Straight from the Can: Quick Meals

Next time you reach for your can opener, make sure it's not to open a tin of sugar- and salt-packed baked beans. From fighting off fat to keeping your heart in good health, reap the body benefits of these four convenient and nutritious meals - knocked together using ingredients straight from the kitchen cupboard.

Picture credit: ballyscanlon/Getty Images

Salmon and Mushy Pea Fishcake

Make it!

1 Boil 500g of tinned potatoes until soft, drain, mash and season.

2 Mix in 418g of canned salmon (minus large bones and skin) and 300g of tinned marrowfat peas.

3 Divide into eight, shape into patties, brush with oil and bake for 20 minutes, flipping once.

The Healthy

Potatoes are one of nature's few sources of the blood pressure-lowering compound kukoamine, according to the UK Institute for Food Research.

Salmon's omega-3 fatty acids can improve your ratio of lean muscle to fat, keeping your heart ticking along nicely.

Four weekly servings of peas and other legumes cuts heart disease risk by up to 22 per cent, reports the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Lentil and Spinach Curry

Make it!

1 Fry a chopped red onion in oil until soft, add two crushed garlic cloves and fry for another minute.

2 Stir in two tablespoons of Balti curry paste and fry for one minute.

3 Add one 400g tin of tomatoes, 150ml of stock and a 410g can of green lentils; simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in 400g of canned spinach and heat through.

The Healthy


Lycopene, which gives tomatoes their colour, reduces oxidative muscle damage in runners.

Swedish researchers found that nitrates in leafy greens such as spinach improve how efficiently muscle cells use oxygen during exercise.

Lentils have 19 per cent of your iron RDA per 100g, "a mineral needed to carry oxygen to muscles", says sports dietitian Tara Gidus.

Spanish Style Tortilla

Make it!

1 Fry a chopped onion until soft, add a diced red pepper and 300g of sliced tinned potatoes. Add 200g of canned peas. Preheat the grill.

2
Beat six eggs, pour over the potatoes, sprinkle with grated cheddar and cook on the hob for five minutes.

3 Put under the grill and cook until firm. Cut into wedges.

The Healthy

Eat onions every day for five per cent better bone mineral density in later life, says a study carried out at the University of South Carolina, US.

Eggs are one of the few food sources of bone-boosting vitamin D; researchers say it can also boost your ratio of fast-twitch to slow-twitch muscle fibres.

Red peppers contain nine times the carotene of green peppers: the pigment bolsters bones and could reduce your risk of stress fractures, says Gidus.

Tuna with Black Bean and Mango Salsa

Make it!

1 Marinate four tuna steaks in soy sauce while you mix 400g of canned black beans, 400g of tinned mango slices (chopped), two chopped chillies, six chopped spring onions and the juice of a lime.

2 Dry the tuna and cook for about two minutes on each side. Serve with the salsa.

The Healthy

One lime provides 30 per cent of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C: researchers say that meeting the RDA helps to burn 30 per cent more body fat during exercise. 

A yellowfin tuna steak delivers 71 per cent of a male runner's niacin needs and a huge 92 per cent for women. Also known as vitamin B3, the nutrient helps regulate metabolism.

The protein and insoluble fibre combo makes black beans great for both digestive health and blood sugar regulation.

Thanks to cannedfood.co.uk for the recipes and photos which featured in our October 2011 edition.