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The Tuna Cookbook

By MaryAnn Miano

The Tuna Cookbook by Sheila Metcalf is the perfect recipe book for those of us who wish to economize the tasty way. Ounce for ounce and dollar for dollar, tuna gives you more nutrition and variety in serving that any other protein. Making meals that stretch your budget is not as difficult as you might think with a trusty can of fish from the sea.

This cookbook takes you beyond salads and sandwiches, as the author shows how much more you can do with a can of tuna. Try to think outside the tuna sandwich box; tuna is one of the most versatile foods on the market. Contained within are scores of hot soups, snacks, and main dishes to delight your family and dazzle your friends.

Tuna also has fantastic nutritional value. It has calcium, iron, iodine, copper, and magnesium. There’s Vitamin A, D, thiamine, and riboflavin, plus a high phosphorus and protein content. And unlike hamburger meat, tuna doesn’t shrink when you use it in cooking.

Tuna is the frugal gourmet’s best friend when it comes to quick, economical, nutritious meals. Ms. Metcalf offers an enticing variety of recipe ideas – 155 of them – using tuna for dinners, lunches, snacks, appetizers, soups, and main courses, of which there is something to satisfy everyone’s palate.

She passes on a lot of down-to-earth advice, and some tempting menu ideas, too, in a cookbook to delight your pocketbook and your taste buds; one you’ll want to use again and again. In a testament to the versatility of tuna and the author’s culinary talents, Ms. Metcalf proclaimed that although her lean years were over and she and her family don’t have to eat tuna three or four times a week anymore, they still do, because they love it!

The recipes in the book are separated into groups of entrees, salads, sandwiches, soups (tuna chowder!), and tidbits. Many of the entrees are followed by a recipe for a quick version, and sometimes there are variations for one version. Also included is a section of recipes for foods that go particularly well with tuna, which seems like a necessary part of the book, such as beets or tomatoes. Included, too, are recipes for a White Sauce that is required to make many of the dishes.



2 cans (7 ounces each) tuna, drained and flaked

2 medium potatoes, well-scrubbed

2 large raw carrots

1 large onion

Salt and pepper to taste

2 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 can (10 ½ ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup

Cooked rice


In a food processor, process/grind the tuna, potatoes, carrots, and onion. Add salt and pepper and eggs and mix well. Form into balls and brown them in the butter in a skillet. Place in a shallow baking pan and pour the soup over them. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees F. Serve with rice.


Recipe from The Tuna Cookbook, page 54, by Sheila Metcalf, Publisher Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1972.

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