Gourmet Recipes: Tuna Salad

The Gourmet Recipe we are going to discuss today is the Tuna Salad.

For making the tuna salad, the first thing we need a piece of nice, lined out yellow fin tuna and then we season the tuna very well with the salts, Keenness and lot of peppers as well. Once it is seasoned well, we will take a black cast iron pan. Put it on the stove and once it is hot put some rice bran oil and then very gently lay out fish inside the pan. Make sure it gets nice colourisation on each side.  Make sure that you don’t overcook the edges. Once it is seared we chill it in the refrigerator


Now we start assembling our salad. We need some green beans, nice cherry tomatoes, roasted potatoes, some herbs. Then we add some lattices just for colour. Then we add some vinegar. After one hour we slice the tuna. So now its time to place the tuna with the salad. We spread the salad. Put the tuna right on the top. To garnish, we add hard boiled baked veggies, little bit of fine olive oil .  and our tuna salad is ready.




Nutty Dark Chocolate Energy Bars

For some time now, I’ve been on a quest for a good energy bar recipe and I’ve finally found one that doesn’t result in flavorless, cardboard resembling, trash can fodder. Other bonuses: all the ingredients are likely already in your pantry cabinets, you can tailor them a bit to your own personal preference, AND though they aren’t exactly a *insert your favorite dessert item here,* if you need of a little something sweet, these are a fairly healthy alternative. I personally made a batch using peanut butter for pre-workout snacks several weeks ago, and Collin’s been asking for a repeat appearance every week since.



Nutty Dark Chocolate Energy Bars

adapted from Women’s Health Magazine

Makes 24 bars

Cooking spray

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup all-natural, no-added sugar nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, etc.)

2  large eggs

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

3/4 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)

1/2 cup dry-roasted nuts (peanuts, almonds, etc.)

1 cup dark chocolate chips, divided (I shave off pieces from a dark chocolate baking bar)

Heat oven to 350° and prep a 13- x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.


In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, beat brown sugar and nut butter until well combined. Beat in eggs, oil, and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture. Add rolled oats, dried fruit, nuts, and 3/4 cup dark chocolate pieces, stirring to combine.

Spread evenly in prepared pan (I dampened the bottom of a measuring cup and used it to press the sticky batter into the pan). Bake 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and firm to the touch. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.


Adulthood + Grown-Up Stone Fruit Sundaes

Recently a local radio station had listeners calling in about the moment they felt they’d arrived at adulthood. On the verge of turning 30, and not yet a mother, I agreed with many of the callers at the time that becoming a parent was the ultimate “I’m officially an adult” moment. This past week changed that for me – and no I did not became a mother overnight.

I mentioned recently that we are looking to buy a home here in SD, and we are hoping to add a non-fur baby to our little family in the not too distant future. We also still own our condo in DC which we’re currently renting out (anyone looking to buy an awesome 1 bedroom in a historic neighborhood outside of DC, with access to restaurants, shopping and 3 pools let me know!) and have to be prepared financially to cover in case something breaks or our renter doesn’t renew. Each of these was a factor in my very adult decision to put my family first and postpone school a year. I’m fortunate to have a good job and going back to school to become an RD, though it will provide me a fulfilling career, is a luxury we just can’t afford while other things are taking priority. It wasn’t too difficult to decide this was the best thing for us right now, but it has been difficult adjusting to the abundance of free time. I’m keeping my fingers crossed we find a home soon as I’m itching to do some remodeling, and of course now I have extra time to cook and blog more! I’ve already begun my countdown though for starting back next summer…only 356 days to go.

Now for a more fun topic…a Naked Chef! Not just any naked chef, but The Naked Chef. Yep, you guessed right if you’re thinking June’s featured cookbook hails from the other side of the pond. After watching two seasons of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution I became a huge fan of this witty Brit, with his fun British words (turn the oven on full whack) and emphasis on whole foods. Thanks to cable and DVR we’ve been enjoying Jamie’s cooking show “30 Minute Meals” (which is one of the only cooking shows we can stand), so much so that my fur babies gifted me with Jamie’s ‘Meals in Minutes’ cookbook for Mother’s Day (the cookbook that spins off the show). It’s been fun planning which meals to make after watching Jamie do his magic with them in the kitchen. Inspiring is an understatement!

