23 Aug 2014
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Healthy Alternative: Sweet Potato Tuna Melt

A healthier alternative to winter weather comfort food.

Healthy Alternative: Sweet Potato Tuna Melt Healthy Alternative: Sweet Potato Tuna Melt Healthy Alternative: Sweet Potato Tuna Melt Healthy Alternative: Sweet Potato Tuna Melt Healthy Alternative: Sweet Potato Tuna Melt

They say the second week into January is when most New Year's Resolutions kick in. I'll have to admit, it has taken me a few weeks since the holidays to get back into the swing of things. Although I didn't make a resolution, per se, I have been trying to make a better effort to eat healthy; more veggies and whole grains, and cut out the sweets.

Of course it's easier said than done. Once that train goes off the rails...

Eating healthy begins with a mindset and a commitment, and consistency is key. Then there’s the follow through; it helps to start stocking up on healthy choices, and meal planning.

With the onset of the nasty weather this week the last thing I wanted was veggies. By contrast, I wanted pasta and cheese and all things carbs. Plus, with the big Pats vs Broncos game this weekend, I was desperate to make sure we don't resort to junk food. With this in mind, I looked toward my friends for some inspiration.

The first person I asked was my good friend Melanie Boucher Martin. I simply wanted to know if she had any good, healthy dinner recipes to share. As a successful weight-watcher, and also a fellow food-lover, I knew she was the perfect resource, and she didn’t disappoint.

She described watching The Chew this week where they demonstrated healthy eating alternatives to common fattening faves, and they featured a sweet potato tuna melt, instead of a typical tuna melt sandwich. Once I saw the video on the website, I had to agree that THIS is What's For Dinner tonight: the perfect remedy for the cold weather, comfort food-craving, but high in protein, low in fat and best of all: satisfying.

This dish is sort of like a tuna melt-meets a loaded potato skins. Perfect way to lose the bread, have that little bit of saltiness from the melted mozzarella and the sweetness of the sweet potato. It turns out sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, low in saturated fat and cholesterol-so this recipe really fits the bill for another go-to meal.

I altered the recipe a bit, and the result was delicious. Here’s what I did: I added Greek yogurt to the tuna in place of the non-fat mayonnaise, (I just couldn’t do non-fat mayonnaise once I took a peek at the label). Instead of the list of spices in the recipe, I opted for 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest, fresh black pepper and about a 1 tsp. of garlic powder, and stirred well to combine.

Also, my potatoes were taking a long time to cook through, so I cooked them with the cut sides up drizzled with a little olive oil, which seemed to get them going more quickly. When the sweet potato was fully cooked,  I took a minute to scoop out the inside and put the flesh into a bowl with some Greek Yogurt, about 1 tsp. per potato, and mashed it up; Return the mashed sweet potato to the skin, add a layer of tuna, and top with freshly grated part skim mozzarrella.

I served the Sweet Potato Tuna Melts along with a fresh salad of baby arugula and kiwi with feta cheese and drizzle of balsamic. What could be better than loaded low fat skins while watching the Pats game tonight?

Here is the recipe from The Chew, (Thanks, Mel!), I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Sweet Potato Tuna Melt

  • 1 large sweet potato (halved)
  • 3/4 cup canned tuna
  • 1/2 cup nonfat mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon roasted garlic and onion seasoning
  • lemon pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded part skim milk mozzarella cheese
    • Preheat oven to 400°F. Place potatoes cut side down on a greased baking sheet and roast until tender, about 30 minutes.
    • Remove potatoes and allow to cool. Meanwhile, combine tuna, mayo and spices in a bowl and mix until well combined.
    • Top potatoes with tuna, sprinkle cheese over the top and place under the broiler until cheese has melted about 1 minute. Serve hot.

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