Category Archives: Healthy

Pan-Seared Sesame-Crusted Tuna

P. had picked up the most beautiful sushi-grade ahi tuna for like $12/lb. at Huffman’s Market in Upper Arlington, and I put out a call for suggestions on Twitter yesterday asking my Tweeple what I should do with it. I got a few people saying “sushi”, but my last attempt at making it had results that were so laughable that I got scared away from trying again for a while. However, I did want to vibe on those types of flavors, and after a search, I found a recipe online for a seared tuna topped salad with all kinds of wonderful toppings.

I wanted something really light, not a ton of carbs, and this fit the bill. Even though I’m not a huge fan of some of the individual components (wasabi mayo, masago, etc), put together the combination was out of this world! Easily the best thing I’ve eaten so far this month, and something I could see myself eating once a week. And so, so easy to make. I had never seared tuna before, and it was easier than I ever dreamed.

Pan-Seared Sesame-Crusted Tuna

Pan-Seared Sesame-Crusted Tuna
recipe from Use Real Butter food blog

4 tuna steaks (~6 oz. per person), ahi tuna or maguro (sashimi)
1/4 c. black sesame seeds
1/4 c. white sesame seeds
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. unflavored oil (vegetable or canola)
2 ripe avocados, sliced thin
salad greens
wasabi mayonnaise
anago sauce
masago or tobiko (smelt fish roe)

Wasabi Mayonnaise:
2 tbsp. wasabi powder
2 tbsp. water
1/2 c. mayonnaise

Anago Sauce:
6 tbsp. soy sauce
4 tbsp. mirin
2 tbsp. brown sugar
dash of rice wine vinegar

Wasabi mayonnaise: Mix the wasabi powder with the water until it forms a uniform paste. Mix with the mayonnaise. It tastes better if you let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour or so before serving.

Anago sauce: Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Let boil for a minute or so and reduce to simmer until slightly thickened. Let cool (it will thicken some more, so don’t boil it down too much).

Combine the sesame seeds, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Completely coat the tuna steaks in the mixture, pressing seeds and seasonings into the flesh. Heat the oil in a large, shallow frying pan over high heat. When the oil is hot (chuck a sesame seed in and it should sizzle – just take care if the dam thing jumps and hits you!) set one or two steaks into the pan. Take care not to crowd the steaks. More than two at a time will make it hard to sear the sides without overcooking the other pieces. Sear for less than a minute on the flat sides (unless you want it more cooked) and while gently holding the steaks with tongs, sear for about 20 seconds (or more if you prefer) on the short sides. Remove to a cutting board and slice the steaks into 1/2 inch thick pieces at an angle – or leave whole if you prefer. Set avocado slices on a bed of salad greens and then fan the tuna on top. Drizzle with wasabi mayonnaise and anago sauce over the fish or serve on the side. Top with a sprinkle of masago. Serves 4.

Basic Beer-Cheese Bread

If you’re anything like me, the cold weather outside has prompted you to try to keep warm with lots of hearty soups and stews. There’s nothing quite like hunkering down in front of the fireplace with a huge steaming bowl of something that’s been cooking all day. Gravy-based stews cry out for a nice hunk of bread.

Here in Columbus, we’ve got snow coming down like gangbusters today. Since we can’t get out to get a fresh loaf of crusty bread from Omega, and we didn’t have hours to bake a yeast bread, we put together of this loaf of beer bread – since it’s a Cooking Light recipe, it’s healthier than beer bread usually is, and you can indulge in a slice even if one of your resolutions was to eat healthier this year. I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between this and much higher fat recipes. Enjoy!

Beer Bread

Basic Beer-Cheese Bread
recipe courtesy Cooking Light

1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
13.5 oz. all-purpose flour (about 3 cups)
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (12-ounce) bottle lager-style beer (such as Budweiser)
Cooking spray
2 tbsp. melted butter, divided

Preheat oven to 375F. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; cook 10 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in pepper and garlic; cook 1 minute.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk; make a well in center of mixture. Add onion mixture, cheese, and beer to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Spoon batter into a 9×5 inch loaf pan coated with cooking sprayDrizzle 1 tablespoon butter over batter. Bake at 375F for 35 minutes. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon butter over batter. Bake an additional 25 minutes or until deep golden brown and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Yield: 16 servings.

Per 1 slice serving: 144 cal (28% from fat), 4.4g fat (2.4g sat, 1.6g mono, 0.2g poly), 4.3g pro, 20.6g carb, 0.7g fib, 10mg chol, 1.3mg iron, 257mg sod, 89mg calc

Summer Squash Scramble

Many of my meals this past summer have been centered around what I’ve grown in my garden. With summer coming to a close, it’s time to tear out what remains of the garden, and I’ve found that this is a great way to use the last of those zucchini and tomatoes, while keeping it healthy. I can’t tell you how many times I made variations of this over the summer.

Summer Squash Scramble with Fresh Tomato

Summer Squash Scramble with Fresh Tomato
recipe from “The South Beach Diet Taste of Summer Cookbook” by Dr. Arthur Agatston

3 large eggs
1 tsp. chopped chives
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. canola oil
1 small summer squash, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, finely chopped

In a small bowl, beat eggs, chives, salt and pepper until well combined. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add squash and onion, cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown, about 8 minutes.

