Seared Tuna Steak with Citrusy Salsa

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I have a fun new game that I like to play whenever I go to the grocery store.  I walk around for a good while until I find something that I haven’t made in a while.  This week, it was tuna steak.  Actually, I don’t recall ever eating tuna steak.  I’m also trying to eat more seafood…about once per week.  So here I am with 3 tuna steaks.  I was planning on just grilling them with a little salt, pepper, and dill, but ultimately decided to go to the ol’ Google machine and see how other people seasoned their tuna steaks.  Lo and behold, I found this winning recipe.  What really drew me to it was the interesting combination of spices that you use to season the fish.  I’m all about strange food combos.  So, here we go!

Ingredients
Homemade Chardonnay salt
2 Tbsp kosher salt
Pinch ground allspice
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Sest of ½ orange
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh tarragon

Citrusy Salsa
2 oranges
½ red onion or 2 shallots, finely diced
Leaves from 6 sprigs fresh tarragon, chopped
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of kosher salt

Instructions
1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix with your fingers, gently bruising the tarragon leaves to release their aromatic oils.
2. Cover and let sit for at least 20 minutes; use within a few hours.
3. In the meantime, make the citrus salsa
4. Peel the oranges and cut them into segments; cut each segment into thirds and combine these with the onion, tarragon, and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with the salt and toss well.
5. Set salsa aside.
6. Fire up the grill, concentrating the coals (or heat) beneath the spot where the steaks will go so as to maximize the heat. If it’s rainy or you’re not quite ready to break out the grill yet, crank up the heat under a grill pan.
7. Lightly oil and season the steaks to taste (I recommend being a little conservative with the seasoning.  If you over-season, the tuna steaks can get quite salty).
8. When the grill or grill pan is very hot, throw on the steaks. Now keep your mitts off until the sear is complete. This takes 1 to 2 minutes on each side for a nicely cooked steak. When the time comes to flip, you’ll know the sear is done if the tuna moves easily and does not stick to the grates or pan.
9. Cook the other side for another 1 to 2 minutes
10. Slice the tuna steaks across the grain. Spoon the salsa over the steaks, and pour a glass of chardonnay to go with the wine salt.

That’s it!  It may seem like there are a lot of steps, but really, it’s not too terribly complicated.

After mixing together the spices, I was still skeptical because of how it smelled sweet…kind of like Christmas…but really, I was blown away.  The citrus from the orange and the cinnamon…crazy good.  As I mentioned earlier, I don’t ever recall having tuna steaks before.  I was pretty happy with how they turned out.  They were cooked to perfection, and the flavor was subtly….not overwhelming at all.  The citrus salsa compliments the tuna really well.  Pretty much a must.  I grilled some asparagus with butter and some orange zest to keep with the citrus them.  Lastly, I completed the meal with a recommended glass of chardonnay.  I think this was one of the best meals that I have made in a REALLY long time.  Seriously BLOWN.AWAY.  If you’re looking for a meal to impress, this might just be that meal.  Give it a try.  Super easy, but looks ridiculously fancy and stuff.  Definitely a win.

Happy eating!

-Lindsay

Recipe HERE

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Meatza Round 2

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Quite awhile ago, I posted the recipe for Mexican Meatza.  It’s basically pizza with a meat crust.  Grain-free, gluten-free, etc.  It’s one of my favorites, and it’s super easy to make.  This past week, the Grateful Chef had meatza on their menu.  Pork and Apple Meatza Pie.  Same idea, different toppings.  Their version used a seasoned ground pork “crust” topped with a light Dijon mustard sauce, sautéed apples, cabbage and caraway seeds.

I was pretty excited to see this on their menu for a couple of reasons.  1.  It’s Paleo.  100% Paleo goodness.  2. This recipe is an excellent well-balanced meal.  Protein, vegetables, fruit.  Perfect.  3. The flavors.  Pork, apple, cabbage, mustard, caraway…I was intrigued.  I love trying new flavor combinations.

This was wonderful.  The meaty, salty flavor of the pork.  The sweet apple goodness.  The cabbage was subtle.  Not overpowering at all.  It had a mild, almost earthy flavor.  The Dijon mustard was kind of the wildcard.  It had a little zip.  It was a fun surprise.  Lastly, the caraway.  Every so often, you get a caraway seed in a bite.  Oh, hey, caraway.  You’re fun.

