Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cilantro Gremolata Poached Tuna & Tuscan Green Beans

Poaching your own tuna will give a light non-fishy flaky tuna that doesn’t compare to canned tuna.  Tuna is 32 calories per ounce with no fat so it’s a great protein source that is low calorie.  
Purchase tuna steaks.  You can get them in the freezer section or use fresh from your fish market.

I love these Tuscan Green Beans and they make an excellent side dish that is full of flavor and different.  Today I had some green beans in my fridge that needed to be used up so I decided to make these as a bed to my Poached Tuna Salad that I made with Gremolata to give it a flavor punch without adding mayo.

Gremolata is a condiment that is used in Italy that is typically served with veal.  Plus it's normally made with Italian Flat Leaf Parsley but I had fresh Cilantro on hand and it was excellent.  (Remember...use what you got!)

It only takes 20 minutes to poach the tuna and it's well worth the effort.  Here is how you do it:

I like to use chicken broth with my water so it will give it a little more flavor, however you can use vegetable broth if you prefer.  Use what herbs you have on hand.  This is what I used today.  The purpose of adding these aromatics to the broth is to boost the flavor.
Poached Tuna
16 oz Chicken Broth, No Salt Organic
1 Cup Water
Fresh Thyme
Fresh Rosemary
Garlic Clove, Smashed
Sliced Red Onion
Himalayan Pink Sea Salt

In a medium sauce pan, bring chicken broth, water, pink sea salt, herbs, garlic clove and red onion to a low simmer.  Add tuna steaks and let simmer, turning over half way to cook evenly on both sides.  Simmer 20 minutes until tuna flakes.  Transfer to a plate to cool.  

Flake Tuna and add Cilantro Gremolata - toss together and set aside.  Prepare Tuscan Green Beans.

Prepare Cilantro Gremolata

1 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled & minced
1 Lemon, zested
Himalayan Pink Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Mix together in a small bowl.  Yields approximately 3 tablespoons.

Tuscan Green Beans

1lb Fresh Green Beans, Washed & Trimmed
24ct Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, Sliced in half
3 Cloves Garlic, Sliced
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp Herbs de Provence or 1 Spring Fresh Rosemary
Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

In a large skillet over medium high heat add Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Sauce garlic until light brown then stir in Cherry Tomatoes and either a sprig of Rosemary or I love to use Herbs de Provence, it's a beautiful flavor.  Cook covered for approximately 3-5 minutes until the Tomatoes melt into the Olive Oil and then add the Green Beans.  Toss in sauce and cover.  Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes.  Green Beans need to be tender yet crisp.  Not over cooked.  Serve immediately.

To serve together...Plate Tuscan Green Beans, Add Poached Tuna & Cilantro Gremalata.  A wonderful pairing. 


Balance is Key

I believe in balance in everything I do and it impacts the way I feel.  Being a true Libra, I have to find balance in my life.  If I don't it's out of whack. If I'm out of decision on something, I can't move forward and feel good about it until I make a decision.   I also believe that balance is the key to eating healthy.  Forget the prepackaged vacuum sealed food programs, the frozen dinners under 400 calories, don't eat your proteins with carbs or don't eat fruit with anything else, make sure to weigh your food, portion control to the size of your fist, don't eat fat, eat fat free blah, blah, blah.  We need to live and find balance in our lives and going on a diet is not fun, no matter how you spin it.  

The only way to make a healthy lifestyle work is to find balance.  But you have to mindful of what you put in your mouth.  Eating processed foods are not good choices but there will be times when you don't have any other option and if you eat processed foods, then choose wisely.  Fat free packaged foods are filled with unnecessary ingredients that bring absolutely no value to your body.  So what's the point?  

I decided to eliminate wheat from my diet after doing some research on my inflammation I was experiencing and then I read the book Wheat Belly.  That is when I started to eliminate most processed foods because almost everything processed contains some form of wheat plus a list of other ingredients that you can't pronounce.  I always read the ingredients and make sure they are whole ingredients.  

I enjoy cooking and I don't find it daunting to cook with whole foods and frankly it's not that difficult if you learn how to keep fresh ingredients on hand to pull meals together.  My goal to help educate people on how to cook using whole foods, nutrient ingredients and high quality products.  By slowly eliminating items from your pantry and replacing them with the right ingredients, you will begin to build a healthy pantry.  Then when you make your grocery list, it will consist of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and meats.  Eventually your grocery bills go down, no trips through the drive thru and you will be eating balanced healthy meals each day.

Becoming a "Healthy Foodie" is where you want your mind set.  Reach for natural foods and good quality products to make you feel better and be more energized.  Balancing your proteins, carbs and fats are important and of course eating vegetables at every meal is always good for fiber.   Brighten your foods by using fresh herbs, they will transform any dish and variety of spices will turn boring vegetables into flavorful vegetables.

Diets Don't Work - Balance Works

Gift yourself a Twist of Life and find balance.  Quit obsessing over dieting and learn to eat and live with balance.  If you have oatmeal for breakfast, have a salad for lunch, for dinner have vegetables and protein.  Don't repeat the same meals in the same day, balance it out.  If you have something with more calories at one meal, eat less on your next meal and try to eat vegetables maybe in a salad, grilled, roasted or sauteed.  Balance it throughout the week so your body processes it the correct way and not store it.  Cook with nutrient rich oils and eat healthy fats such as avocados and nuts.  Just make sure you put food in your mouth that has a purpose.  It will make all the difference in how you feel.

Thanks for stopping by...Stormy