Sustainable lunch for one

A sponsored post for Woolworths

Woolworths have recently changed their fishing methods for Select tuna and it’s something they should be proud of! As Greenpeace reported last month “By the end of this year, all of Woolworths ‘Select’ tuna will be caught one-by-one with a pole and line, and by 2015 the rest of its ‘Home Brand’ tuna will be caught without using harmful and unsustainable Fish Attracting Devices (FADs) – floating fish magnets that make it easier to catch tuna, but which also draw in and scoop up turtles, dolphins, sharks – pretty much the entire cast of Finding Nemo.” Putting sustainability before profits is something I know that I feel strongly about and it’s good to be able to see a supermarket putting it forward.

I have long had a love/hate relationship with tinned tuna. For my brain, when I start to eat tinned tuna for lunch it signals that I am trying to lose weight and it starts off instant hunger pains. Inevitably with any health kick that I start, tuna stars on the lunchtime menu as it’s thrown in a wrap with some spinach leaves, on some crackers or tossed into a salad. Slowly I am starting to work out that a few weeks of starvation is not the best or most sustainable way to stay healthy or lose weight. I must be growing up or something because I now have a more sensible approach: not eating as much food, and exercising regularly and consistently. It’s been something I have been focusing on this year, and while it’s slower, it’s working.

I’m also trying to steer clear of my standard bland dieting meals. While the calories might not be as low, the food TASTES good. If you eat something tasty, I reckon that you feel better about eating less of it. And you know what? If you do go overboard, just up the exercise and move on. I have no time for guilt trips or bland food anymore…life is too short! Lunch is always time for me to fall back into bad habits – it’s too easy for me to eat like my 4 year old – a couple of vegemite sandwiches on white bread hits the spot for approximately 3.5 seconds and then I’m bloated and unsatisfied. One simple lunch that I like to eat that is healthy AND tasty and that you would be happy to eat a small amount of is a tuna, olive, tomato & basil pasta. In the time it takes to boil some pasta you have a delicious lunch packed with flavour.


Simple tuna pasta (for one)

Small handful of pasta (just enough for one about 100 grams)
6 cherry tomatoes
6 kalamata olives
½ red onion finely diced
1 clove garlic (crushed)
Handful basil leaves (torn)
1 teaspoon baby capers
1 small tin of tuna
1 tablespoon olive oil for frying

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1. Boil up the pasta in salted water

2. Finely dice the red onion and crush the garlic clove. Half the cherry tomatoes, take the stones out of the kalamata olives and tear the basil leaves apart.


3. Fry up the onion and garlic until soft, take off the heat and add in the olives, tomatoes and capers. Throw in the boiled pasta into the hot frypan, toss in oil  and then empty in the tin of tuna making sure that the chunks don’t break up too much. Sprinkle in the torn basil leaves, some salt & pepper to season and demolish!

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This makes the perfect quick lunch or dinner for one: sustainable tuna and sustainable health kick meal!

[gmc_recipe 7195]

Are tuna catching methods important to you?
Do you have a tasty, quick healthy lunch or dinner?


  1. A sponsored post for a huge supermarket chain. Tinned food. Food not captured/grown yourself. None of this is so-called “sustainable”. You remain very much a part of the problem. Stop kidding yourself.

    • Hayley Rose says

      So says you while making good use of your factory made device from China & internet provider that hires offshore for cheap wages. How is the view up there?

      • If I’m not mistaken, Hayley Rose, the critical issue here is food, not the Internet. Refer to basic school principles of clear thinking. Food, as we continue to poison our seas and soil, is a finite resource.

      • stinkb0mb says

        Irrespective of whether or not I agree with Shelley’s comment [but just to be open and clear, I don’t believe eating sustainably is achievable for a lot of the population due to both circumstance and finance but I think people who CAN eat as sustainably as possible, should be applauded not shamed or made to feel guilty for not fully embracing it, be it by choice or circumstance], if you’re going to call someone out on their comment, do it with facts because assumptions just weaken your argument.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Kim Brooks says

      Whilst the ‘Little House On The Prairie’ series of books remain one of my childhood favorite reads we live in a different world these days. Thanks for the heads up Beth re Woolies changing their fishing methods. Your recipe looks and sounds delish and is now on my menu plan for this coming weekend. We have a lovely big Woolies close by that we shop at as well as hitting the farmers markets on a weekly basis. A nice balance that works well for us.