All in all, my taste buds were crazy happy with this dish.  Meatza in general is really easy to make.  I’m pretty sure most picky eaters will even enjoy it.  Try it out.  This is a delicious spin on your typical carby pizza.

This recipe was created by Melissa from The Clothes Make the Girl. It can be found on her website as well as in her cookbook Well Fed.

Happy Eating!

Chia Seed Pudding

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Chia seeds.  Packed with a big nutritional punch in a tinylittleseed.  Chia seeds are interesting little buggers.  When dry, they look kind of like a poppy seed.  When moisture is added, it basically turns into a gelatinous orb. It has been debated that these seeds can help curb hunger.  I guess my take on it is that since the seed sort of expands, it helps you to feel more full. In addition to maybe curbing hunger, these seeds are pretty good for you.  Fiber, protein, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3.  All of that in these tinylittleseeds. 

I typically use Chia seeds when I make shakes and smoothies.  I’m always looking for other uses for these funky little seeds.  Recently, I came across this pudding recipe on the Deliciously Organic site.  Sounds pretty delicious.

Ingredients
1-1/2 Cups full fat coconut milk
4 Tbsp real maple syrup (or honey)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
1/3 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup fresh berries

Instructions
1. Whisk coconut milk, maple syrup, and extracts until smooth. 
2. Stir in chia seeds
3. Divide mixture evenly between 4 glasses.
4. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
5. Serve

Note: If you’d like to make the pudding ahead of time, cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator.  Set pudding out for 15 minutes before serving.  Best if eaten within 24 hours.

I found this recipe a couple of days ago, printed it off, and set it on my counter.  This morning, before work, I quick whipped up a batch to throw in my lunch bag.  I altered it just slightly due to time.  I had about a half a can of coconut milk and added almond milk to make the 1-1/2 cups. I was out of maple syrup so I used honey.  I didn’t have any almond extract so I left that stuff out as well.  I had my blender out, so I threw it all into the blender and gave it whirl.  Once mixed, I poured the pudding into mason jars and put them in my lunch bag for work. 

Around lunchtime (about 6 hours after making the pudding), I tried this stuff out.  I added fresh raspberries to make it pretty.  This stuff is pretty fantastic.  As my medic partner so eloquently put it, “It looks reptilian!”  The seeds do give it a funky look and texture, but that’s alright.  The flavor makes up for it.  It totally reminded me of tapioca pudding.  Subtly sweet, a hint of vanilla, and packed with healthy goodness. 

I WILL be making this again.  I foresee having this stuff on hand often to have as dessert.  Perfect.

Happy eating!

Recipe HERE. Also listed is a chocolate version. I plan to make that one next time. I have fond memories of warm tapioca pudding with chocolate chips.  Ahh, memories.

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Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce

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I’m a sucker for cranberry sauce.  A Thanksgiving staple that can easily be forgotten.  I guess I grew up having the canned cranberry sauce…didn’t know any better.  This year I decided to try something a little different.  The ingredient list just screamed FLAVOR!  I was all about it.  Here is what you need to know:

Ingredients
One 14 ounce bag of cranberries
One medium Bartlett pear, cored and diced smaller than the cranberries
Juice and zest of one medium orange
One tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 cup coconut sap crystals/coconut sugar

Instructions
1. Wash your cranberries (turns out, cranberries are pretty dirty). Strain excess water off before dumping into your slow cooker.
2. Add your pear, orange juice, orange zest, and ginger. Stir.
3. Add your honey and coconut crystals. Try your best to stir evenly. If clumps form, set them towards the top.
4. Leave your lid slightly cracked to allow excess moisture to cook off, which will provide a thicker sauce.
5. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5 hours. If doubling the recipe, cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.

The only thing that I changed was the ginger…accidentally.  I read tsp vs Tbsp so I did not buy enough ginger.  Otherwise, the recipe was followed to a T.  I have so much to say about this recipe, but to keep this post short, let me summarize my thoughts with bullet points.

