Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Beach Day Tuna Salad

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Yet another recipe from The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook I just bought(the other was Blueberry Corn Salsa…in case you missed it!).  The thing that caught my attention was the raisins!  I mean, raisins in tuna salad? Crazy?? DELICIOUS!

Tuna is standard in my lunch time meal repertoire and has been for most of my life.  My typical version would be tuna/mayo/celery/eggs.  That’s how my mom and Bernie made it growing up.  But I’ve also made curried tuna salad and this cilantro tuna salad…both really good!

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The recipe in the book only makes 2 servings (it uses 2 cans of tuna).  I adjusted for more and used 5 5-ounce cans (chunk light for the lower mercury content…packed in water).  But I didn’t think it was necessary to increase the mayo/oil/mustard by much…I don’t like any of my salads (chicken, egg) overly creamy.  I left out the parsley too…I used the inner celery leaves instead.  This is something I always do, they have so much flavor! 

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The sweetness from the raisins is subtle.  And just note, I couldn’t find golden raisins so I ended up using regular brown ones.  This salad works on whole grain toast for a sandwich option.  Or you could serve it over lettuce/spinach/some other green.  Make a big batch like I did.  I promise, you will wish you had more…especially if you have a roommate!!

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Beach Day Tuna Salad
adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen

makes 4-5 servings

5 (5-ounce) cans water-packed tuna (I used chunk light)
1/3 cup raisins
3 celery stalks, diced…including some of the inner leaves
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise or extra-virgin olive oil…depending on how creamy you want it
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Drain tuna well and put into a mixing bowl. Soak raisins in warm water for 5 minutes to soften, then drain. Coarsely chop raisins and add them to the tuna.

Add celery, mustard, lemon juice, and mayonnaise or olive oil to the bowl and stir well to combine, breaking up the larger chunks of tuna. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve at once, or store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.

Per serving (based on 5 servings…only the tuna salad…no bread/lettuce/etc): 262 calories, 8 g fat (1.3 g saturated), 10 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 37 g protein (1 1/2 fat, 5 protein, 1/2 fruit)…FYI…4 servings would make it 327cals…that’s probably what I end up eating

* The amounts in this recipe are completely up to you…less celery? Sure.  More lemon or mustard?  Why not!  You might fall in love with the raisins and decide to add more of those too.  Just don’t be tempted to add TOO much mayo/oil.  Here’s my opinion of mayo…you might be surprised!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Coconut Pinkcherry Frozen Yogurt

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For Christmas 2008, I got an ice cream maker from one of my favorite dancers and David Lebovitz' "The Perfect Scoop", an incredible ice cream cookbook, from my favorite Mel! Let me tell you, I have since put both to good use!

If you have an ice cream maker you NEED this book (and if you don't have one, consider purchasing one...I have this Cuisinart model). So far I've made Toasted Coconut, Vietnamese Coffee, Tiramisu, and Butterscotch Pecan.

I have also made Coconut Pinkcherry frozen yogurt which is adapted from the book on (my favorite blog!).

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This recipe and the Vietnamese Coffee recipe are both relatively light. The other two, not so much. But the good thing about making your own ice cream is that you can't make very much at a time (my machine makes 1 ½ quarts = 6 cups = 12 ½-cup servings) and you have total control over the ingredients. You can limit the sugar (and fat sometimes), and there are no crazy additives, artificial colors and flavors, or preservatives. And you can use all organic ingredients like I did.  Gotta love it!

Another good really have to work for this ice cream. You have to freeze the churning bowl for 24 hours (although mine stays in the freezer…ready to go at all times!), buy the ingredients, make the ice cream base, and then freeze for 30 minutes in the machine. You won't do this all of the time...only for a "special treat".

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I eat ice cream in a small bowl...its a visual thing. A ½ cup serving (or maybe a little more…) looks like a lot more in a small coffee cup than in a big soup bowl.

