Sneaking in the Vegetables: Tuna Melt Tuna Helper and Pumpkin

Boxed Helpers are a staple in my kitchen. I love the convenience of the boxed meals, and I also love that I can always find coupons for Betty Crocker Helpers in my Sunday paper. However and unfortunately, boxed Helpers are not full of yummy and healthy vegetables. Thus, to add some more vegetables into my family’s diet, I have been experimenting with adding different vegetables to my favorite meals.

My second experiment was adding pumpkin puree to tuna melt Tuna Helper. Instead of following the preparation directions on the box, I used the following recipe: two cans of drained tuna, one cup of pumpkin, 1 cup of water, 2 cups of milk, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Instead of the usual butter, I substituted olive oil to add some healthy fats to the meal. And, to make up for the extra moisture in the pumpkin puree, I added less water than the box called for.

And what were the results of my vegetable experiment? Both my husband and I really liked the addition of the pumpkin, which was subtle, not adding any extra flavor while adding a lot of healthy vegetable goodness. My daughter, who gets bites of tuna from my meal, also approved. So, if you are looking to add more vegetables to your family’s diet, try adding some pumpkin to the tuna melt variety of Tuna Helper.

Image Credits

Tuna and Pumpkin © 2012 Heather Johnson
Tuna, Pumpkin, Milk, and Olive Oil © 2012 Heather Johnson
Uncooked Tuna Melt with Pumpkin © 2012 Heather Johnson
Cooked Tuna Melt with Pumpkin © 2012 Heather Johnson

Heather Johnson

Heather Johnson is a mother, wife, writer, librarian, and linguist. She earned a BA in English studies with a minor in creative writing from Illinois State University in May 2007, an MS in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2009, and an MS in English studies with an emphasis in linguistics at Illinois State University in December 2011.

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