Jalapeno & Cheese Tuna Cakes with Dill Yogurt Sauce

Whaaaaaat?

You don’t like Tuna?

Please leave.

I never had a “Tuna Melt” until my best friend Jared made me eat one night while I was high out of my mind. Tuna melts, unlike most, “stoned” food is quite delicious even after you are no longer stoned BUT this is 2018 and we are on a mission to not speak to bread……as much. In an effort to give up the carbs but not the flavor I have made tuna cakes. These are amazing, crispy, spicy, and filled with cheese!

Ingredients

*Makes 3 Tuna Cakes

1 Can of White Albacore Humanely Raised Tuna
1/4 Jalapeno – Diced
2 Green Onions – Diced
1/4 Yellow Onion – Diced
1/2 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 Egg
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Red Pepper Chili Flakes
1/2 Greek Yogurt
1/2 Lemon – Juiced
2 Tablespoons Dill Weed(Fresh or dried)
Jalapeno/Tomato Garnish

How To

Drain your tuna VERY well. In a bowl with the diced jalapeno, onion, green onion, dry spices, egg, cheese, add your tuna and mix well. Once all combined form into 3 patties.

I used a non-stick pan as the cheese will melt and forms that nice crust we want. Cook these on medium heat for about 4-5 minutes per side.

Sauce: Add the yogurt, lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper to a bowl and mix well. I put the sauce on the bottom of the plate so that every bite of tuna cake had some cooling sauce. These cakes are hot, cheesy, and the fresh veggies we added provide a much needed crunch. I have had these for lunch almost all week!

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Siracha Maple BLT Lettuce Wraps

Are you not allowed to eat bread? Did someone terrify you as a child of bread? Are you on a keto diet? Did you have a funeral for bread and all its’ offspring in your backyard like me? Then this BLT is for you!

The key here is ….. the bacon….. hello. Can bacon possibly get any better? Let me show you how. My husband eats this delicious snack/meal/appetizer lady and gentlemen…..my husband. You don’t even miss bread, and my idea of heaven is just me laying on crusty hot sourdough slathered in far too much butter!

Let’s get busy!

Ingredients
*Makes 4 BLTs

4 Strips of Thick Cut Bacon
4 Hearts of Romaine Leaves
2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
2 Tablespoons Siracha
2 Tablespoons Mayo
1 Tomato (sliced)
Avocado (optional)

How To

Fry up that bacon! Pan fry your bacon until it is 90% cooked, and then brush your strips of bacon with the siracha and maple syrup. Broil your bacon on high for 2 minutes max. Now, ladies and gentlemen you have candied bacon.

I smeared some mayo on the lettuce itself, sprinkled with red chili flakes, layed out on piece of bacon, seasoned tomato (S&P), and some avocado was on the bottom. Kyle added some jalapeno to his “sandwich”.

Do these substitute for a real good old sandwich? No. I am not going to lie. But, they are lite, refreshing, and you can continue your day afterwards rather than sleeping on the couch. Give these bad boys a try!

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I like my chocolate how I like my men (Banana Peanut Butter Bites)

Dark.

Seriously. How have I just discovered real dark chocolate? More specifically, chocolate from Madagascar.  Lord knows that if there ever was a day for me to like chocolate it would have to be a bar boujie as all Hell. Girl, World Market makes me weak.

To continue our 2018 healthy eating venture we needed dessert! Well, not really because neither myself or my husband are big sweet eaters, but I have found the healthier I eat during the day the easier it gets to be a very bad girl at night. Cinnamon rolls, cheese pastries, and bags and bags of popcorn. I am not claiming these are healthy either, shit I didn’t even do a calorie check on them., and neither should you. They are banana, some peanut butter, and dark sexy chocolate. Live a little.

Oh, and some butter.

Just a little!

Ingredients
1 Bar of Reeeeaally good chocolate (I used Madecasse brand)
5 Bananas sliced however you prefer
Peanut Butter
1 TBSP Kerrygold Butter (this helps so that expensive ass chocolate doesn’t seize up on you)

How To

Slice your bananas, lay on some parchment paper. Dollop with peanut butter on top. See below photo. Then freeze for 3-4 hours.

