I usually don’t like tuna salad. I feel like every tuna salad I have had is a horrible combination of mayo, celery, and sweet relish. The thought makes me cringe. Luckily this salad can erase any prior memories of tuna salad gone wrong. This salad is light and refreshing. There are so many amazing flavors. Using Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, not only lightens up the salad, but really adds a nice, creamy base that lets all the different flavors shine through. I really liked that nearly every bite had a little tangy bite from the capers and a bit of subtle spice from the bell peppers. I served this salad on a gluten-free Chebe roll with a tomato, olive and balsamic salad.
I had this post all ready to go and then forgot to hit schedule… Oops. I’m back in school again and I’m still trying to figure out a blogging schedule that will work with school, life, and my addled brain. But let’s move on to the salmon now.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t like salmon. I love fish, but salmon is generally just too fishy for me. There are of course a few exceptions (I’m looking at you delicious Pesto Salmon). I think I have found another exception!
The main reason I like this recipe is that it is so easy. It’s basically foolproof. And secondly, the flavors! It’s difficult to go wrong with garlic and Dijon. We made this for a luncheon (lunch party? Doesn’t sound as good as dinner party) and ended up doubling the recipe. We had a tons of salmon, two whole fillets. If I was using this much salmon again, I would probably triple the marinade. Even with less salmon, I would still keep the garlic mixture doubled, but I’m a saucy person. We made the salmon ahead of time and served it cold at the lunch. I will admit I did sample a small bit of the salmon when it first came out of the oven and I was in love at first bite. It was just as delicious cold.
Leftover idea! We made two whole fillets and had the smaller one left over. I made an amazing salmon salad for lunch the next day. I took about a quarter of the leftover salmon and mixed it with 1 Tablespoon Dijon, 3 Tablespoons greek yogurt, 1/4 red onion, 3 sprigs fresh dill, a squeeze of lemon juice & salt and pepper. I had it with some crackers. It was a tasty and super fast lunch.
Shucking clams is a ridiculous process, especially when one does not have a shucking knife. I will admit this is a recipe I will probably never make again. It was quite tasty, but shucking clams just isn’t an everyday activity. The best part of this recipe was the topping that went on the clams. If I could find a way to put that topping on everything and anything I definitely would. It had a delicious blend of shallot and garlic and cheese, which is pretty much all I need in life.
There are a million variations of clams casino, but I liked this one because it was gluten free from the get go. Nearly every other recipe I saw included breadcrumbs. Most gluten free breadcrumbs don’t stand up to high heat, so this one was perfect. The parmesan on top definitely get it a slight crunch, so the breadcrumbs weren’t even needed.
18 medium (2 1/2-inch) littleneck clams, shucked, bottom shells reserved
Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and saute until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate. Add the bell pepper, shallots, garlic, and oregano to the same skillet and saute until the shallots are tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it is almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and cool completely. Stir the reserved pancetta and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese into the vegetable mixture. Season the mixture, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Line a heavy large baking sheet with foil. Arrange the clams in the reserved shells on the baking sheet. Spoon the vegetable mixture atop the clams, dividing equally and mounding slightly. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan. Bake until the clams are just cooked through and the topping is golden, about 10 minutes.
It’s been super hot here. And humid. If there are 2 things I hate, they would be hot weather and humidity. Southern California’s only redeeming quality is the year-round 70 degree weather with a slight sea breeze. If this keeps, I’m leaving. The weather also means cooking is one of the least appealing activities ever. Being in a hot, stuffy kitchen is just miserable these days. The only recipes that are appealing are those with little to no heat or actually cooking involved. This meal is great for hot weather. Very little cooking is involved and being outside at the grill is much more enjoyable than a being stuck in a hot kitchen.
The bean salad was the definitely the best part of this meal. It was tasty and tangy. The grilled onions gave it a nice smoky taste, which was great with the salty capers. I would probably make the bean salad again, before I made the tuna. I think that the salad would be great with grilled chicken or shrimp as well.
1 medium Vidalia or other sweet onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon capers
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
To prepare tuna, combine the first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add tuna to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once. Remove tuna from bag; discard marinade. Place tuna on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
To prepare salad, place onion slices on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side or until tender. Cool and chop.
Combine vinegar and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until blended. Add onion, cucumber, parsley, capers, and beans to vinegar mixture; toss to coat. Arrange 1 1/2 cups salad greens on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with about 1/2 cup onion mixture and 1 tuna steak.
I hate pesto (pine nuts and basil are just disgusting). I don’t really like salmon either (it’s way too fishy). But for some reason I love this dish. Go figure. Mama CC has been making this for years so I guess I just got used to it. Luckily it is super easy to make and always a crowd pleaser.
We served this for Easter dinner with several friends joining us, hence the size, but the recipe can be easily scaled down to individual filet portions. If you were to scale this recipe down for smaller cuts of salmon, just keep the 2:1:1 ratio of pesto:breadcrumbs:cheese and you should be fine.
