Tuna Steaks with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes

You know, I’m almost a little embarrassed to share this recipe.

It’s so simple and delicious and I have been making it since college.

You see, while in college, my friend Erin and her parents invited me along on two of their summer vacations. They are big scuba divers, so it was always to a beautiful tropical destination. I know, they really had to twist my arm!

Our weeks were always filled with fun memories that we still joke about to this day such as an evening in St. Lucia when we were returning to our home for the week from dinner via an incredibly steep and windy road which also happened to be filled with gigantic potholes. We’d had a lot of beverages (water, and maybe some rum punches) at dinner – so our bladders were not too happy with the journey. So in order to take our minds off of the torturous ride, we decided singing along to the radio at the top of our lungs would help. What was on the radio? Celine Dion “To Love You More” – it was epic, especially when we got to the chorus.

There was also the evening in St. Martin when we went out for a fabulous dinner overlooking the ocean – and I got mugged after Erin and I walked to purchase her some replacement flip-flops since hers busted as we were walking into the restaurant.

All memorable times, but the most vivid memory was at a restaurant in St. Martin called Temptation. I remember exactly what I ordered, where we sat, talking to the piano player, and even our service. For dinner – I ordered the sashimi tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes. Y’all, it sounds simple – but the entire experience just stuck with me.

So obviously, as soon as vacation was over – I had to re-create it. While I may not be a gourmet chef, my little amateur version of this meal has been a family favorite for years now. The tuna definitely helps with the heat of the wasabi if you aren’t heat-tolerant – but the beauty of wasabi is that it’s a quick burn! Try this one out, it’s action-packed with flavor and is super easy to throw together…

Tuna Steaks with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes (Serves 2 / Tuna – 5 WW pts. per serving / Mashed Potatoes – 3 WW pts. per serving)

2 6 oz. raw yellow fin tuna steaks

1/3 cup Kikkoman Teriyaki marinade

1 medium russet potato, peeled and cubed

1/2 Tbsp. fat-free milk

1/2 Tbsp. wasabi paste

1/2 Tbsp. reduced-calorie margarine (I use Blue Bonnet Light)

Salt and pepper to taste

In a shallow dish, pour teriyaki marinade and add raw tuna steaks. Marinate for 1 hour minimum, flipping halfway through the process. I threw mine in before I went to work one day – so they soaked up a lot of that goodness!

Remove tuna from marinade, reserve a few Tbsp. of what remains. Heat grill to medium-high and spray with nonstick spray. Add tuna steaks and grill 4-5 minutes per side to get a good medium center. Brush with a little more teriyaki when you flip them.

While all of this is going on, make sure your potatoes are cooking so they’re ready when the steaks are!

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add the potato cubes. Boil 7-9 minutes until pieces are tender when pierced with a fork.

Wasabi Mashed Potatoes

Drain potatoes and add to a small bowl. Whisk in milk, wasabi paste, margarine, salt and pepper. I usually add a little more wasabi, but all depends on preference and texture – if it’s too lumpy, add another splash of milk.

Mix potatoes until smooth and add to plate, topped with grilled tuna steak…

Plated steak and potatoes

 

I roasted some asparagus with a drizzle of peanut oil, some soy sauce and topped with sesame seeds – the perfect addition to this plate of deliciousness. Let me know what you think if you try this recipe out, it’s definitely one of my favorites!

Teriyaki Tuna with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

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Skinny Au Gratin Potatoes

Um, hey there. Remember me?

Yeah, I started this blog and was sharing some delicious recipes with y’all and then, well, I fell off the face of the earth for two weeks.

Over two weeks people! I didn’t even realize it until yesterday – I thought I was just tardy by one week…psh.

I am so sorry. Thank you for coming back. I mean, one week I got home late every night of the week and had stuff to do when I got home (like meetings, running to a kickball game, etc.). Then last week – well, last week was for fun – I got to go to Florida for another bachelorette party! And, you get to benefit from it because I cooked lots of goodies that I will be sharing with you over the next few weeks!

For now, I will try to make amends by sharing one of my favorite dishes that I figured out how to make a bit better for those who are not content to hide under baggy sweaters this fall! (Although they are really cozy!)

Skinny Au Gratin Potatoes (Serves 3 / 3WW pts. each)

1 medium russet potato

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray

1/2 cup fat-free milk

1/2 cup fat-free shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 Tbsp. white whole-wheat flour

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a small au gratin (or baking) dish and spray with butter spray.

Wash and dry potato and cut into 1/4 inch pieces.

Whisk together milk, flour, garlic and black pepper.

Add potatoes to baking dish and pour milk mixture on top.

Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes.