So with the arrival of adulthood, it seemed fitting to share this sophisticated sundae with y’all (though you can easily make a tamer version by omitting the brandy). A perfect way to enjoy the luscious fruits of the season, any stone fruit you can find at  your local Farmer’s Market or Supermarket can be used. Incredibly light, yet indulgent, this grown-up sundae is a perfect ending to Summer’s alfresco dinners, and wonderful reminder of how sweet it is to be all grown-up.


Stewed Fruit Sundae adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Meals in Minute

Serves 4

18 ripe stone fruit (plums, nectarines, peaches, apricots, etc.) or mixture

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp evaporated cane juice*

1 orange

1 cinnamon stick or 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1 oz brandy (omit to make more kid friendly)

grown up stone fruit

1 pint good quality non-fat vanilla yogurt (such as Stonyfield Organic ‘Gotta Have Vanilla’)
Heat oven to 425 F. Cut fruit in half through the middle, twist to separate and remove the stone. Place both sections in a roasting pan; mix in sugar, vanilla, zest of ½ the orange and juice from the whole orange. Add cinnamon stick (broken in half) or ground cinnamon and brandy (if using). Toss all together a few times, then place pan on bottom shelf of oven. Cook @ 15 minutes, until fruit is soft and juicy.

With @ 5 minutes left on fruit, remove frozen yogurt from freezer and allow to soften slightly. Remove fruit from oven; layer fruit and frozen yogurt in glasses to serve.


Broccoli + Creamy Cauliflower Baked Pasta

Last week was so busy, I sadly didn’t get to spend much time in the kitchen. We’ve been looking to buy a home here in SD and it’s pretty much taken up all of our spare time lately. School starts tomorrow though so it’s back to my regular schedule which means working out, fixing dinner, studying and then fitting in house hunting whenever possible.

I might have mentioned that we’re excited to be trying to start a family, which has gotten me thinking about family friendly meals. For all you rents out there trying to sneak extra veggies into your kid’s meals, this dish will do the trick and have them asking for more! I did half without turkey bacon, but I confess I did sneak a bite of Collin’s and the bacon definitely seals the deal. Luckily the turkey bacon doesn’t add much in the calorie or fat department, so for all the flavor it adds I’d feel comfortable letting the meat eaters in my family eat this on a regular basis.

Hope you are all enjoying the start of summer!


Broccoli + Creamy Cauliflower Baked Pastaadapted from Better Homes and Gardens

serves 6 adults

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 small head cauliflower, cored and chopped (3 cups)

6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

4 medium shallots, roughly chopped


4 teaspoons all-purpose flour

4 cups skim milk

6 ounces pecorino cheese, grated (2 cups)

1/2 pound medium whole wheat (or brown rice) pasta shells (rotini pasta works well in place of shells)

4 slices cooked turkey bacon, chopped

1 medium bunch broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets (5 cups)

1/2 cup toasted whole-wheat panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs (or throw a few slices of whole-grain brain in the food processor and then toast for homemade breadcrumbs)

broccoli baked pasta

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cauliflower, garlic, shallots, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook until softened but not brown, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with flour; stir to coat well.Gradually stir in milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; gently simmer until cauliflower is very soft, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer all to a blender, and puree with half the pecorino until smooth, about 2 minutes.Heat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until slightly tender but not fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Drain well; return to pot. Add bacon, broccoli, and cauliflower sauce; toss to combine. Transfer to a ovenproof 3 1/2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining pecorino, and bake until bubbling in center, about 30 minutes. Heat broiler, and broil until golden brown on top, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Divide among dishes, top with breadcrumbs, and serve immediately.

Winter Vegetable White Bean Ragout

Maybe it’s the winter season, (not in San Diego!) cooler weather and shorter days, but for some reason I have been digging soups and stews. This was one I saw not too long ago in Self magazine (I am pretty sure it was Self…), and much like Amy Chaplin’s Creamy Cauliflower and Greens Soup, I love making a batch of this to bring for lunch. Look at some of the wonderful veggies in the ingredients list – such an easy way to meet your vegetable quota!PS I love my new colorful bowls from Anthropologie! Stumbled upon them right before Christmas and I thought theywould be perfect for bringing a little color and life to my all white place settings.


