Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tuna Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes with Arugula

I've always loved and enjoyed fresh salads and lately I have gotten bored with the simple 'hum-drum' salad with just cucumbers, tomatoes, and sliced or chopped onions (which I love all kinds, but mostly the red onions.) As for the dressing, just a simple extra virgin olive oil, and white balsamic vinegar.
Sometimes I just run out of ideas what type of salads I should make, and I simply grab one of my cooking magazines...especially my newest subscription; Eating Well, which I share with my daughter among our other great cooking magazines the she and I subscribe to. The best kind of inspirations you get are of course...the ones with photos, and also knowing you don't have to run out to purchase so many ingredients just for that recipe.
Here in the U.S. we tend to eat lunch 'on the run'...sometime just grabbing some 'takeout' fast food,
if you happen to eat at home; maybe leftover stuff from the night before...or if you happen to be in 'luck'...a friend might take you out to a nice restaurant or eatery place not too expensive. You can of course split the bill! Well, I don't seem to fit any of these categories, because most of the time I skip lunch (not good)...eating breakfast too late, and I would be 'starving' by dinner time, which is so unhealthy!
The only ingredient that I had to buy was the baby Arugula...also known as Roquette, or Rocket. I like to buy it in the small plastic bags, already sealed and the leaves are perfect, and tender...just love the peppery taste when you take a bite, it almost burns your tongue; but mixed with other ingredients, it blends so well!

Tomatoes, stuffed with tuna salad is a classic elegant lunch, there's a healthier twist to it, just leaving out the mayo, and adding oil and vinegar, salt and pepper. I must tell you, this was such an amazing light and enjoyable lunch for 2, or 4 people. Did not even require bread or rolls!

Hope you are all having a beautiful weekend, with most of you starting your Fall Season...oh, how I miss the beautiful fall colors of yellow, orange, red, brown, and burgundy leaves adorning the trees...only to be falling so quickly.

Before you know it, Halloween is around the corner! xo

Tuna Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes with Arugula

July/August 2014           

The tuna in this great-looking stuffed tomato recipe isn’t your typical mayo-based affair. The sherry vinaigrette does double duty: it adds fresh flavor to the tuna filling and also dresses the baby arugula and white bean salad.

My modifications are in red


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar I used white balsamic can use your favorite
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 large tomatoes  I used 2 large beefsteak tomatoes (for 2)
  • 2 5-ounce cans chunk light tuna in olive oil, drained I used 1 can of same tuna
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • I also added 1 Tbsp of rinsed small capers
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 15-ounce can great northern beans, rinsed Navy Beans are almost the same; I used 1/2 the amount.
  • 8 cups baby arugula  4 cups
  • You can cut down on the ingredients, or just 'eyeball' it...use your own judgement
  1. Whisk oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Transfer 3 tablespoons of the dressing to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Slice enough off the top of each tomato to remove the core (1/2 to 1 inch). Chop enough of the tops to equal 1/2 cup and add to the medium bowl. Scoop out the tomato pulp using a teaspoon or melon baller. (Discard the pulp or save for another use.)
  3. Add tuna, celery, onion, olives and thyme to the medium bowl; gently toss to combine. Fill the hollowed tomatoes with the tuna mixture.
  4. Add beans and arugula to the dressing in the large bowl and toss to combine. Divide the salad among 4 plates and top each with a stuffed tomato.


Per serving: 353 calories; 18 g fat (2 g sat, 11 g mono); 7 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 9 g total sugars; 20 g protein; 11 g fiber; 476 mg sodium; 878 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (70% daily value), Vitamin A (63% dv), Potassium (25% dv), Folate (21% dv), Magnesium (16% dv), Vitamin B12 (15% dv)




