Iâ€™d welcome any excuse to visit Australia, but now I can’t really use snacks as one of them.
Since late last year, Bhuja Snack Mixes have been available right here in the good olâ€™ U.S.
According to its Web site, long before potato chips and the like were around, Indian families would toss spices with roasted grains and cereals to create a snack called â€œBhuja.â€ Andâ€¦last year, an Indian family in Australia commercialized this as Majans Bhuja Snack Mixes. These snacks have chickpeas, peas, nuts and fruit and are seasoned with cumin, coriander and turmeric. More good news: they are high in protein and fiber, have zero trans fats, and are gluten- and cholesterol-free.
My favorite was the Bhuja Nut Mix with multigrain noodles, garden peas, peanuts, almonds and cashews. I thought it was really zippy — the ingredients combined well together — and it totally hit the spot. The Fruit Mix was also good, but I didnâ€™t like it *quite* as much. Savory fruit just seemed a little strange to me.
I also really enjoyed the Valley Produce Companyâ€™s Luxury Almonds. The rosemary really shines through, but theyâ€™re also apparently flavored with sweet paprika, thyme, cayenne pepper and chili flakes. (Donâ€™t let that scare you â€“ theyâ€™re not spicy.)
Another Australian product worth trying is G’Day Gourmet Tuna. It is sustainably harvested from the ocean off of southern Australia and blended with vegetables, herbs and spices. Theyâ€™re available in several varieties; I sampled Lemon Pepper and Tomato Basil.
They say you can eat it straight from the can, but I wanted to *do* something with it. I tried the Lemon Pepper tuna in a casserole recipe that claimed to be the only good tuna casserole out there. It was alrightâ€¦but, truth be told, the lemon and pepper were sort of lost in all of the casserole ingredients. It smelled really good when I opened the canâ€¦so it probably would have been better to have just left well enough alone in this case.
When I lived in Alaska, I went on a popular riverboat tour in Fairbanks and bought canned salmon because I was told it made a great dip. And it really did! All you had to do was mix a can of the salmon with a block of cream cheese and serve it with crackers and it was amazing. I tried to do something similar with the Tomato Basil tunaâ€¦but it didnâ€™t turn out quite as well as the salmon dip.
Other G’Day tuna flavors include Mild Indian Curry, Tomato Onion and Smoked Flavorsâ€¦so there are plenty of options. And below you’ll find two more recipes that sound a lot better than anything I did with the tunaâ€¦or that might come in handy if youâ€™re a really big Wolverine fan and have been itching to eat fish from Hugh Jackmanâ€™s homeland.
Greek Tuna Sandwich
2 cansÂ Tomato Basil tuna
1Â ounceÂ feta, crumbled
5-10Â smallÂ black olives, chopped
2Â cupsÂ arugula
1Â mediumÂ tomato, sliced
4Â slicesÂ whole grain breadÂ (thick slices)
Mix tuna in a bowl with feta and olives. Layer 1 cup arugula, 2 slices of the tomato and tuna mixture on each of 2 slices of bread.
Tuna with Sun-Dried Tomato Sandwiches
2 cans Tomato Basil tuna
2 tablespoons minced drained sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped pitted Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives
3 tablespoons plain, unsweetened yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, minced
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, mashed
2 scallions, chopped fine
2 5-inch lengths of Italian or French bread, halved horizontally fresh or toasted
arugula or lettuce
Whisk the yogurt, garlic, basil, and lemon juice in a bowl, add salt and pepper to taste, and then stir in the tuna (undrained), olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and scallions. Divide the tuna mixture between the bottom halves of the bread, top the sandwiches with the arugula, and cover them with the top halves of the bread, pressing firmly.