Remove foil and bake 15 more minutes. Add cheese and return to oven for 5 more minutes allowing cheese to melt.

 

This is pretty much delicious served with anything, but nothing beats steak and potatoes!

Enjoy y’all, and I promise, I won’t disappear again!

Potatoes Romanoff

I absolutely love potatoes. As I mentioned in a post about what I eat when I’m not cooking my more semi-elaborate meals, a baked potato is my favorite standby.

I also love the Olympics. Twice this week I’ve sat down with the computer with every intention of giving you a delicious recipe to try, and twice this week I’ve gotten sucked in as soon as Bob Costas starts giving his re-cap. I’m a little sad that it’ll be over on Sunday, but at least I will get my life back. Who knew women’s handball and BMX semifinals could be so enthralling?

So since I’ve been non-existent this week, I figured I owed you a really yummy recipe. This recipe does need some advanced prep work, but I promise you friends, it totally pays off – in taste and in grating so much you might build some good muscle tone! (It also makes a lot, so you will probably get to enjoy leftovers unless you have a really big crowd!).

Potatoes Romanoff (Serves 10 / 4 WW pts. per serving)

3 medium russet potatoes

3/4 cup minced shallot

8 oz. reduced fat white cheddar (I used Cabot)

2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 1/2 cups fat-free sour cream

Preheat your oven to 425. Scrub and dry potatoes. Wrap in foil and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let potatoes cool – you can use the freezer or refrigerator to speed up that process if you’re running a little short on time!

While potatoes are baking, mince your shallots and grate your cheese.

When potatoes are cool enough to handle, grate into a large bowl. I leave skins on as much as I can to give it a little texture, but sometimes it starts coming off in big pieces so I just discard those.

Add sour cream, half of your cheese, shallots and salt and pepper. I usually end up adding a little more salt since there is a lot of potato to season!

Gently mix with a rubber spatula or your hands so you don’t end up “mashing” the grated potato (this is why you let it cool – if it’s too warm, it mashes easier).

Place mixture in a lightly greased baking dish and top with remaining grated cheese.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes and serve.

Seriously y’all, this is absolutely divine served with steaks – but I’m sure it’s great with anything…

Happy Friday everybody!

 

What the Heck is a Pierog?

Back in May, one of my dear friends and I were in desperate need of a girls night. She had just gotten married and learned she was putting her house on the market (sad face) to move to Atlanta and asked if I would mind come over to her place for dinner and drinks because a workman was coming out to check on a few things. No problem. If there’s food and wine, you know I’m there.

So I get there, we have a glass of wine and she said “Um, I was just planning on throwing together kielbasa and pierogi if that’s okay? I know it’s not fancy, but we really love it.”

I was a little ashamed to admit it – but I think I’d only had pierogi once in my life. It was shortly after attending a Pittsburgh Pirates game with one of my college friends (aka “Punk”) when I so eloquently asked her “What the huh?” and pointed to the odd crescent-shaped costumes racing around the bases as some sort of entertainment – the “Pierogi Race.” She was shocked I asked such a question! “It’s food. It’s amazing food. It’s a Polish dish.”

Well now I felt really silly – and yet, I was 18 years old and grew up in Memphis, TN. Not my fault I’d never seen “Pierogi” listed as a side dish to go with your slab of ribs!

I learned that pierogi are basically pasta pockets that are filled with a mashed potato type filling that can also include cheese and/or onion. Oh, and they are delicious.

So back to my friends dinner – kielbasa and pierogi. Of course it sounded delicious.  A – I knew all of those ingredients and liked all of them. B – I was intrigued to see how this would play out. mainly because I forgot pierogi existed in the aisles of my neighborhood grocery store.

The verdict? Oh my goodness it was so good. Easy and absolutely delicious. I am fairly certain I went to the store a day later and bought everything to make it and very excitedly told the husband we were having pierogi. He looked very confused…”Gesundheit?”

Now he requests it, which I’m totally fine with because it’s super simple! I even figured out how to “lighten it up” for the good ol’ diet! It’s really handy for the nights when we have a function or meeting to attend and get home a little later – because it’s so easy to throw together!

Well, I (of course) decided to make it difficult. I mean, more difficult than boiling water and adding the frozen pierogi.

Yes, I decided to make homemade Pierogi! This definitely not something that you can throw together with an hour or two before company arrives – but it was a lot of fun and totally worth it when I dove into that first bite. I plan on experimenting with the filling quite a bit in the future!