1. This cranberry sauce made my house smell A-MAY-ZING.  After throwing this together in the slow cooker, my husband and I left for a bit to run some errands. When we got back, my house smelled like Christmas.  It was an olfactory delight. Way better than a candle. 
2. This is THE best cranberry sauce that I have ever had. The cranberry.  The orange.  The pear.  The ginger. Wow.  Just…wow.  It’s a perfect punch of flavor.  Everything goes together really well.  Great layering. 
3.  I visited with Jason, the guy behind PaleoPot , a little about this recipe.  We talked about the pears.  Pears aren’t typically found in your traditional cranberry sauce.  The purpose for pears is twofold.  A. The pears add sweetness.  Sure, honey and coconut crystals add sugar, but really, nothing beats that natural sugar that you get from fruit.  B. Pears have pectin.  Pectin is a thickener.  Nature’s thickening agent.  Boom!
4.  Next time, I would double the receipe. I can’t get enough.  This recipe made about 2 cups, give or take.  Not nearly enough for those of us who pile on the cranberry sauce.
5. Only a handful of ingredients.  The only prep “work” really is with the orange and the ginger.  With a sharp microplane, it takes no time at all.  Quick and simple.

In short, this recipe is a huge win.  This WILL be made again (and again and again and again).  Thanks, Jason from PaleoPot, for making our turkey better, for making our house smell like cranberry spice, and for a more colorful Thanksgiving table this year. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Recipe HERE.

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Turkey & Cranberry Meatballs

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Melissa, of The Clothes Make the Girl, posted this recipe not too long ago.  With Thanksgiving quickly…very quickly…approaching, I have been on the lookout for fun T-day dishes that could add a little health AND creativity to the meal. Turkey & cranberries have a delicious compatibility.  Heck yeah, I’m going to make this recipe. I purchased Melissa’s cookbook Well Fed quite awhile ago.  So many awesome creations.  I just knew this one would be just as tasty as the rest of her recipes.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons warm water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 pound ground turkey
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (unsweetened), coarsely chopped (check labels to make sure the cranberries are truly unsweetened)
1/2 tablespoon rubbed sage
1/2 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Cover a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, mix baking soda and cream of tartar in water. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix turkey, orange juice, garlic, cranberries, sage, orange zest, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine.
4. Add the baking soda mixture to the bowl, and mix again. NOTE: For a smoother, more tender texture, use a food processor or a standing mixer – fitted with the paddle attachment – to blend the ingredients. For more a traditional texture, mix the meat by hand.
5. Mixture will be super gooey. Place meat in the fridge to chill for 20-30 minutes.
6. After 20-30, roll about 1 tablespoon of meat into a 1-inch ball. (Melissa likes to use a 1-tablespoon scoop to speed up the process.)
7. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake meatballs for 20-25 minutes, until browned and sizzling.
(This recipe yielded 16 meatballs approx golf ball size)

Melissa recommends serving with your favorite sides — or recreating a Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich by wrapping a meatball in a butter lettuce leaf with homemade mayo, salt, pepper, and a few fresh parsley leaves.

First of all, do not be intimidated by the ingredients or the amount of steps.  Most of the ingredients I actually already had in my cupboards at home.  The instructions are pretty easy and straight forward. Simple, really.

The house smelled fantastic while the meatballs were cooking. I could hardly wait to try them.  I dug right in once they came out of the oven.  I suppose one could put gravy on them or Paleo mayo, but really, they’re delicious on their own. The flavor is fairly complex.  There’s a lot for your taste buds to figure out.  I love the crispy turkey flavor combined with the citrus of the orange and the tartness of the cranberries.  I had to sample at least 4 or 5 to really get the flavor down….  (Note: The only thing that I left out was the sage. I’m fairly allergic to sage, turns out.  I haven’t had it in quite a while, so I’m not sure how much it would change the flavor.)

These meatballs are definitely a fun twist on the turkey & cranberry combo.  Perfect as a snack or a meal.

Happy Eating!

Recipe HERE.

No-Churn Two Ingredient Pumpkin Ice Cream

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I don’t have an ice cream maker, so I was excited to see that you could make this recipe without it. PLUS, only 2 ingredients and 3 easy steps.

Ingredients
4 large or 6 small very ripe bananas, frozen ( I always have a bunch of bananas in the freezer for smoothies and whatnot. When the bananas on the counter start getting brown/lots of black spots, I peel them, wrap them in plastic wrap, then freeze them. So much easier. Just a little helpful tip.)

