Budget Beans and Tuna with Aioli

I tried this recipe when I was looking to incorporate more beans into my diet because they’re so cheap and apparently good for your heart. Another red meat free meal, it includes the staples of a frugal kitchen: stewed tomatoes, cans of tuna, beans and cheap white wine. This is another recipe with leeks that are sometimes a bit expensive out of season. Along with the clam juice, it’s often cheaper to try and pick these up at an ethnic grocery. Once I had this loose stew together, I honestly wasn’t enthusiastic about it and was warning my roommates that it might not be great. But scoop in some of the easy aioli and the meal takes a huge swerve. Finish the bottle of wine and you’ll have a proper French feast.


  • 15ml or 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 leek whites, halved and sliced thinly
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1 hot pepper. Serrano or otherwise
  • 10 ml or 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 5ml or 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp or 2 ml salt
  • 1 can (796 ml/28oz) coarsely chopped stewed tomatoes including juice
  • 1 can (540ml/91oz) drained and rinsed white kidney beans or 500 ml/2cups cooked and drained beans
  • 2 cans of tuna in water, drained and chopped

Easy aioli

  • 3 gloves of minced garlic
  • 250 ml or 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • chives or chopped parsley

Use another fish? Maybe not one bought in a tin can. Red kidney beans, more spicey sauce. This meal reminds me of the french bouillabaisse, so maybe something stolen from such a recipe.


  • Heat oil in a skillet and add the celery and leeks
  • When vegetables are soft add the hot pepper, thyme, pepper and salt and stir for 1 minute.
  • Add tomatoes, clam juice and white wine and bring to a boil.
  • Stir liquid until it is reduced by one-third, about 5 minutes
  • Transfer liquid to slow cooker with beans and stir
  • Cook until bubbling on low for 8 hours or 4 hours on high
  • Add tuna and heat on high for 20 minutes
  • For the aioli, combine ingredients well and top on the fish stew

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