 

Cut that chocolate up. The more even you slice, cute, cube, or grate the more evenly the chocolate will met. Simmer some water on the stove and create a double boiler. DO NOT GET WATER ANYWHERE NEAR YOUR CHOCOLATE. Water causes seizing and we do not want that. Once your chocolate is melted dip the bananas in however you see fit. I just dipped the tops as we didn’t want ours completely drowned in chocolate. I know some of you will feel differently.

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You see that shine? Thank you melting chocolate correctly and grass-fed butter. Guuuuuurl. I guarantee these will help keep the late night cinnamon rolls away.

Smoothie of the Month: So Help me, Oprah (Vitamin C Pack)

Fun Fact: I spent the week following Christmas with my good old friend, Pneumonia. I won’t point fingers as to to spread the world’s worst sickness to everyone in our family, but…..no Krystal, I won’t. ANYWAYS. The ONE good thing about being sick in the weird limbo week that is the week after Christmas and before the New Year is that my desire to “kick off” the new year being healthy was as strong as they come. Fun Fact #2 if you have a cough pineapple is a natural cough suppressant!

I am not a big fan of breakfast during the week. I don’t usually get hungry until well after 9am, and my desire is really only to have eggs benedict with a pineapple orange mimosa, but given 99% of the time during the week I am at work such desire is never met.  Smoothies nowhere near a mimosa brunch compromise, and I repeat, nowhere near. Yet, smoothies can be healthy and curb such 9am brunch desires. This smoothie of the month is dedicated to Oprah, because I cannot tell you how many times after ridding myself of antibiotics I said out loud “So help me, Oprah if I get sick again I will kill someone”. True Story. Do not mess with after antibiotics me, she is a very angry girl.

I prep smoothies in Ziploc baggies so that in the morning all I have to do is add the almond milk and greek yogurt. Easy! I have a smoothie before leaving my house in the morning, and then later on at work I have a protein shake. This breakfast plan works for me. Give smoothie prep a shot!

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Smoothie bags for days!!

 

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And Kyle said we couldn’t fit anythiiiiiing else in the freezer. Girl, please, take a seat.

 

Ingredients
*Makes 15 individual smoothies
5 Bananas (Cut in Thirds)
2 Cups of Fresh/Frozen Raspberries
3 Cups of Fresh/Frozen Mango
3 Cups of Fresh/Frozen Pineapple
8 Cups of Organic Baby Spinach
5 Lemons
Almond Milk
Greek Yogurt

Recipe

Really simple – Each baggie or smoothie gets 1/3 banana, a sprinkling of mango, raspberries, and pineapple. 1/2 cup baby spinach, squeeze of lemon, as much milk as you’d like and just a spoonful of greek yogurt.

Blend.

Drink.

Thank Oprah you are not sick.

Thanksgiving Day Macaroni & Cheese

I make macaroni and cheese……like……a lot. An unholy amount of mac’ n cheese has been put into this body. I didn’t plan to make mac’ n cheese for Thanksgiving this year, but when the night came to make my scalloped potatoes I just couldn’t resist making one more thing. Over achiever much? The sauce for my scalloped potatoes was a base for mac’ n cheese so how could I really say no? This is what I refer to as “last minute mac” because I used penne in replacement for elbow noodles, because, hello, I didn’t know I was making this so of course I didn’t have the right pasta on hand. I threw in some spicy Jimmy Dean sausage because Kyle is constantly bitching at me that the freezer is too full….so I used something from the freezer, probably the smallest item in the freezer, but still counts!

Ingredients
1 box of penne pasta (or elbow if you’re smarter than me)
3 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
3 Cups of Whole Fat Milk
3 Cups of a three cheese blend or the cheese of your choosing
1 Stalk of green onion diced
1 package of Jimmy Dean Spicy Sausage
1 Cup of Panko
4 Tablespoons of Kerrygold Butter
4 Tablespoons of Flour
S&P

How To
Don’t be an idiot like me and wait until you are done with the sauce to boil the pasta – you should do that first. Remember the pasta trick with the water – your pasta water should look and taste like ocean water – more flavor!