Gluten Free Pesto Crusted Salmon (adapted from Mama CC)
1 large salmon fillet , or several smaller filets (we used a 3 pound fillet)
1 cup pesto
1/2 cup breadcrumbs, divided (I used Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Panko Style Crumbs)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
juice of 2 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pre-heat oven to 450F/230C. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil and lightly oil/spray.
Trim the salmon (if needed) and check for any stray bones.
Place the salmon on the baking sheet. Squeeze one lemon over the fillet and season with salt and pepper.
Mix together the pesto with half the breadcrumbs and spread over salmon. Take the remaining breadcrumbs and mix with half the cheese and sprinkle over the pesto. Then top the salmon with the remaining cheese.
Cook on middle shelf for 30-40 minutes (probably 10-15 if using smaller filets). Remove from oven, squeeze with lemon and serve.
Oh my. I don’t even know where to begin with this one. It’s amazing. It’s delicious. It’s lemony, garlicky, buttery, spicy goodness all in one. I could eat this every single day and never get sick of it. Never ever. It took everything in my willpower not to make this for every meal I’ve had since the first time I’ve made it. You should make this like right now. Go.
I added more garlic and lemon than the original recipe called for. I like a lot of sauce and this recipe isn’t all that sauce-y, so the extra lemon juice helped.
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional, but highly recommended)
Juice of 1 lemon, plus wedges for serving
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat, covered. Uncover and slowly whisk in the grits, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parmesan and 1 tablespoon butter. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, garlic and cayenne, if using, and cook, tossing, until the shrimp are pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons water, the lemon juice and parsley; stir to coat the shrimp with the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
Divide the grits among shallow bowls and top with the shrimp and sauce. Serve with lemon wedges.
I first had this salmon at a Mexican restaurant in Budapest. Yeah, I know what you are thinking, ‘Fish? At a Mexican place? In a landlocked country?’. Yes, I am aware I am lucky to have lived to tell the tale. But trust me, all misgivings aside, this is truly a delicious meal. I have been dreaming of re-creating it for well over a year and now that I have I think this might be entering into regular meal rotation. This salmon was so good, I’m not even going to apologize for the crappy iPhone picture.
I used frozen, skinless Coho salmon from Trader Joe’s, but fresh is perfect as well. If you want to make this recipe even easier to make, you can buy pre-made fresh mango salsa. It’s fairly easy to find around here, but that could just be a Southern California thing. Regardless, it’s very easy to make. Chopping the mangoes is the most difficult part.
For the salmon, I flavored it with garlic powder and Chile con Limon, which is a Mexican seasoning. Again, it’s something really easy to find in Southern California, but if you don’t live in these parts, it is super simple to make at home. I cooked my salmon in a grill pan on the stove, but a real barbecue grill or a regular pan would work just fine. Just make sure that what ever you are cooking on is HOT.
2 salmon fillets
Chile con Limon seasoning*
Olive oil spray
Fresh lemon to squeeze/serve
Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Season salmon with chile con limon and garlic powder on both sides.
When pan is hot, spray with olive oil. Lightly spray salmon with olive oil spray. Place salmon on pan and cook 5 minutes each side. Squeeze lemon over salmon just before removing from pan.
Chile con Limon Seasoning
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon citric acid powder (available on Amazon or in bulk grocery sections)
Combine ingredients together. Sprinkle over fish, meat, chicken, vegetables as seasoning.
1-2 Mangoes, peeled and diced
4 green onions, chopped
1 red onion, finely diced
1 Jalapeño, finely diced (add seeds according to desired heat level)
1 red bell pepper or tomato, diced
1 small cucumber, peeled and diced
4 tablespoons lime juice
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Arroz Verde (From a whole bunch of different recipes)
1/2 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro sprigs
1 cup tightly packed fresh stemmed spinach leaves
1 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups non-fat milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
1/2 cup finely minced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
Put the cilantro, spinach, and broth in a blender and blend until the vegetables are puréed. Add the milk and salt and blend a bit more until well combined.
In a medium heavy-based saucepan (with a lid) over medium heat, heat the olive oil and butter. When the butter is melted, add the rice and sauté, stirring about every 30 seconds, until it just begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the contents of the blender, stir well, turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, turn the heat to very low, and cook for 20 minutes. Stir the rice carefully to avoid crushing it, cover, and cook another 5 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and let the rice steam in the covered pot for 10 minutes (be sure to remove from hot burner completely, otherwise the bottom of the rice will burn). Serve hot.
I saw this recipe in Real Simple: Meals Made Easyand it seemed like a super easy and summery lunch. It also took about a grand total of 5 minutes to make, which is also a plus.
While the tomatoes were tasty, there was still something lacking. I think next time around, I might leave out the parsley and add a lot more lemon juice. Despite the lemon juice and all the capers and kalamatas I added the salad it was missing a bit of tanginess.
With a paring knife, cut out and discard the stem of each tomato. Using a spoon, hallow out the tomatoes, leaving each with a 1/4-inch shell, and transfer the pulp to a medium bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the tomato pulp and toss gently. Spoon the mixture back into the tomatoes and serve.