As I’ve mentioned, a tricky part about pregnancy so far has been my new relationship with food. After being completely disinterested in it for three months, I’m welcoming my appetite back in baby steps. When something sounds good to me, I go for it- because tomorrow, it might sound horrible. Sometimes that means texting John while he’s at work and demanding sweetly suggesting that he bring home Five Guys burgers for dinner (cheese, onions, pickles). Sometimes that means devouring bowl after bowl of fresh strawberries with a side of chocolate chips and whole wheat Goldfish. Often, the YUM moments happen in relation to less-than-healthy items (see: John’s amazing grilled cheese sandwiches). So it’s a good day when baby wants food that’s good and good FOR me.
Remember how Elaine from Seinfeld always ordered a BIG SALAD at Monk’s Diner? This weekend, I wanted a big salad for dinner. I also wanted grilled tuna steak. I know sushi and raw-ish fish is not allowed for mommies-to-be, so I figured we’d just prepare my piece well done. Since making this meal, I’ve learned that tuna is on the “not good for pregnancy” list (which sent me into a panic), so it’s a good thing that I thoroughly enjoyed it since I won’t get it again until March.
The best meals are the simplest, aren’t they? I started by marinating two tuna steaks in a combination of soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, Sambal (chili paste), and olive oil. I covered the dish and refrigerated it for an hour or so, flipping the steaks every now and then.
Next, I made an Asian-style salad dressing. Into a little jam jar, I combined honey, fresh minced ginger and garlic, soy sauce, olive oil, and the juice of a lime. I put the lid on, gave the jar a good shake, and set it aside until dinner. So easy!
For the salad itself, John raided our bountiful garden for romaine, baby kale, and cucumber. I also prepped sliced red onion, chopped raw carrot, and chunks of pineapple and thawed some frozen shelled edamame. I sliced some creamy avocado, as well. I wanted all sorts of different textures in my big salad!
While John grilled the tuna steaks under a menacing dark cloud, I assembled the salads. Each plate had plenty of ingredients and beautiful color. After all, we eat with our eyes first!
Since the thunderclouds seemed to be more bark than bite, we decided to dine al fresco. John placed the grilled steaks right onto the salads as I brought them to the table. For added crunch, I sprinkled Chow Mein noodles and toasted sesame seeds on top. What a gorgeous meal!
The tuna was flavorful on its own, thanks to the marinade and the char from the grill. The dressing added a different flavor combo to the salad- salty, sweet, and tart. I loved the creaminess from the avocado and edamame paired with the crunch from the carrot, cucumber, and Chow Mein noodles. Don’t leave off the pineapple- that extra sweetness balances the salt from the soy sauce. Mango would be delicious, too!
As we munched our tasty “big salads,” the sun put on a show as it set behind the hill. The candles slowly burned down. It wasn’t lost on me that our evenings on the patio are numbered. Soon, fall will arrive, stealing the leaves from the aspens and bringing the first freeze. In winter, I’ll remember meals like this when I’m shuffling around in my slippers, that feeling of being barefoot under the vibrant sky. Take it while you can get it…and enjoy every moment.
We’ll be road-tripping through the lovely state of Idaho for the next 10 days or so. What a necessary treat to unplug and explore areas we’ve never been in our little cottage-on-wheels. Stay tuned for a recap. Have a great week!
Asian Grilled Tuna Salad with Honey-Ginger-Soy Dressing
For the tuna, you’ll need:
- Sushi-grade tuna steaks
- 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2-3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
- 1 tablespoon Sambal (more if you like heat)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the dressing, you’ll need:
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
- Juice of half of a lime
For the salad, you’ll need:
- Your favorite greens
- Sliced red onion
- Chopped cucumber
- Chopped carrot
- Thawed frozen shelled edamame
- Pineapple chunks
- Avocado slices
- Lime wedges
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Chow Mein noodles
Combine the tuna marinade ingredients in a baking dish. Add the tuna steaks, flip to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Marinate in the fridge for an hour, flipping the tuna every now and then.
In a jam jar with a lid, combine the dressing ingredients and shake well. Set aside to serve on the table.
Grill the tuna steaks to your preferred doneness, brushing with the remaining marinade as they cook. Assemble the salad ingredients on your plates. Lay the grilled tuna right on top of the salad, then sprinkle with Chow Mein noodles and sesame seeds. Serve with the dressing, preferably on a patio with the setting sun making magic overhead. Yum!
Hungry for more? Check out the collection of recipes on the FOOD BLISS page.
The New 52: A recipe for each week in 2015.