Winter Vegetable White Bean Ragoutfrom Self magazine

1 1/2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4″ cubes

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 fennel bulb, halved, cored and cut into 1″ pieces

1 red pepper, cut into 1/2″ pieces

1 tsp ground fennel seeds*

1/3 cup white wine

1 15oz can Italian butter beans (or other white beans)

1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced

8 leaves rainbow chard, stems removed and cut crosswise into thick ribbons

1 cup rainbow chard stems, sliced on the bias to 3/4″ pieces

1 Tbsp (each) chopped fresh oregano, thyme and sage


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine squash, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 Tbsp garlic, 1/4 tsp S+P in a large baking dish. Toss to coat and roast 20 minutes (30-40 minutes) or until tender.

Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and 1/4 tsp S+P. Saute for 3 minutes or until onions are soft. Mix in remaining garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in fennel, red pepper, fennel seeds and remaining salt. Cook 5 minutes. Pour in wine and cook 3 minutes or until pan is nearly dry. Add beans and veggie broth; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15 minutes or until beans begin to break and sauce thickens.

Add the cooked squash, sun-dried tomatoes, chard leaves and stems. Cook 10 minutes adding water as needed to keep saucy. Stir in oregano, thyme and sage before serving.

Servings: 6

Fiery Tomato Soup

One of my favorite food blogger’s, Gabby Dalkin of What’s Gabby Cooking, dishes up some seriously tasty treats every week. Sometimes they are super sinful like these slutty brownies and occasionally they are fairly healthy, like the Fiery Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup (originally posted by The Cozy Apron) I tried out last week. Though the brownies would only ever be a rare treat in our home (the picture makes these incredibly tempting!), the soup recipe has been filed away for repeat appearances at our dining table for years to come. A word of caution: this soup is FIERY – so if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen…just kidding…but you might want to tone down the red pepper flakes a bit!

As a note, I omitted the roasted garlic part (sadly I have a sensitive stomach to fresh garlic) and adapted the recipe to make it a bit lighter. If you want the full garlicky recipe pop over to What’s Gabby Cooking – and enjoy her beautiful pics while you’re there!

tomato soup


Fiery Tomato Soupadapted from What’s Gabby Cooking/The Cozy Apron

2 Tbsp + 1 tsp Olive Oil

15 whole Roma Tomatoes

1-½ Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

3 Tbsp Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp Salt

1 tsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

1 Tbsp Red Chili Pepper Flakes (or less if you aren’t a fan of heat)

2 tsp Italian Seasoning (I just threw in a dash or two each of oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary and marjoram)

4-5 Tbsp minced garlic

1 whole Onion, Chopped

1 bunch Lemon Basil (or Regular Basil), Stems Removed And Chopped

¼ cups Flat-leaf Parsley, Chopped

3 cups Vegetable Stock

½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil.
Cut the Roma tomatoes in half and place in a large bowl; add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and other ingredients through the minced garlic to the tomatoes, and toss to coat. Spread over baking sheet and roast for about 60-80 minutes (they should looked fairly pruney).
Once tomatoes and garlic are roasted, set aside to cool slightly, until they can be handled.
In the meantime, in a large pot over medium heat, add 1 tsp of olive oil, the chopped onion and 1tsp of minced garlic. Allow them to become aromatic and translucent. Then add the roasted tomatoes (and all of their juice from the baking sheet). Add the lemon basil and parsley and stir to combine. Add the hot vegetable stock and allow to simmer without lid, for about 20 minutes.
Add the grated Parmesan cheese, and stir. Using a hand immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth and all tomatoes are completely pureed (if using a regular blender, work in small batches to puree. Be careful to not overfill the blender, as hot soup can splatter). Check the salt/pepper, and adjust to taste, if necessary.
Ladle into serving bowls, maybe top with a couple tsps of Parm cheese and enjoy!

Serves: 6

Broccoli + White Cheddar Soup

I can’t believe we are down to the end of February and I haven’t posted anything from Ellie’s new cookbook. I’ve tried a number of its recipes and just haven’t been thrilled enough to make most of them on a regular basis, hence the reason February has been a pretty quiet month. There have been a few winners though, so I’m going to try to cram them into these last few days of February – thank goodness its leap year!