      • BabyMacBlogBeth says

        Thanks Kim. We do the same – where we can we use locally sourced produce (and are lucky enough to have access to that) but like most people we rely on the supermarket too and that makes up our mix of food shopping. As much as I’d like to be out there catching my own tuna, it’s not going to happen and I’m glad I have the option to choose some now that now use better fishing methods than before. Baby steps perhaps, but in the right direction at least. Enjoy the pasta it’s delicious!

        • You’re absolutely wrong. Supermarket shopping just is not necessary. The best online example is a couple with four (4) young daughters: Dad, Rohan, blogs at Whole Larder Love; Mum, Kate, at The Other Kate Berry. Plus, they don’t own land, they rent it. Use your imagination; don’t be restricted by what others do (including Woolworths). Expand your horizons. Show your children what is possible.

          • BabyMacBlogBeth says

            Why does there have to be a “right” and a “wrong”? I respect both Rohan and Kate and admire what they do. But why should that be right and what I might do wrong? That’s what I don’t get. I have a veggie patch. I have chooks. I buy from friends who are farmers. I also buy at a supermarket. I just do. It might not be for you but I don’t think it necessarily makes me wrong. I just don’t. I get and value both sides of the argument but making someone better for their choices and shaming others for theirs doesn’t sit well with me. That’s all. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Shelley and for offering a different opinion and side of the story – debate is healthy and welcomed here.

          • I buy organic, I go to the farmer’s market and I also am very glad I have the choice to walk into a supermarket.

          • I still don’t understand how Beth is going to catch her own Tuna? Does it in involve using a reaaaaaaaaally long home-made rod?

    • A mean comment. Why so rude? And all in just six sentences; is this a haiku?

  2. Looks delish Bev. would make a nice change from the Tuna Mornay on high rotation around these parts x

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      You know I NEVER cook with tuna. I have never made tuna mornay but I can assure you this is delicious! And not a vegemite sambo! Enjoy your lunch today x

  3. capers make everything better.

  4. Would you believe that I use tinned tuna to make a no-rice sushi? It’s a Jane Kennedy recipe and super tasty and great for lunches. I’m impressed that these changes have been made re tuna fishing. There is always a tin or two in our cupboard as a good, quick protein supply.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      I agree – I always have a tin in the cupboard and if I can choose one that has made this change then I will. I’ll have to check out that recipe…thanks Nikki.

    • No-rice sushi… I have to find this ASAP!! I’ve been giving my son tuna salads to take to school for ages and keep meaning to vary it. I have TRIED to catch my own tuna int he past… nae luck… but a bloke on a canoe nearby caught some and we ate it raw and super fresh… the best ever… but sadly don’t find myself in the Sulawesi Sea very often these days.

  5. YUM! This recipe is being added to next week’s dinner menu. I’ve recently fallen in love with capers. We had them in our dinner last night along with oven baked salmon, cherry tomatoes, baby potatoes, lemon and thyme.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      That sounds bloody delicious…I haven’t done baked salmon in the longest time and need to add it to the trolley again soon.

  6. Lisa Mckenzie says

    Tuna is a good luck option Beth and this recipe looks great I am glad to hear of the changes in tuna fishing X

  7. Susan McCarney says

    I bet that plate of pasta was as delicious as it looks……X

  8. This is a lovely post and I’d be thrilled to have it anytime. We eat locally about 90% of the time but I’m in a landlocked area and always searching for fish that is at least responsibly sourced. Right now there’s 3+ ft of snow on the ground so short of building my own greenhouse and trout pond (both solar powered) I’m going to be eating non-local food.

  9. Archie Lane says

    What an interesting post for many reasons. I understand both sides of the argument. I shop, grow and source for a family of 6. 75% of our produce, fruit, vegetables, meat etc comes locally, within a 25-40km radar of farmers markets and local growers. Its a personal approach that I prefer, it works for me and it works for my family. We follow a 90% paleo diet that calls for organic, grass fed, sustainable, free range and where possible adopting a ‘locavore’ approach. Unfortunately the large supermarkets despite their claims cannot supply this to my family. I believe it comes down to personal preference and as always the individual. We all do what we do, some feel I should not be feeding my children a diet sans grain and dairy for example as I do not give them balance – as mentioned each to their own and what works for you.

    My frustration lies in the supermarkets attempting to convince the consumer they are making a ‘feel good’ purchase by shopping with them. I cannot understand any supermarkets claim at sustainable and if I can read between the lines maybe this is where Shelley was coming from with her frustration. The methods of catching are in fact improving, the methods of transporting to the stores are not – here lies the problem. Supermarkets are not sustainable, their footprint is insurmountable, we all know it, we all understand it – yet as an individual we are all entitled to make choices.

