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.

Black Bean Soup

Who’s ready for a detox after Thanksgiving? Not me, but I heard some people may be. Black bean soup is an absolute staple in our home now that Kyle has decided he is in love with it. I never was much of a black bean fan until Mikaela began eating them all the time and now I try to invent fun things to do with them because of her. This soup has very little fat in it, and if you vetoed the butter it would be completely vegan. I use canned beans for this recipe, but you could certainly make beans all day. I am just lazy.

Ingredients
4 Cans of black beans
3 Cups Vegetable Stock
2 Garlic Cloves Minced
1 Red Bell Pepper Diced
1 Green Bell Pepper Diced
2 Tablespoons Kerrygold Butter
1 Yellow Onion Diced
1/2 Jalapeno Diced
1 Chipotle Pepper in Adobo sauce
Cumin
Chile Powder
S&P
Cilantro (garnish)
Pico (garnish)
Shredded Cheese(garnish)

How To
The first thing I start with is blending 3/4 cans of black beans in my food processor. I don’t like to keep the beans whole because that doesn’t feel like a creamy hearty soup to me, but rather just a bowl of beans that I should be eating with a pulled pork burrito…..I’m seriously hungry as I write this. I blend the beans with some vegetable stock until they are smooth – looking for a hummus texture. I then dump the mixture into my crock pot on medium so they can get started. You can add in the one can of whole beans or blend them too – totally up to you!

I saute all the vegetables with the butter and the spices until they are translucent, and then guess what? I blend them too. I like smooth soups, okay?! After you blend the vegetables you will add the remaining stock as well as the veggies to the crock pot with the blended beans, and you’re done for the next few hours. Easy, right?

I let the soup cook for about 3 hours. I make a cilantro sour cream to go on top of this soup. The recipe is: 1 bunch of cilantro, jalapeno, garlic clove, 2 cups sour cream, S&P, and blend in the food processor until smooth…..I really liked my food processor in this recipe).  I also topped with some fresh made pico, shredded cheese, and I thought about doing crispy tortilla strips. Well, this is it guys. We eat it at least once a month in the cold months. Healthy, light, and packed with flavor!

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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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Thanksgiving Day Scalloped Potatoes

The most decadent recipe I have made to date, I believe. Now, I have talked about these potatoes in several Sunday videos, and last Friday Mikaela and I actually made them over live stream. What a beautiful disaster that video was. I encourage you to go watch it before making these.

The biggest debate during thanksgiving was: are scalloped potatoes the same as au gratin potatoes, and the official answer is no. “Scalloped potatoes are a milk based potato dish. The potatoes are usually sliced very thinly although what technically makes it ‘scalloped‘ is the milk base. A gratin on the other hand is any dish that is topped with cheese and/or bread crumbs and layered with bits of butter and is baked until brown and crispy.” – Thank you Google. I did however make au gratin macaroni and cheese which I will be posting next. On to the potatoes!

Ingredients
3lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes (Slice these about 1/8 of an inch)
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
Pancetta or substitute bacon, but I love pancetta for the holidays. Pancetta and bacon are extremely similar as they are both cured pork belly, but pancetta is typically sliced paper thin, and gives off a less salty taste.
4 Tablespoons of Kerrygold Butter
4 Tablespoons of Flour
S&P

How To

About the potatoes, I sliced mine long ways as I am sure you can tell in the photo. Do not ask me why as it is just what I decided to do in the moment. I also sliced my potatoes by hand to give a more rustic approach. I slice my potatoes first because let’s be honest it is the worst part of making this dish, and then I place them in a bowl of ice water to prevent discoloration.

Cube and fry up that pancetta baby. We want it to be nice and crispy! Save the fat though!

Remove the crispy pancetta, and throw in your garlic and green onions. Let them cook for about two minutes to just wake those babies up.

Now, the roux. We have been over a roux a many times on WWB. Place your butter in a medium heat pan, and a dash of olive oil to prevent the butter from burning. Wait until your butter is nice and bubbly to throw in the flour. Let the flour and butter get along for 3-4 minutes or until it no longer smells like raw flour. Pour in your milk and immediately begin to whisk. Bring this to a simmer once there are no longer clumps of flour/butter. Your sauce should coat the back of a spoon when you test the thickness. Turn down the heat to low, and add your cheese one cup at a time and whisk whisk whiiisk. S&P for taste, and the sauce is complete!

Oven should be at 400 degrees.

I layer this dish like lasagna. I ladle a spoonful of sauce on the bottom of a buttered casserole dish, layer of potatoes, layer of pancetta/green onion/garlic mixture, and repeat until you just can’t fit anymore potatoes in there! I cover this with foil, place it on a cookie sheet because it will boil over, and let it bake for 45minutes, then remove the foil and let bake for 15 minutes, and last but not least add a fine layer of cheese and broil for 5 minutes.

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