Thursday, September 11, 2014

Nectarine and Almond Tart

As you know, we're still enjoying our summer months here in South Florida, with temperatures still in the upper 80's degrees...but meanwhile, in South Dakota, they got their early 'first snow' bizarre!
We are still able to buy peaches and nectarines in our supermarkets, and produce markets, and enjoying the last of the summer's fruits. I decided to make an easy tart with the nectarines, using puff
pastry...which is so versatile and so quick; the possibilities are 'endless'.
Here's a little 'hint' when making tarts, galettes, open faced pies, or even on cakes, featuring your favorite fruits, or berries...always brush them with a nice glaze that you make yourself, from heating up preserves that compliment the fruit, and straining them before brushing them on the fruits. You have to work fast, or the glaze will harden and then you have to start all over by heating it to a boil!
When I made the guava pastries is how I got inspired to want to keep a package of puff pastry in my freezer which would be handy at the last minute's notice...and sure enough it was. You just take one of the pastry rolls (of 2) out, about 30 minutes before starting, and it will thaw out perfect just on your counter. I will walk you through...step-by-step to demonstrate how I made this delicious...just not so 'pretty layers' which should have been standing like 'perfect little soldiers'!
Very little sugar is used to sweeten this yummy pastry; the hardest part is slicing them evenly, and lining them...slightly overlapping. I had to discard some of the slices, at least half of them which were turning brown inside...sigh!
So here's my version of this easy, and fast recipe. (The almond filling was adapted by another source)

Nectarine and Almond Tart
recipe by; Elisabeth

8 medium nectarines
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 sheet frozen puff pastry thawed
1/4 cup peach, or apricot preserves, heated to a boil, and strained

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut nectarines in half, remove pit, and slice them
into 1/4 in. to 1/2 in. slices. In a food processor.
( a small is OK to use.)

Pulse almonds, flour, and sugar.

Pulse a few times making sure to finely grind.

Add the 4 Tbsp softened butter, the 1 large egg, and the vanilla. Process until it forms into a smooth thick creamy paste.
Unfold pastry to parchment lined baking sheet.
Spread almond mixture, leaving 1/2 inch border.
Line the fruit slices closely, by overlapping them. (I didn't have enough slices, so I lined them as closely as possible.)
Bake at 400 degrees F. for 20 minutes, and lower the temperature to 350 degrees for another 15 more minutes, to keep from burning.
Pastry should be golden, puffed, and fruit, tender.
Brush the fruit with the strained preserves, while it's hot, and let it cool for 20 minutes. before cutting.
Very good as a light dessert, or a morning or afternoon snack!

13th Anniversary of the Sept. 11 Terror attacks...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Spicy South Florida Salsa

Hi everyone! I'm not trying to promote a product...but I must admit that I do love Tostitos Tortilla Chips, especially the new one which is infused with a 'hint of lime'!
I've been away for another 2 weeks at obligations, and 'life in general' which really kept me from even opening my computer!
I have so much to share with you; but I've been really 'slacking off' with my food photography these days. I have made some really fabulous dishes for my family...but the only problem was... the photographic side of it...which I was unprepared for... to take,  before...or during!
I could not resist sharing this yummy, fresh and healthy Salsa...the spices are just right, just dig into all that goodness with a great sturdy and crunchy chip!

I hope you all had a wonderful Labor's Day weekend we also enjoyed, with partial rain, and of course sunshine right after that! ...'typical South Florida weather.

Spicy South Florida Salsa
recipe, by; Elisabeth

6 -8 Roma, or Plum tomatoes diced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded, and diced
1 bunch of scallions, cleaned, and sliced
juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon cumin powder
dash of hot pepper
salt and pepper to taste
a handful of fresh cilantro, cleaned of stems

Add all the ingredients in a large food processor container.

Pulse...(do not process!)...just pulse for 2 times, short, making sure that some chunks remain! Finish, by adjusting seasoning, if needed. Ready to serve with tortilla chips of your choice!

I visited a Goodwill thrift store...other than my local area...and 'lo and behold'...hit the 'jackpot'! September 2014 issues (except or the Eat Smart, which was from June 2014)
I could not believe my eyes...who would donate a 'brand new issue' of these popular magazines!...especially when they cost at least $5.99...and Goodwill price is 79 cents for all paper backs!...sure will have fun reading them and checking for new ideas and recipes!
Here's how part of our Labor Day went...rain for about an hour, (view from my balcony)...and a perfectly beautiful sunshine for the rest of the day!
The rest of the day turned out to be beautiful, sunny, and perfect 'beach weather'...enjoyed by my family!
Hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! xoxo
(not making excuses for staying away, and not posting and commenting!...long story)