Don’t you love the British pronunciation of the word “tuna”? It’s right up there with “awesome” and “mobile”.
Tuna itself, however, can make for a pretty gross, gloopy lunchtime salad. Unless you make it like THIS. I’ve been making this salad about once a week for the last month or so, now that the weather has officially warmed up, and happily munching away for 2-3 days at lunch while my kiddo naps. It’s a wonderful way to spend my downtime!
This tuna salad recipe is super fresh and light, contains no mayonnaise, and is open to interpretation. Do you love scallions? Great, throw some in there too! Do you hate celery? Don’t use it!
As far as which kind of tuna to choose, it’s a bit of minefield. The cheapest cans of tuna are absolutely a reflection of quality – unsustainably sourced, full of mercury, low in flavor. If I can’t find a can or jar of wild-caught tuna, then I always go for one packed in olive oil. Sure the calories are higher, but you’re also getting a far more flavorful product. If you’re concerned about mercury, pick Chunk Light or Skipjack tuna, which generally contain lower levels (at the higher end of the spectrum are Albacore and Yellowfin). Wild Planet is a good choice, and can be found at any major supermarket and specialty health food store in the US.
- 2 cans of wild caught tuna packed in olive oil (can also substitute one can of tuna for one small can of drained & rinsed white cannellini beans)
- 3-4 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 2-3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard (or other mustard of your choice)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp drained capers
- 1 tbsp sweet relish (optional)
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, making sure to break up the larger tuna chunks and coating everything in the mustard and vinegar. Add seasoning if necessary to your taste. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
And the snow day baking continues!
This time we made muffins that are the perfect thing for breakfast or a mid-day snack. They really taste like banana bread, and are full of nutritious ingredients – and very rich in protein. This is refueling food (I made Phil have one when he finished his workout this morning – he’s always struggling to find non-Clif-Bar snacks to have after exercising).
And they are 100% toddler approved! Finn is a pretty good eater, but picky about textures. These ones don’t seem to be too mushy for my particular kid. And since he’s a banana fan, they pass the taste test.
Enjoy, and let’s all hope this snow stops SOON.
- 1 cup almond butter
- 4 eggs
- 2 ripe bananas
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- 6 tbsp coconut flour
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin pan with paper cases.
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Spoon the batter into the muffin cases and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
There are parts of our garden with 4+ feet of snow piled up. We have a narrow-walled path to walk down in front of the house. Everywhere you look just screams WINTER. This is a nuts week we’re having in Boston. Blizzard after blizzard with a little Patriots Superbowl win thrown in the middle (don’t worry Eagles, I’ll always be yours).
Finn and I have been feeling some serious cabin fever lately. Most of January was spent with one or both of us battling some sort of illness. And now that we’re finally healthy (thank you Renewal Detox!), we want to get OUTSIDE and play. There’s only so many times we can play with his toys and read his books at home.
One upside to being snowed in (and keeping our power on, thank goodness) is extra time for baking and cooking. We’ve made carrot cake, blueberry oat bars, meatballs, soup soup soup, and now these guys.
It’s winter and you’ve probably taken full advantage of the amazing citrus of the season. If you’re like us, you probably have a ton of clementines in your fruit bowl. It’s not hard to finish them all (especially with fruit-loving Finn around). But inevitably, one or two will go the way of the trash can because they went moldy or overripe. So before that happened this time, I grabbed 3 and made these delicious cookies.
If you don’t have clementines, don’t worry. Any citrus fruit will work – seriously, ANY. One giant orange. A lemon. A lime. Blood orange. Grapefruit even? Give it a try.
- Zest of 2 clementines (or any other citrus fruit)
- Juice of 3 clementines (or any other citrus fruit)
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- ½ cup almond meal
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla powder
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well to incorporate.
- Scoop out the dough in golf ball size pieces and flatten with the palm of your hand. Don't worry about leaving tons of space between cookies on the baking sheet. They expand but not too much.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes. Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes.
Have you heard of bone broth? It’s become a bit of a hot topic lately. But instead of spending $3.50 on a cup of bone broth (ludicrous), I’m here to teach you how to make your own. It’s really very simple and requires about 5 minutes of actual hands-on time.
The hardest part is sourcing the bones. This specific broth is made with beef bones, specifically femur bones (but knuckles and necks are also good choices due to their cartilage content). My husband and I belong to a raw milk coop from a farm that is home to some very well-treated grass-fed cows. Sometimes I can get bones from them. If not, I pick up a few pounds of frozen beef bones at Whole Foods (also from grass-fed cows, according to the label).
There are some extra steps you can take if you’d like that supposedly add more flavor, such as roasting the bones in the oven for an hour before beginning the broth. I always skip this step, simply due to time constraints and having a toddler running around at my ankles all day long.
But basically, you throw the bones in a large pot (I use an enameled cast-iron pot with a lid), throw in some roughly chopped veggies, like onion, celery, carrots, etc. And then cover them all with pure, filtered water. Bring this mixture up to a gentle simmer. Bubbles and scum will form on the surface (you can see it a little in the photo above, taken around this point in the process) – skim those away and throw them down the sink. Throw in a tablespoon or two of raw apple cider vinegar and some good quality sea salt. Once no more scum forms, you are ready to put the lid on and let time do the work. Leave the broth to bubble very slowly and gently for at least 24 hours. 36 is ideal. We generally do 24-28, depending on what time Finn takes his nap and I have the time to focus my attention!
