Sunday, September 28, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mayo-free Tuna Salad

Again, no photo, but bear with me, it's tasty!

So I'm not big into mayonnaise. Occasionally I'll mix it with a little Dijon on a sandwich, or put it into a pasta salad, but when I can substitute something else, I try to. That's why, when I was craving a tuna melt, I considered my options. Tuna salad is one of the few foods I really don't mind mayo in, but I didn't feel like buying a big jar of the stuff just for the couple of tablespoons I would use for this one application.

So considering other options, I came up with the idea to use plain yogurt! Now I doubt I'm the first person to think of this, but I felt pretty proud of myself. I actually tried it with a Greek-style yogurt, since they now come in handy single serving containers, but regular yogurt would work just fine. For my tuna melt, I packed all my ingredients separately and assembled at the office, with a little help from the office toaster oven. Very tasty. The yogurt adds a certain tang which is really unique. Not for everyone, but I enjoyed it! Definitely something to experiment with.

Mayo-Free Tuna Salad

2-3 servings

1 can of tuna, drained
3 TBS plain regular or greek-style yogurt
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 TBS minced dill pickle or dill pickle relish
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp paprika
dash or two of ground red pepper

Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mash together with a fork, until fully incorporated. Add more yogurt and seasonings to desired consistency/flavor.

Tuna Melt
Serves 1

1 plain english muffin, split open into halves
4 TBS Mayo-Free Tuna Salad (see above)
4 thin slices of tomato
2 thin slices of cheese (Cheddar, American, Monterey Jack, you really can't go wrong)
a drizzle of balsamic vinegar (optional)

1) Top each english muffin half with 2 TBS tuna salad and two slices of tomato. If using, drizzle balsamic vinegar over tomatoes and tuna. Top with a slice of cheese for each half (make sure the cheese covers the enter half... use more slices if necessary).
2) Place on a toaster oven tray and toast in the toaster oven for about 3 minutes, until cheese is melting and starting to brown.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Classy Vegetable Stir-Fry

No picture, my apologies. The hard drive with all our photos on it is not yet set-up, but will be shortly. Once it is I will include some super photos of us attempting to unpack the kitchen. Which I am sure you are all dying to see.

In the mean time, here's a dish we whipped up in honor of my sister coming to dinner for the first time in the new house! She is vegetarian and so I have made it my mission to find some tasty vegetarian dishes to make for her when she visits that she, as a college student, may not have time/money/facilities/motivation to. Alas, she is not big into pasta, so that eliminated about 90% of my initial ideas, but Mr. Heart suggested a vegetable stir-fry. So we took it up a notch by including a wide variety of vegetables, and made it simple by only adding the bare minimum of seasonings. It came out delicious. We served it up with couscous and a dark rye bread. And then we ate cookie dough and played cribbage like old people.

"I'm so proud of myself," Mr. Heart said, as we drove back from dropping off Sister Heart, "Before I met you I wouldn't have even touched a dish like that." And he liked it! Excellent. So I AM having a positive culinary influence. My main challenge with him? Legumes. Some day, some day...

Classy Vegetable Stir-Fry

Serves 2-3

1 Portabello mushroom cap, diced
1 bell pepper, diced (or half of a red and half of a yellow)
3-4 green onions, chopped
1/2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch crescents
1/2 cup sugar snap peas, cut in half
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 lb spinach, roughly chopped
1/4 cup cashews
1 - 2 TBS olive oil
a good squeeze of lemon juice
salt and pepper

(for omnivores: add a link or two of your favorite chicken sausage, sliced)

1) In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering, but not smoking.
2) Add bell peppers and green onions. Sauté until peppers start to brown, stirring often.
3) Add zucchini, mushrooms, and garlic. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to sauté, stirring often, until vegetables are just tender.
4) Add spinach, snap peas, and lemon juice. Toss together, then cover for 1 -2 minutes, or until spinach is wilted and cooked down.
5) Add cashews toss to combine. Cook for 1 -2 more minutes, until cashews are heated through. Add more salt and pepper as desired.
(For omnivores: Transfer vegetables to a separate dish and cover to keep warm. Add sausage and a splash of oil. Sauté until lightly browned, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add vegetables back to pan and toss to combine. Cook an additional minute to heat through.)