Our first winner is…drum roll please…Broccoli Cheddar Soup! I changed just couple of things but nothing to really make it lighter, as EK already did a great job with that. I actually compared the nutrition info to a cult favorite, Panera Bread’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup, and discovered that Panera’s version has nearly double the sodium, and more fat and cholesterol. We are actually doing nutrition comparisons in my Basic Nutrition course which makes this even more interesting to me. You might not think much about the “double the sodium” bit, but what if I told you that you should not be exceeding 2300 mg of sodium a day and that 1250 mg of sodium is equal to  54.3% of your 100% daily allowance? Crazy right?! Just another great reason to make this healthier version at home!

This week is not only the start of March (which means Spring is literally just around the corner…March 20th to be exact!), it also kicks off Girls on the Run’s Spring 2012 season and I am pumped! Honestly, I’m a little nervous…but mostly excited. I’m so excited that I caved and bought one of these fun, spirited tutus from Glam Runner! I never really imagined myself as the tutu wearing type (I gave up on that dream when I was 5 and 1 foot taller than all the girls in my ballet class….clearly I was never going to star in Swan Lake), but I think rockin’ this tutu in my next race will take my running to the next level (mainly because I’ll feel the need to prove that even girls in tutus kick a**). I’ll also be reminded each time I wear it that the proceeds went to a great cause – Girls on the Run! My team of coaches and I have decided we are going to raise money to surprise our 11 girls with a tutu of their own before our culmination 5k in May. This is especially important to us since our team is a scholarship site  (a large percentage of the school has to be eligible for the free/reduced lunch program) and the school itself, Nativity Prep Academy, is a tuition-free middle school serving low-income 6th-8th graders in the San Diego area. They really have a great mission and we feel strongly the GOTR program will be a special experience for the girls and ourselves as coaches! Can’t wait to get started!


Broccoli + White Cheddar Soupslightlyadapted from Ellie Krieger’s Comfort Food Fix cookbook

2 tsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 large head broccoli florets & tender parts of stems, chopped, @ 6 cups (I used frozen organic broccoli florets, thawed)

3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

2 cups original, unsweetened almond milk

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose flour)

1 1/4 cups lightly packed shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (5 oz) (I used light white cheddar*, chopped)

S+P to taste (starting with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper)

Broccoli white Soup Recipe

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened and translucent, @ 4 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and cook @ 30 seconds. Add the broccoli and broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the broccoli is tender, @ 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, @15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, whisk together the milk and flour until the flour dissolves. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, @ 3 minutes. Add one cup of cheese and cook, stirring, until melted, @ 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm. Working with about 1 cup at a time, puree the broccoli mixture in a blender until mostly smooth but still has some chunks (I went all the way smooth because I am still trying to learn my way around my fabulous Vitamix mixer I got for Christmas!); transfer to another pot. Stir the cheese mixture into the broccoli puree, season with S+P to taste and cook over medium-low heat until warmed through, @ 3-5 minutes. Serve garnished with remaining cheese.

Serves: 4

EK’s Triple Onion French Onion Soup

I just realized as I was posting this tasty lightened up version of an old and common favorite, that I have been doing a lot of soups lately (you probably noticed from the posts). I don’t really have an explanation for it, but I’m happy to say that next month’s schedule looks like a little less soup…and a lot more action!

As for finishing out our month of Ellie Krieger’s Comfort Food Fix cookbook, check out this second to last Comfort Food Fix post. I still stand by my post on Sunday – this book seems to be for people just getting started on a healthy eating lifestyle – but like I said, there are definitely some winners (and I barely scraped the surface of this cookbook!). Later this year we will be getting (re)acquainted with Ellie’s other two cookbooks, So Easy and The Food You Crave.