I fried up my sausage next, and once it was completely cooked through I added the garlic and onions. Next, I added the butter (all in the same pan, sausage fat and all, this is Thanksgiving!), let the butter melt down over medium heat, and then add in the flour. Cook this mixture for about 3-4 minutes, and then stir in the milk and begin to whisk. Whisk until your arm falls off OR you no longer have lumps of flour/butter. Cheese, cheese, and more cheese, but only add one cup at a time and wait until it’s melted down into the sauce to add the next. At this point I also take a small ladle of the pasta water and place it into the cheese sauce. The starches released from the pasta while it bowls will help the sauce really adhere to the noodles.

Butter a casserole dish and mix your sauce and noodles all together. I bake this at 400 covered for 30 minutes, and then take it out, place panko all over the top, drizzle the panko with olive oil, and then broil for 5 minutes. Delicious! Last minute mac!

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Honey Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Walnuts

I love walnuts. I would put them on everything if I could. Why did it take me so long to make a dish with brussel sprouts and walnuts? Two of my favorite foods. Do not cry to me about your hate for brussel sprouts….you just aren’t cooking them right. Also, I know lots of people prefer pecans to almonds especially in savory dishes but not I! Always feel free to change up recipes for your dietary needs…..or just don’t eat it!

Ingredients
3lbs of Brussel Sprouts halved (I was making these for dinners for the week so roughly 6 servings here)
TBSP Kerrygold Butter
1/4 Toasted Walnuts
1/4 Cup Good Quality Balsamic
3 TBSP Honey
S&P

How To
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Half your brussels and lay them out on a sheet pan, I used avocado oil to drizzle, and then popped those bad boys in for 15 minutes. While your sprouts are in the oven melt your butter in a saucepan. Place walnuts in the pan to toast up with the butter about 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Remove walnuts from your pan and put both the balsamic and honey in the pan. Let the fluids come to a soft boil and let them reduce. On medium heat this process takes about 6-7 minutes and you want the reduction to coat the back of a spoon. Once your sprouts are out of the oven the plating is up to you! If I were taking these somewhere as a side of appetizer I would scatter my walnuts on top the sprouts and do a slight drizzle of the reduction so that the vibrant colors do not become muddy and that is exactly how I photographed these……then mixed everything up and called it a day! Presentation is everything! Unless, it’s just you and your husband …… like me.

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Lord have mercy do not bring hummus as a Christmas appetizer unless your entire family is vegan. I about got voted off the island for bringing hummus a few Christmas’ back. You know what, though? I am a grown up(kind of) and have my own blog now so I am just going to publish the recipe because I am a loud and proud hummus lover!

Embarrassing Fact: A few colleagues of mine had a hummus war competition and it just so happened to be on the day I was interviewing for a management position at my work. Well, ALL afternoon my stomach would not stop sounding like a blue whale searching for its family and couldn’t tell if I was just nervous OR overdosing on too much hummus.

P.S plain hummus is boring – make some exciting flavors and share them with me! I know roasted red pepper is pretty boring, too but I love it!!

Recipe

2 Cups chickpeas drained and washed
1/2 Cup Tahini (just buy it – I know it’s expensive but it’s what makes hummus HUMMUS)
1 whole lemon squeezed
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Cloves Garlic
1 Cup Roasted Red Bell Peppers (I roast mine on the oven – stick them in a ziplock once black- let them steam – take off the char and done)

How To

How easy is this? Throw it in the food processor and hit the Go button. Blend until smooth and the consistency you’d like – you may need to add additional olive oil. I crack fresh pepper on top one plated, a squirt of lemon, and a final drizzle of olive oil. Eaasy breezy beautiful snack. Pita chips, veggie sticks, naan bread. Gurl.

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