By the way, this frozen yogurt is good...I mean really good! I hope you have an ice cream maker and can enjoy it as much as I do.

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Coconut Pinkcherry Yogurt
adapted from

Makes about 1 ¼ quarts (or 10 ½-cup servings)

3 cups Greek yogurt or strained yogurt*…fat free or not (I’ve used both)
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon almond extract
¾ cup cherries, pits removed and roughly chopped (I used frozen…and ended up using the whole 10oz bag)
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (I used full-fat, but lite would probably work as well)

Mix together the yogurt, sugar, almond extract, cherries, and coconut milk. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

* To make 1 cup of strained yogurt, line a mesh strainer with a few layers of cheese cloth (I use coffee filters), then scrape 16 ounces or 2 cups of plain yogurt into the cheesecloth. Gather the ends and fold them over the yogurt, set the strainer over a bowl, and then refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Make sure you use all-natural yogurt (I like Dannon), because if there are any additives, the yogurt might not strain as well.

Per ½-cup serving…using fat free yogurt (117g**) - 150 calories, 5 g fat (4 g saturated), 20 g carbohydrates, 18 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 8 g protein, 7%DV calcium (exchanges: 1 fat, ½ dairy, 1 starch)

Compare to Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia Frozen Yogurt:

Per ½-cup serving (100g**) - 160 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated), 32 g carbohydrates, 22 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 4 g protein, 15%DV calcium

INGREDIENTS: Skim Milk, Water, Liquid Sugar, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Cherries, Cream, Sugar, Corn Syrup Solids, Egg Yolks, Coconut Oil, Natural Flavors, Cocoa (Processed With Alkali), Cocoa, Carob Bean Gum, Concentrated Lemon Juice, Caramel Color, Red Cabbage Juice Extract (For Color), Milkfat, Soya Lecithin, Yogurt Cultures

Compare to Dreyer's Slow Churned Yogurt Blends Black Cherry Vanilla Swirl:

Per ½-cup serving (60 - 65g**) - 100 calories, 3 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 17 g carbohydrates, 13 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 2 g protein, 10%DV calcium

INGREDIENTS: skim milk, sugar, cream, cultured skim milk, corn syrup, maltodextrin, whey, mono and diglycerides, milk minerals concentrate, natural flavors, guar gum, locust bean gum, carrageenan, Blue #1, annatto color, Red #40

**Note the serving size weight. With the slow churned you are eating the same volume but about half the weight; basically you are eating a lot of air which has no calories...that's why the Dryer's has about 50 calories less than the other two.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Blueberry Corn Salsa

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I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I have a thing for cookbooks…every birthday, holiday, (or just any given day!) the collection grows!


The newest addition is The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook…from the blog of the same name.  And I am LOVING it!  Fresh ingredients, whole foods, delicious recipes…right up my alley.

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I bought it with a birthday Anthropologie gift card on Saturday, and after flipping through it I immediately HAD to try this salsa (and some incredible tuna salad that I’ll share later). 

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In the cookbook, the salsa is served over polenta squares…which I’m sure is delicious. But you know me, this was destined for a salad.  So I modified it a little to give it even more of a Mexican feel…lime juice and a extra cilantro! 

The salad I made included romaine, shredded carrot, chicken (that I marinated in lime juice, garlic, cumin, a little apple cider vinegar, and olive oil), queso fresco, and a lemon vinaigrette.  Topped with crushed tortilla chips.  I’m thinking it would work really well on fish tacos too.

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Blueberry Corn Salsa

adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook

3 ears of corn (which will be about 1 1/2 - 2 cups of kernels)
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and diced (optional)

Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from corn cobs and put the kernels in a bowl (I cut the kernels off this way).

Cut the blueberries in half (some of the bigger ones I quartered) and add them to the corn along with the cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, jalapeño (if using), and a pinch of two of salt.  Stir to combine. 

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, checking for seasoning before serving.