1/2 cup fresh or canned pumpkin puree (if you used canned, check labels. You want the one with pumpkin as the only ingredient)

Optional: raw honey, pure maple syrup, cinnamon, or chocolate chips

Instructions
1. Blend the frozen bananas and pumpkin together in a high speed blender or food processor until creamy. The bananas must be pre-frozen even if you are going to freeze the ice cream after blending. 2. Taste and add some sweetener, like maple syrup, if desired. Cinnamon and chocolate chips can also be blended in, yum!
3. Serve immediately for soft serve texture or freeze for at least 4 hours for a firmer ice cream. If ice cream is in the freezer for a while, let it soften for about 5 minutes at room temperature before serving.

I’m a big fan of the banana ice cream (freeze bananas then blend them). This is really the same thing, you just add a little pumpkin. I also added some real maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice as well. Perfectly sweet. Great way to end the day. Just fruit. Delicious and nutritious. Brilliant.

Happy eating!

Recipe HERE.

Slow Cooker Baked Apples

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I came across this recipe the other day. I was at work and was looking for a delicious dessert to complete our perfectly Paleo dinner. I had previously posted a winner of a recipe on my blog, but I’m always looking for more recipes. I came across this one on the Health, Home, & Happiness website.

Ingredients
6 medium to large green apples
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
6 Tbsp coconut oil, butter, or ghee

Instructions
1. Core apples. To core, using an apple corer or paring knife, cut around the core (about 1/4 inch from the stem all the way around), but leave about half an inch at the bottom. Use the knife (I used a large spoon) to “drill out” the core.
2. Divide raisins, honey, cinnamon, and fat among the apples.
3. Place apples in a crock pot and add 1/2 inch of water.
4. Cook on low overnight and enjoy a hot breakfast in the morning.
5. (Optional) Alternatively, bake covered at 350°F in a glass fish for 45 minutes-1 hour.
6. To with heavy whipping cream, coconut milk, or just eat plain.

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I love this recipe for many reasons. 1. It’s simple. 5 ingredients. That’s it. Most people have all of these ingredients in the pantry already. No extra trips to the store. 2. There is a slow cooker option. I do love crock potified recipes. Throw it in, forget about it, come back later to something delicious. 3. It’s a healthy sweet treat. The honey could easily be substituted to make it even cleaner.

I opted to go the glass dish route. Also, my fat of choice was Kerrygold grass-fed butter. These babies made the fire station kitchen smell all sorts of delicious.  I typically use red apples, the kind you get from a local apple orchard. This time, I opted to stick to the recipe and use the Granny Smith. Delicious. The raisins were plump, the taste was perfectly sweet, and when the apples were served, they were dripping with buttery goodness.

Another recipe win. This recipe is firefighter approved. Perhaps next time I will try the slow cooker option.

Happy eating!

Original recipe HERE.

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Paleo Baked Apples

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While looking for the perfect Autumn dessert, I came across this little gem on the CrossFit Grand Forks website. It is a recipe that my good friend, Gina, had posted awhile back. Gina is a Registered Dietician and CrossFit Level 1 certified trainer. She also heads up the nutrition aspect at the CrossFit Grand Forks box. Gina and her family have been eating clean for quite some time now, and she is a pretty fantastic cook. I knew this baked apple recipe was sure to be a winner.

Ingredients
4 Apples (Original recipe calls for Granny Smith, but really any Apple will do)
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup raisin OR dried cranberries OR chopped dates
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2.5 T. coconut oil

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Use a paring knife to remove the core and some of the top. Place in a glass baking dish.
3. Mix all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl (I added the extra Apple bits that I cut off in step 2 to this mixture) and stuff as much into the apples. (Any extra filling I just put in the pan around the apples.)
4. Bake the apples for 40-50 minutes. (You may choose to cover them for an additional 5-10 minutes with foil to soften the apples more.)
5. I drizzled a little real maple syrup over the top of them for just a little extra sweetness.

Gina suggests that they are best served warm, right out of the oven!

I plan to make these again. They smell incredible while baking, filling the entire house (or firehouse) with the sweet smell of apple cinnamon. The pecan, coconut, and spices mixture is really quite fantastic. Each ingredient complements the others perfectly. While baking, the coconut and pecans get a little crispy. The toasty flavor is a fun surprise.

Simple, clean, and delicious.

Happy eating!

Recipe can be found HERE

Limes

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While I was paying for my groceries at Trader Joe’s, the cashier recommended a way to keep limes from spoiling. She suggested quartering the limes, then freezing them. She said that they are a great substitute for an ice cube in a glass of water.

Try it out. I plan to.