Add egg mixture to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until eggs are set, about 2 minutes. Spoon eggs onto 2 plates and sprinkle with tomato. Serve warm. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 180 cal, 12g fat, 2.5g sat fat, 11g pro, 8g carb, 2g fiber, 390 mg sod

Ceviche

I know, I know…I’ve been neglecting my little blog. But May has been a month of one activity after another with little time to breathe in between, let alone blog. I have so many things to talk to you all about – the farmers markets, the Apron Gala, a bunch of restaurant reviews and events I’ve gone to, but it seems as if each day is over before I have time to get started. One day this week, I’m going to have to set aside a day to do nothing BUT catch up on my writing.

So I wanted to share something that I made recently – after having some really good ceviche at a couple of Mexican restaurants/taco trucks, and having an awesome mixed seafood ceviche at the Slow Food pig roast, I wanted to try my hand at making it here at home. I never realized it was so easy! I got all of the fish/scallops/shrimp I needed at Trader Joe’s, and got the limes and lemons at the Mexican grocery down the street for a song. Simple, delicious, healthy. Perfect summer dish, that’s for sure!

Ceviche

Ceviche
adapted from Simply Recipes

1 lb. bay scallops
1 lb. medium (20-24 ct) raw peeled and deveined shrimp, tail removed and cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 lb. orange roughy or other firm white fish, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, completely deboned
3/4 c. fresh squeezed lime juice
3/4 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and finely diced
1 1/2 cup of fresh peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp. salt
Dash of ground oregano
Dash of Tabasco or a few grains of cayenne pepper
Cilantro
Avocado
Tortillas or tortilla chips

In a non-reactive casserole dish, either Pyrex or ceramic, place the seafood, onion, tomatoes, chile, salt, Tabasco and oregano. Cover with lime and lemon juice. Let sit covered in the refrigerator for an hour, and then stir, making sure more of the fish gets exposed to the acidic lime and lemon juices. Let sit for several hours, giving time for the flavors to blend.

Serve with chopped cilantro and slices of avocado with heated tortillas for ceviche tacos or with tortilla chips.

Grilled Teriyaki Shrimp Kebabs

I’ve just made the discovery that I do, in fact, like seafood. Just don’t like it when it’s prepared badly. So I’ve been excited to start trying different recipes. This is my first attempt ever at grilling shrimp. I just couldn’t let a beautiful day like yesterday pass by without sitting outside grilling and eating. I’ve still got a few kinks to work out (like being able to tell for sure when it’s done without it getting over or underdone), but it shows a lot of promise. And it’s healthy, too. I can learn to love this! 🙂

Teriyaki Shrimp Skewers

Grilled Teriyaki Shrimp Kebabs
recipe modified from Cooking Light

Makes 4 Kebabs (2 servings)

Sauce:
1/4 cup low-sodium teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

Kebabs:
24 large peeled and deveined shrimp (about 1)
32 (1-inch) pieces cubed fresh pineapple (about 3/4 pound)
1 medium red onion, cut into 8 wedges
Cooking spray

Prepare grill. To prepare sauce, combine teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds in a small bowl.

To prepare kebabs, thread 6 shrimp, 4 pineapple chunks, and 1 onion wedge alternately onto each of 8 (10-inch) skewers. Brush kebabs with teriyaki mixture. Place kebabs on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 8 minutes or until shrimp are done, turning once. Brush on teriyaki sauce as it’s cooking to intensify flavor.

Nutritional Information: 254 cal (14% from fat), 4g fat (0.7g sat, 0.8g mono, 1.6g poly), 35.6g pro, 17.6g carb, 1.9g fiber, 259mg chol, 514mg sod, 110mg calcium

Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken Thighs

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I find myself drawn more and more to recipes with boneless skinless chicken thighs rather than chicken breasts – I think it’s because even without skin, the additional fat in the chicken meat does wonders for mouth feel. And with this particular recipe, the glaze created by the honey mixture almost recreates skin – you don’t miss it a bit! This recipe comes highly recommended for any low-fat diet – Cooking Light suggests pairing it with garlic roasted potato wedges and a salad, but I think it would go well with just about any side dish. Personally, I went with rice pilaf. I’m submitting this to be part of the Diet Foods Event hosted by Dil Se. My apologies in advance for the horrible lighting.

Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken Thighs

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs
recipe courtesy Cooking Light

2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground red pepper (I used 1/4 tsp.)
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Cooking spray
6 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. cider vinegar

Preheat broiler. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.

Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well. Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/4 cup honey mixture on chicken. Broil 1 minute. Remove chicken from oven and turn over. Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture. Broil 1 additional minute or until chicken is done (ours took about 4-5 more minutes – check internal temperature with a meat thermometer to be sure). Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 chicken thighs)

Nutrition: 321 cal (31% from fat), 11g fat (3g sat, 4.1g mono, 2.5g poly), 28g pro, 27.9g carb, 0.6g fiber, 99mg chol, 2.1mg iron, 676mg sod, 21mg calc.