Triple Onion French Onion Soupfrom Ellie Krieger’s  Comfort Food Fix cookbook

2 small leeks (@ 1/2 lb)

2 Tbsp olive oil

3 medium onions (@ 1 lb), thinly sliced (@ 4 cups)

6 medium shallots (@ 1/2 lb), thinly sliced (@ 1 3/4 cup)

2 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped

1 fresh or dried bay leaf

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free all-purpose flour)

1/2 cup dry sherry or white wine (I would add a bit more wine next time, maybe 1 cup as I feel like it adds more flavor)

3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (feel free to use the beef broth – both have 15 calories per cup)

2 cups water

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Four 1/4″ thick slices of whole-wheat baguette (I used Udi’s new gluten-free sandwich bread)

4 oz light swiss cheese (torn into pieces to make @ 1 cup)


Cut the dark green tops from the leeks and discard or reserve for another use (Ellie suggests using it for stock). Halve the remaining tender pale green and white ends lengthwise and then cut them crosswise into thin slices. Transfer the sliced leeks to a bowl of cold water and toss them to allow the sand to drift to the bottom of the bowl. Lift the leeks out of the water with a slotted spoon and pat them dry with a towel.

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, onions, shallots, thyme and bay leaf. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are golden, @ 10 minutes. Remove the lid and cook uncovered, stirring frequently until the onions turn a deep golden brown, @ 10 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook, stirring, @ 1 minute. Stir in the sherry or white wine, increase the heat to medium, and cook until the liquid is almost evaporated, @ 3-5 minutes. Add the broth, water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally , until reduced to about 6 cups, @ 15 minutes.

Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Arrange the slices of bread in one layer on a baking sheet and toast, turning once, until golden on both sides, @ 8 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf from the soup and divide the soup among four heat-proof bowls, @ 1 1/2 cups of soup each. Top each bowl with a slice of bread, then sprinkle 1/4 cup shredded swiss over each. Place the bowls on the baking sheet and bake until the cheese melts, @4 minutes (I wanted to broil mine to get the cheese extra “baked” but our broiler wasn’t working).  Serve immediately.

Serves: 4


Super Natural Every Day’s Cauliflower Soup

I was so excited for March to arrive because that meant I could officially crack open this pretty little number…

Cauliflower soup

From the author of 101 Cookbooks blog fame Heidi Swanson, Super Natural Every Day provides delicious, natural, unprocessed recipes in a beautifully rustic cookbook that would take the decor of any kitchen counter up a notch. I tried two recipes this weekend, and both were a hit in the Jacobson home. I know I promised a little less soup in the coming weeks and I aim to keep that promise; however, in these final few weeks of winter, this soup is an excellent excuse to use some of the last of the cauliflower crop.

Cauliflower Soup from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day

or2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 shallots, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

fine-grain sea salt

1 large potato, peeled and cut into tiny cubes

2 garlic cloves, chopped

3 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water

12 oz cauliflower, cut into small florets

2/3 cup (1.5 oz) light white cheddar cheese torn into bits

2 tsp Dijon-style mustard

extra virgin olive oil to serve


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the shallots, onion, and a big pinch of salt. Saute until the onions soften, @ 1-2 minutes.  Stir in the potato, cover and cook @ 4 minutes, just long enough for the pieces to soften a bit. Uncover, stir in garlic, then the broth. Bring to a boil, taste to make sure potatoes are tender, and if so, stir in cauliflower. Cook uncovered 3-5 minutes, just until the cauliflower is tender throughout.

Remove the pan from the heat and puree the soup. Stir in half the cheese and mustard. Add more broth or water if needed to thin the soup. S+P to taste. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Serves: 4-6



TGIPF: Roasted Tomato Pizza

rosted tomato pizzaThis is a great warm weather pizza – best enjoyed on the patio with a glass of crisp white wine and close friends…or anytime you can score a fresh pint of cherry/grape tomatoes! So good it makes me wish for summer about as badly as I’m wishing for the weekend!

Hope you all have a great Friday!

Roasted Tomato Pizza

1 portion of  Almost Wheat-Free Pizza Dough or Original Wheat Dough

1 pint grape or cherry yellow and red  mixed tomatoes, halved

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 28-oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, drained

1 tsp minced garlic

3-4 basil leaves, cut into slivers

3 oz light or part-skim cheddar or blend of several cheeses

3 oz light or part-skim mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup parmesan cheese


In a small bowl, crush the whole peeled tomatoes with your hands. Mix in 1 tsp minced garlic, 1/2 tsp each S+P

tomato pizzas