Make Up Dinner {grilled tuna}

I may have mentioned before that I’m not always the healthiest eater. I have my moments of weakness, like anyone else, where I’ll visit the household (my personal) candy drawer more often than I should. Or singlehandedly down half a log of Bucheron without blinking. I am a true Gemini in my snacking, straddling the line between eating like a six-year-old (jelly belly sours, crybaby gum) and a sixty year old (fine cheeses and artisanal salumi), knowing that neither is ideal for my figure or colon.

Sunday was a relatively embarrassing food day in our household. It started off innocently enough, with a nice cup of strong coffee but veered off the tracks shortly thereafter when I reached for a carrot cake cupcake before 9:00. Generally, I would say that wasn’t terrible, but I had done that for a few days in a row and already had a couple double-cupcake days under my belt. Literally. So, I decided I would counteract that by eating my staple, yogurt and granola. Two breakfasts? Check.

Lunch, you ask? Yeah. There was that. The Hook & Ladder from Firehouse Subs. I ate it in my car, which I don’t mind, although it does have an air of secret shame when you do it that way. When I got home, I decided to have some pimento cheese before we left for the movies where I ate a medium (we all know that means large) bag of Atlanta’s best buttered popcorn. I thought that would be enough for dinner but by the time Jennifer Lawrence got done dominating the rest of the tributes in the arena, I was craving some protein and decided we should stop by Delia’s, our local chicken sausage stand, for a meatball grinder. At 10:00.

Needless to say, I slept fitfully and woke up with a fat hangover the next morning. Which brings us to today’s recipe. An effort at reversing some of the damage that I did this weekend through (what else?) food. And I always turn to fish when I need to feel better about the things I put in my body. I also wanted to find something to do with those white beans that had been hanging out in the pantry for some time. So I thought tuna, white beans and kale sounded like a dynamite combo. And it was.

Get these things to make redemption dinner for two:

  • 1 lb. tuna steak
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cans white beans (cannellini)
  • 3 slices bacon, diced
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 bunches lacinato (dinosaur) kale
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

This is a super easy side dish that is flavorful and light – a great accompaniment to fish. First things first – drain and rinse your beans. Aren’t they pretty?

Grab a small lidded saucepan and heat over medium low heat. Add the bacon and cook until the fat is rendered out – about 15 to 20 minutes. Pour the fat out but leave the pork in. Add the drained and rinsed beans, sprigs of thyme and the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes.

While that’s underway, prep the kale. Wash the giant leaves then peel away the stems so you just have the tender parts.

Grab a large stock pot and bring some water to a boil in which to blanch your kale. Drop in for no more than a minute until the leaves become a super dark green. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Meanwhile, grab a large saute pan and heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and blanched kale and saute until tender – probably about 5 minutes. Just before serving, add some salt and pepper to taste and the lemon juice.

Now onto the tuna. I don’t grill (yet – but it’s a summer resolution), and so I called in reinforcements.

The tuna was bathed in olive oil, salt and pepper and then grilled uncovered for about 5 minutes a side for a rare to medium rare piece of fish. It’s hard to want to learn to grill when my local live-in grillmaster is so good. Bring in the protein, give it a slice and serve.

Don’t you just feel healthy looking at it? The best part is that the whole thing tastes great. I love food, I love fish, I love vegetables, but I really love when I love something that is good for me. This whole dinner was super easy to cook and looks fancy too, so you can impress people if you feel like it.

The only complaint in the house came from the grillmaster himself, who started asking where the Romesco sauce was. Double-you-tee-eff? Isn’t he hilarious?