Now you must strain the broth – this can be tricky because the pot will be heavy. Strain it through a fine sieve. Use a ladle to spoon it out into the sieve if you’re unable to lift the pot and pour it. Make sure the sieve is positioned on top of another pot to catch all that good broth! I’ve definitely almost strained all the liquid gold down the sink before…
And your broth is almost ready! The next step is another waiting game. Let the broth cool at room temperature for a little while. Then transfer it to a jar or other container, and place in the fridge to cool completely (overnight probably). A layer of solidified fat will form at the surface – scoop this off and keep for another cooking purpose. NOW your bone broth is ready to either eat or freeze!
You can freeze this broth for a good 3 months in the jar. Or keep in the fridge for a week. Heat up to a simmer before slurping! Or use it as a base for soups and stews.
So why on earth would you jump through all these hoops just to make a semi-clear liquid? The reasons abound.
- Homemade broth is packed with essential minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, and other nutrients, such as gelatin and glucosamine – they are leached from the bones through the slow-cooking process and the inclusion of apple cider vinegar, which helps to draw the minerals out.
- These minerals are very easily absorbed by the body, making it an amazing healing food for those who have compromised immune systems or digestive issues (such as leaky gut syndrome or irritable bowel). It’s also wonderful for babies and small children who don’t yet have the digestive capacity for red meats.
- One pot of broth will give you several weeks’ worth of servings, depending on how often you drink it. If you (and your family) are sick, you could easily go through a pot of broth in a week, and will be making it more often. But since the broth lasts 3 months in the freezer, chances are if you’re good and healthy, you won’t need to do this process more than 5 times a year. However, it’s a great practice to get into!
- Gelatin is a powerful nutrient that deserves a bit more attention here. Its’ health benefits are numerous – it can strengthen your hair, skin & nails, joints, and muscles. It can help to balance hormones. It is the crucial aspect in broth that supports digestive health, lining the intestinal walls which can be damaged due to leaky gut syndrome or IBS. (This is the reason I started making it in the first place, since Finn had some digestive issues around his first birthday. Since drinking broth, things have greatly improved!)
- It is wonderfully supportive to the liver, making it an amazing detox food/beverage. In fact, it is just the thing to consume on my Winter Renewal Detox, starting this Monday!
- 3 lbs of grass-fed beef bones, ideally rich in cartilage or marrow (knuckles, femur, neck)
- 1-2 onions, roughly chopped
- 3-4 organic carrots, roughly chopped (don't bother peeling)
- 2-3 celery ribs, roughly chopped
- Any other veggies or fresh herbs you'd like to add to flavor your broth! Choice is yours
- 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- Plenty of pure, filtered water
- Place all ingredients in a large, heavy pot with a lid. Cover the bones and veggies with pure filtered water. Bring to a simmer and skim off the surface scum.
- Put lid on and continue to gently simmer for 24-36 hours, refilling with filtered water and skimming surface as needed.
- Strain broth through a fine sieve into another large pot.
- Leave to cool before decanting into storage containers, just as mason jars. Place in the fridge overnight.
- Remove layer of solidified fat - this can be used for other culinary purposes, so save it!
- Broth is ready for consumption or storage! One cup is the serving size, so feel free to portion it out before freezing for easier defrosting.
- Prepared broth will keep in its container in the fridge for up to 7 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How can it be that we’re entering another YEAR? Has a whole year really passed? Do I really have a walking, talking little man in my house? Apparently so. I blinked and 2014 happened.
And here we go – STRIDING into 2015. Look at that determined face on Finn – he is so excited to learn and explore and experiment. I can learn a lot from him. The photo above was taken just a few weeks after he took his very first steps. Now he’s so strong and confident! How quickly humans grow.
His confidence is contagious. I am spending my days at home with him and will continue to do so this next year. It’s been a long back-and-forth conversation in my own head – do I spend the money on childcare so I can fully focus on my work? The answer I keep coming back to (and that I’m ultimately listening to) is NO. I will never get these days back with my son, and I’m treasuring them. There is time for work one day, but not now.
However, that doesn’t mean I’m doing only toddler-friendly stuff these days.
Winter Renewal Detox
The Winter Renewal Detox has made a comeback for 2015, and I’m so excited to offer it once again! I’ve made several changes to the program, most importantly the length – it is now just 14 days. Two weeks to take back your health.
- The start date is January 12th, 2015 (but you’re welcome to start any date you like)
- Cost is $89, which includes…
- A beautifully designed e-book, with meal plans, recipes, and lots of helpful advice
- Daily emails with extra tips and recipes
- Access to private Facebook group for support with other detox participants
If you’d like to join me, send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
And the Renewal Detox will continue through the year, one for each season. So if you’re not ready to do it right now, it’ll be back in April!
Enough business talk.
How about some New Year’s resolutions? Here are mine for 2015. Short and simple. I’d love to hear yours too. Happy New Year!
- Practice yoga weekly.
- Offer the Renewal Detox 4 times this year with the seasons.
- Write blog posts as often as possible on The Particular Kitchen.
- Take more photos of Finn.