The Family Food Blog

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Month: January, 2015

A Healthier Tuna Salad Sandwich

by mukwritesbooks

Until very recently, my first reaction when I heard the phrase “tuna salad sandwich” was a mix of disgust and confusion. The idea of taking the texture of tuna and mixing it with mayonnaise and celery into a salad, and then smushing that concoction between two pieces of bread – there wasn’t anything appealing about it. How in the world did someone first come up with that recipe?

A few years ago, I switched mainly to Greek yogurt, and came across a bunch of recipes where you can swap it in for mayonnaise, cream cheese, etc. to get a healthier dish. And of course, amid the lists of recipes were dozens of variations on the classic tuna salad sandwich. But I steered clear. Until earlier this week.

Like the last couple years, this January is full of resolutions to cook different dishes, to cook healthier, to cook more. So today, after I read about the nutritional value of fish for the umpteenth time and came across yet another “10 Ways You Need to Start Using Greek Yogurt Now” article, I finally had a new resolution: I was going to make a tuna salad sandwich.

Today after work, I bought the few additional ingredients I would need – celery and mustard (already had both yogurt and tuna at home, albeit safely far away from one another, on different sides of the kitchen) – and whipped up a 2-meal batch of a Simple Tuna Fish Sandwich.

It was so good. I’m a convert.

Ingredients (makes two sandwiches):

  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt (I used plain, but you could use non-fat if you like)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 celery rib, minced
  • 1/4 tsp (couple squirts) lemon juice
  • 1 5 oz. can chunk tuna (I used albacore) in water
  • 4 slices whole grain bread
  • handful of kale or spinach

Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients except the tuna. Then add the tuna.
  2. Assemble the sandwiches.
  3. In my case, humbly accept that you have found your new go-to weeknight meal 🙂

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Champagne Poached Seckel Pears

by thefamilyfoodblog

Don’t you love when leftover ingredients just come together in a great new recipes? Lately, I’ve started trying to find such dishes by just Googling the items I have. Case in point: three days ago, I found Avocado Pesto‘s recipe for Tofu, Mushroom, and Bok Choy Stir-Fry – delicious, by the way – by searching “tofu bok choy mushroom ginger”. Not so elegant, but it worked!

Using the same strategy for leftover New Year’s Eve champagne that was quickly going flat and Seckel pears that were quickly growing soft, I came across Emeril’s recipe for Poached Pears in Vanilla and Champagne. Since these pears are already so sweet, I decided to halve the sugar-to-liquid ratio, and made a few other changes. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients (2 servings):

  • 2 Seckel pears, or one regular-sized pear
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup champagne or sparkling wine
Leftover brut and two peeled pears

Leftovers.

Instructions:

Peel the pears, keeping the stems intact if possible. Cut each pear in half and remove the seeds and core.

In a small pot, stir the sugar into the water and boil until the sugar dissolves. Use the smallest pot you have that can hold all pear pieces in a single layer – this way, it takes less champagne to cover the fruit, which leaves more to drink!

Once the sugar is dissolved (about 2 minutes), stir in the vanilla and champagne and bring to a boil. Add the pear halves, making sure they are fully covered by the poaching liquid. Let simmer on medium heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring gently every minute or two.

Pears in Poaching Liquid

You’ll see I didn’t core or de-seed the pears before poaching. This was much trickier to do afterwards.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the pears. Serve immediately.

Poached Pears with Gingerbread Cookie

Serve immediately, on their own or with other components.

These are delicious on their own, but can easily be fancied up if you’d like. I served the pears on top of gingerbread cookies, with a little of the poaching liquid drizzled on top, and the last of the champagne. Enjoy!