Asparagus, Cheese and Herb Pierogi (serves 2-4)

For the Dough

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. fat-free sour cream

1 egg

1/4 cup warm water

Add all ingredients to a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix until dough forms into a ball, scraping up any stray bits of flour to incorporate into the mixture. Cover and let rest 30 minutes. (P.S. I finally got to break out my beautiful red Kitchen Aid mixer!! The little things in life I tell ya…)

For the Filling

4 oz. trimmed asparagus

Olive oil spray

1 medium potato

1/3 cup Philadelphia Italian Cheese & Herb Cooking Cream (Reduced Fat)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

First, you need to roast your asparagus. Heat oven to 400, spray trimmed asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Roast for 15-18 minutes and remove to cool. Chop roughly and set aside.

In the meantime, you’ll need to boil your potato. Peel and cube the potato and add to boiling water. Cook for about 10-12 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.

Add chopped asparagus, potato and cooking creme to a food processor. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper. Pulse food processor until ingredients are well blended and relatively smooth.

Remove dough and roll out to about 1/8 inch thick. I used a glass that was about 3” diameter to cut my pierogi…you can do the same!

Spoon about 1/2 or 1 Tbsp. of the filling in to the center of each circle. Bring edges together to form a crescent shape and pinch together, ensuring you have a good seal.

Repeat until all pierogi are formed.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Add pierogi to the boiling water about 5-6 at a time. Boil 4-5 minutes, or until they float to the top, and remove with a slotted spoon. Repeat until all are done.

Plate your pierogi and garnish with whatever you want! We usually do a little salt, pepper, butter spray and some shredded cheese (mozzarella here).

Oh, I am proud to inform you that while writing this post I learned something new – as I used to refer to the dish as “Pierogies”. “Pierogi” is actually the plural and “Pierog” is the singular form. Like you could just have one of these?

Hope everybody had a great weekend!

Ranch Flavored Oven-Baked Fries

I cannot believe it is already March. Not just because it means that Spring is right around the corner – which is even more shocking considering we didn’t even have a true Winter here in Memphis. It’s amazing because today marks 5 months of marriage!

t’s still hard to fathom that at this time last year, I had just found a dress, was still hunting for bridesmaids dresses, working out details of my bachelorette party, picking menus for the rehearsal dinner and reception – well, just stressing out to the max!

This week has been so much fun because I’ve been on the other side of it! Two of my best friends are getting married this year – and their bachelorette parties are coming up. Not a huge deal for most – but a majority of my friends are out-of-town, so these gatherings are not just something to look forward to – they are EPIC weekends. Needless to say, I’ve been a little distracted!

Distracted enough to forget about you? Absolutely not! I realized I have been posted a lot of main course items and it was probably about time to throw in a delicious side dish. Because let’s face it – that chicken/turkey/shrimp/beef isn’t going to fill you up!

Potatoes are probably my favorite side dish. I love a good baked potato – and that’s even good enough for my dinner sometimes! But remember when I started weight watchers, I said I didn’t want to deprive myself of anything I was craving? Well, I crave french fries. Enter – oven baked french fries. Except I take them up a notch with a little Ranch seasoning. Tantalizing to your tastebuds…which is good. Right?

Ranch Flavored Oven-Baked Fries (serves 2)

1 medium russet potato

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 Tbsp. dry Ranch mix

Olive oil spray (I use a Misto – you can use the pre-packaged varieties too – or just drizzle)

Preheat oven to 400.

Begin by scrubbing your potato. Then cut it in half. Then stand up each half and make two downward cuts, diving your potato into 3 pieces. Cut each piece into about 1/4 inch rectangles, giving you that “fry” shape. Repeat with other half.

Soak the raw fries in water. This releases some of the starch so the potatoes don’t steam (aka “sing”) when they are baking. This results in a much more french fry like texture – versus all of the moisture escaping and the fries being dry – or them just cooking very unevenly.

After at least 30 minutes of soaking, pat dry with paper towels and return to bowl. Drizzle a very light amount (maybe 1/4 tsp.) or spray with olive oil and toss to coat.

Now, pour about 1 Tbsp. of your ranch mixture onto the fries, tossing again to distribute the seasoning evenly.

Pour fries out onto a nonstick or lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes on lower rack, and flip. Dust remaining 1/2 Tbsp. ranch mix on any fries that may need it (some of it slides off with the oil and bakes onto the pan). Return to oven for another 15-20 minutes.

Remove when fries are cooked through and deliciously crispy.

I served mine with come chicken strips (a recipe which I WILL hand over to you soon, don’t you worry) and a cheesy spinach I threw together.

See? No need to go to your local fast food establishment to load up on greasy fries – you have some delicious healthy ones right here!

On a side note – if you try any of the recipes I’ve been posting, please leave a comment and let me know how they turn out! I’d love to hear some feedback – including anything you might like to see me try to “lighten up”!