    Great post Beth – really sparked debate, although may not have been the intention perhaps? We all do things differently there is not right or wrong and isn’t is great we are in a position to have that great word called choice.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Thanks for your comment. My use of the word sustainable was a bad choice, I can see that now. I suppose I was trying to play on the fact that this lunch will fill you/keep you sustained rather than a vegemite sambo. In any case it has brought about some interesting discussions. I am not naive enough to not know what role supermarkets play in the environment, society what I HOPE to do in any post that I do for a food company or supermarket or even a local organic fruit and vegetable farmer is try to educate the consumer on a small part of the process – whether a chicken that they buy is actually organic, that x brand of tuna could be a better option given it’s farming methods etc. So many people (including myself) stick their head in the sand about stuff and I am really excited that I might help someone make a better choice somewhere along the way. Thanks again for joining in on the discussion in a meaningful way.

  10. I briefly saw this post yesterday Beth and I’m back to get the recipe to make it for dinner because it looks beautiful and yummy.

    So I just read all the comments … the one from Archie Lane was thoughtful and decent. Others not so much. I love passionate debate about things, especially in a public comment section such as this. What I HATE about some commenters is the rudeness, lack of respect and manners shown in certain comments. Some people act like it’s their job to tear bloggers down. i’m really sick of it. You want to disagree with what a blogger says/acts/thinks? By all means go ahead! You have every right. But why do it in such a mean, nasty, attacking way?

    (Beth do I just times this recipe by four?)

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      You do x 4.

    • Curious, Ms Land. Whilst saying that you applaud open discussion, you do not yourself address the actual issues at hand, vis-a-vis sustainability and treading lightly. Further, in relation to the varying manners in which we may communicate (e.g. as adversarial Counsel, as opposed to as a cleric hearing confession), you would be well advised to make yourself conversant with venues beyond your land of Mummy blogging and the supermarket. Your way is neither the only way nor, necessarily, the “right” way.

  11. TheLifeSheMade says

    I switched to the Woolworths select brand a while ago when I realised that they are one of the only brands out there who have 100% olive oil (as opposed to a blend of olive and vegetable oils) at this price point. You have to go to a health food shop and pay $6 a can for this quality of tuna in oil. So I’m happy to hear that they are switching to pole and line caught fish. Every little but helps.

  12. Kylie Gardner says

    Good quality tuna makes ALL the difference. I’ll be sure to try this one out.

  13. Lynda Dean says

    Well I would love to come to one of your dinner parties, if a bowl of tuna pasta for lunch generates this kind of conversation ; – )

    It really looks great – I wish I could style my food shots like this.

  14. Dannie Wallace says

    YUMMO! Just wrote out my shopping list LOVE capers and Tuna (actually eat loads of tuna) so i will just double up on everything for 3 people right Beth? Thanks so much for another recipe to add to my huge collection x

  15. Cherie Anne says

    I always read (& never comment), & I’m sorry! 🙂
    But this is a great recipe! It’s so easy, but sometimes when I’m in the thick of WAH craziness with the 2 kids, I turn to (cringe!) Maggi noodles, because I can just do it in 2 mins, & be done with it.
    And er, I do Woolworths online. So … not only do I shop in the dreaded supermarket chain, but I also pay a dude to drive my goods out to me in his big truck, & I imagine the exhaust pollutes the air while he’s on his way to save my sorry arse with my online grocery shop – yet again!
    Do I feel guilty? Fuck no.
    One day I’ll shop at markets & all that jazz again. Right now? I’m too busy. And that’s why I LOVE Woolworths online.
    P.S I can’t believe you don’t catch your own tuna? You’re such an arsehole, lol.
    x x x

  16. Wowsers, who knew tuna pasta could be so controversial! As someone who lives in a country that has one of the largest carbon footprints per captia and where pretty much nothing is sustainable, I’ll quietly stay out of the debate!
    But boy that pasta looks delish. Will be giving it whirl really soon.

  17. I literally can’t believe that people get so upset about a tuna pasta recipe ,
    Looks good I’m off to Woolies now to buy ingredients. And from the southern highlands you would need a really loong pole and nerves of steel to catch a tuna from the rocks at Currarong which I believe is one of the only places that you can catch it from land near here.
    I was looking for your Anne cake recipe so back to the task at hand.


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