Monday, October 15, 2012

Jazz up your lunch (or dinner) repertoire with Red Tuna Salad

This new take on an old favorite is now my go-to lunch when there are no dinner leftovers available, or at least not enough to satisfy. We are staying at my in-laws who like to keep albacore tuna on hand. Rena just likes to eat her tuna plain with nothing in it. While I'm not usually a big fan of mayo, I get bored if I have to eat my tuna plain. So here's what I came up with:

Red Tuna Salad

(Amounts listed should be enough for just one person; use more if you're serving more than one. You could even put each person's serving in their own bowl to suit everyone's individual tastes, as this is a flexible recipe.)

1/2 can tuna (I've only used albacore tuna but I suppose it couldn't hurt to try this recipe with chunk light tuna.)
1 small red bell pepper, more or less, or part of a larger red pepper
A few mushrooms (optional)
Tomato sauce or salsa to taste
A grain (preferably a whole grain) of some sort -- ready to eat -- such as bread, crackers, cooked pasta, cooked couscous, cooked quinoa...(optional; I sometimes skip this and just eat more of the other stuff) (definitely skip if you are on a low-carb diet)

Chop/dice the red pepper and mushrooms (if you're including them) into your bowl. (No mixing bowl needed if you're making an individual serving; you can go ahead and put it directly into the bowl from which the eater will be eating it.) Add the tuna. If you are using a grain that is in small pieces such as pasta, couscous, or quinoa, add it. Now mix in your tomato sauce/salsa until the tuna salad is mixed thoroughly. If you're using bread or crackers, top them with your prepared Red Tuna Salad. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

IIN Happy Hour

I posted the following on the wall of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's Facebook Page during Happy Hour, when their wall is open temporarily:

Question: I've been trying to incorporate more plant foods, especially more vegetables, into my diet, but how safe is it really to go vegan? Aren't we omnivores biologically? Are there any potential medical problems associated with cutting out animal products entirely? I remember once reading a blog post from an ardent vegan who ended up having to eat meat due to medical problems caused by being v...egan for a long time. I know I don't feel myself when I don't eat enough animal products, and I tend to overeat them when I do eat them later. On the other hand I'm concerned about health problems that are caused by eating animal products. I try so hard to balance but I just eat too much of it when I eat it. Yes, I know about bioindividuality but I'm having trouble coming up with a good balance for myself. I got some great advice from my nutritionist/health coach from Green Lake Nutrition about balancing my diet but still having trouble with cravings for animal products, especially fatty ones. I understand the traditional diet gives the ok to fatty animal products (I now know that you need healthy fats or risk thyroid problems) but don't they also say it's ok to be overweight? I find that hard to believe. I know I felt much better and had much more energy when I lost weight awhile back but I just feel heavy nowadays. Please post your reply to my Facebook page rather than here so I can make sure to have it even after Happy Hour. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My chicken soup recipe- Is it Ashkenazi or something different?

Sometimes for Shabbat in the winter I'll make two big pots of this chicken soup, maybe a dessert, and maybe a salmon salad that doesn't have to be made before Shabbat (no cooking required). Any time any of us is sick is also an excuse to make it on a weekday. Ok, no more preamble; let's get to the good stuff! :)


1 whole chicken (a package of, say, chicken thighs would also work, but boneless skinless probably would not come out right)
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste (optional)
4-5 or more carrots, sliced
4-5 or more celery stalks, sliced
1 onion, whole (I've used yellow and red; both make the soup taste good but they're different)
1 leek, sliced (that's how we like it best but you can also use more or less half a bunch of parsley, chopped, instead)
matzah balls (optional; I actually haven't been making them lately because I found organic, whole wheat matzah meal at my Whole Foods around Passover time but that's it)

Put chicken in your biggest available pot, fill pot with water (you can estimate but if you want a measurement it's 2 and 1/2 quarts or 10 cups), add seasonings, and bring to a boil. Once it's boiling, you can turn down the heat to a simmer if it boils over. Now add veggies and cook for 1 and 1/2 hours. If you forgot the seasonings before or decide you want more, go ahead and add them at any time (but I think the soup comes out best when they're added immediately). If you're including matzah balls, follow your recipe's instructions. (I don't currently have a good one to recommend but I do suggest using whole wheat if possible.)

So what do you think? Ashkenazi or not?