Monday, February 28, 2011

Tuna + Spinach with Onions/Garlic in 15 minutes

Grilled Tuna and Spinach with Onions-Faster than Take-out and So Much Better

If you keep your eyes peeled, your local run-of-the-mill grocery store sometimes has fresh tuna at nearly canned tuna prices.   Well, that maybe exaggerates it a bit.  Still, it's not terribly expensive and doesn't need anything fancy.  This is a lovely meal for one.  Saute a pan of onions and spinach with garlic to complete the meal.  (Do it first so your tuna it hot.)

If you have any tuna left over, you can make a Salad Nicoise (a Provencal favorite) the next day.  Just slice your tuna kindly, add to the plate some boiled potatoes, sliced tomatoes, Nicoise olives (or Kalamata if you can't find Nicoise; the French tend to keep a lot of them.), some greens, anchovies( if you like) and steamed green beans. Drizzle the platter with a mustard or tarragon vinaigrette and Nicoise is nearly yours.  Perfect summer fare.  Is it summer where you are?  Anyway, before the Nicoise, you must make this simple tuna with sauteed spinach, onions and garlic.  Add a bit of baguette or even some leftover rice or potato and you're in the business of dinner.  Actually, you don't need anything else, though a bit of wine would go down well, as would a good book.

         Quote of the Day:  " Am I eating chicken or tuna?"  ~ Jessica Simpson

 Tuna and Spinach with Onions and Garlic in 15 minutes

  • 1 small fresh tuna filet (Ahi is nice)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1T olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 a small onion
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
Set your table and get out your drink before you cook.  Crack your window or light a candle to dispel the fish cooking odor.
  1. Pat down the tuna with paper towels and season it well with salt and pepper.  Set it aside.
  2. Heat 2t of the olive oil  in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat and add the onion.  Stirring regularly, saute about 5 minutes until softened.  Add spinach, throw in a pinch each of salt/pepper and cook down about one minute.  Add garlic and cook another minute. Remove to plate and set aside.
  3. Add other 1 t olive oil to the pan, raise heat to high, and let heat briefly--about 30 seconds. Add tuna; sear 2 minutes.  (Don't move the tuna; let it sit still.)  Turn and sear the other side for 2 minutes.  Place cooked, rare* tuna on top of spinach. 
  4. This meal is lovely hot, but is also tasty at room temperature.  Refrigerate leftovers well-covered and immediately.
Solo Cook Notes:
  •  Make a bigger piece of tuna if you'd like leftovers.  Fish salad for lunch is a treat. 
  •  *Cook the tuna longer if you want, but brown tuna is tough tuna.
  • Top with some pesto if you have any.
  • I like Pinot Noir with tuna, but some people prefer Chardonnay or even Sauvignon Blanc.  Unlike simpler, lighter white fish, tuna stands up to a bit more of a wine or sauce.
How's that vegan thing going?   Each day (Vegan for breakfast and lunch) finds me expanding and I've had things like:  

  • grilled vegetables in a whole wheat tortilla w/ chipotle ranch dressing I made myself
  • whole wheat pasta with marinara (Same one I blogged; I froze some-) 
  • another round of the tofu-vegetable stir fry with brown rice (Made it again!)
  • soy yogurt and fresh fruit
  • vanilla soy milk for my coffee
  • oatmeal and dried fruit with toasted nuts
  • bean soup and salad
  • boca burgers on whole wheat bread with lots of tomatoes on top
  • risotto with butternut squash and sage.  
 The Protein Factor:
It long ago occurred to me that most of the food we eat is vegetarian anyway and that makes it easier.  I've looked up the amount of protein we need for health and, while I've checked it out before, I understand it better now.  Eating vegan, I need to put together peanut butter and whole wheat or beans and rice to provide an entire protein. I must make sure I get proteins from a variety of sources  to get all the different amino acids since I'm skipping dairy and eggs.  Most adults get 12-18% of their calories from protein (according to the NIH), so I'm not likely to miss much as I eat fish or meat or cheese for dinner.

Have fun cooking and taking care of yourself,

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