Abruzzese Lamb and Red Pepper Ragu with Penne

One of the things that I love about Cooking Light is that their pasta recipes are usually pretty awesome – you can’t really tell that they’re lower-fat. This is one that I like to use when I have leftover ground lamb laying around – most of the other ingredients are usually pantry items that I normally keep on hand, so it makes it super-easy to whip up something quick (and healthy) for dinner. Serve with a salad to round out your meal. I’m submitting this entry to this week’s Presto Pasta Nights, hosted this week by Equal Opportunity Kitchen.

Abruzzese Lamb and Red Pepper Ragu with Ziti

Abruzzese Lamb and Red Pepper Ragu with Penne
recipe courtesy Cooking Light

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups finely chopped red onion
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow bell pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper
4 teaspoons minced garlic cloves
12 ounces lean ground lamb
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 bay leaves
1 can (14 1/2-ounce) fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
8 cups hot cooked penne (about 1 pound uncooked tube-shaped pasta or other short pasta)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Pecorino Romano cheese

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and garlic. Cover and cook 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove onion mixture from pan.

Add lamb to pan; cook over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain. Wipe drippings from pan with a paper towel. Return onion mixture and lamb to pan. Add wine; bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.

Add tomatoes, 3 tablespoons parsley, salt, crushed red pepper, bay leaves, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Add pasta and cheese; toss to coat. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley.

Serves 8 (serving size 1 1/2 cups)
Nutrition: 368 cal (26% from fat), 10.6g fat, 18.8g pro, 35mg chol, 110mg calc, 520mg sod, 4.1g fiber, 3mg iron, 50.8g carb.

Oma’s Red Cabbage

Yesterday, I saw a red cabbage at the farmer’s market – and I thought back to the recipes that MY Oma used to make, and remembered that red cabbage kraut was one of her favorites. So even though this recipe is called “Oma’s Red Cabbage”, it’s not one of my Oma’s recipes, although it very well could be because it tastes nearly identical.

I can’t believe how quickly it came together. From raw cabbage to really tasty sweet-sour kraut in about an hour. Goes great with pork, to which my family can attest (we had it tonight with mashed ‘taters and mushroom-stuffed pork tenderloin with a port wine reduction). Lots of flavor, perfect if you’re trying to lose weight.

Oma's Red Cabbage

Oma’s Red Cabbage
recipe courtesy Recipezaar

1 red cabbage, shredded
1 medium onion, shredded
1 tablespoon Crisco
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup vinegar
5 tablespoons red currant jelly
salt and pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (more if you like the taste)

Put all together in a large pot. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Turkey Philly Sandwich

tomato-2

With the gastric bypass surgery I had, it’s more important than anything to make sure that I get adequate protein in. So, for me – eating healthy IS eating protein, first and foremost. That’s why the Eat Healthy – Protein Rich food blogging event is right up my alley. For me, at least, fat intake doesn’t matter (since I only absorb 10% of what I actually eat), but I do realize that others aren’t so lucky. Even though I have tons of protein-rich foods to blog about, I picked the one that isn’t high fat. I like to buy deli meat to make sandwiches, but sometimes at the end of it’s life, rather than sending it to the freezer to die a slow death, I like to basically use up the rest of it in a nice hot sandwich. This is one way to use up leftover deli turkey.

Turkey Philly

Turkey Philly Sandwich

Whatever leftover sliced deli turkey breast you need to use up
Vegetable oil or oil spray
Thinly sliced green bell peppers
Thinly sliced onion
Cheese of your choice (I used Munster)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Bread or roll

In an oiled pan, throw in green pepper and onion and saute until softened. Add turkey breast, and chop it as it heats, until it is lightly browned and thoroughly hot. Season with salt and pepper, and serve on bread with cheese. Add mayo or whatever condiments you’d like.

Assuming you use six one ounce slices per sandwich, that’s already 39 grams of protein before you even add any cheese. And since the body can’t process more than roughly 40 grams of protein in one meal, it’s the perfect amount.

Now, this is another one of those recipes that are only limited by your imagination. Sometimes I leave out the green peppers and add buffalo sauce and blue cheese. The point is, if you’ve got lunchmeat you need to use up, you don’t have to do it in a normal boring way.

GYO #3: Pico de Gallo

For the Grow Your Own #3 blogging event, I’m contributing pico de gallo that I made with the last of the Roma tomatoes of the summer, which were grown on my back deck. The other ingredients (onions, garlic, additional tomatoes, poblanos, jalapenos, cilantro) are also local, with only the lime juice and salt being not Ohio grown or made. Wow – with the weather we’ve been having lately, summer seems like a lifetime ago. I love the reds and oranges and yellows of autumn but I think I’m already beginning to miss the bright reds and greens of August.

picodegallo

Pico de Gallo

10 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped and seeded
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 small poblano pepper, seeded and chopped finely
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped finely
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
juice from 1/2 lime
10 stems cilantro leaves, minced
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients together, and then cover and let sit overnight in fridge to steep and allow flavor to develop.