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How to use canned tuna

Keep a can of protein-packed, low-fat tuna in spring water in the cupboard and you can make these healthy dishes in just minutes.

1.  Classic combo

Nicoise salad is an enduring favourite. Combine boiled baby potatoes, steamed green beans, tomatoes, black olives and hard-boiled egg. Add flaked tuna and dress with white wine vinegar and olive oil.

2.  Favourite flavour

Add tuna to homemade or bought tomato pasta sauce. For extra flavour, add a few anchovies.

3.  Upper crust

Jazz up a tuna and salad sandwich by mixing the tuna with a little mayonnaise, some grated lemon zest, and chopped gherkins, capers and parsley. For something different, serve in a pita pocket.

4.  Red centre

For a light meal, slice the tops off some large tomatoes, then scoop out the seeds. Add some chopped hard-boiled eggs to the sandwich mixture (above), spoon into tomatoes and serve. Use this mixture to fill cherry tomatoes for an easy hors d'oeuvre or as a snack for small children.

5.  Fish cakes

Mix 2 cans of tuna with a finely chopped onion, 1 grated carrot, 1 mashed potato, 1 egg, some chopped parsley and grated lemon zest. Form into patties, coat in flour and shallow-fry in olive oil. Serve with tzatziki.

6.  With the grain

Flake tuna and mix through couscous with steamed green beans, halved cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, black olives and chopped parsley.

7.  Last-minute dip

The sandwich mix also makes an easy dip when friends drop by. Serve with crackers or raw vegies.

8.  Bake expectations

Add flaked tuna to a favourite macaroni cheese or pasta bake recipe – great for a winter's night.

9.  Salad days

Mix tuna with 1 can rinsed and drained chickpeas. Add rocket leaves or baby spinach and 1 thinly sliced red onion. Dress with lemon juice and olive oil. You can substitute chickpeas with canned beans or use a mix.

10.  Mexican style

Add tuna, taco seasoning and 1 can rinsed and drained red kidney beans to a basic tomato sauce and heat through. Spoon into tortillas and roll up to enclose filling. Place burritos in a baking dish, sprinkle with reduced-fat cheese and bake until the cheese melts.