetables. Disgusting. Pale. Limp. Depleted of vitamins. And all completely devoid of taste and life, except mushy peas and garden peas. Smashing. I love a mushy pea sandwich.
So that’s tins done for now. No doubt I’ll come back to them another time.
Thanks for reading,
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