Grilled Pineapple


Summertime is grilling time but we rarely think about grilling fruit. It really is a wonderful way to take advantage of all the amazing fruit in season as well as a healthy treat. One of my favorite fruits to grill is pineapple. It goes with almost anything and also makes a nice spread! Now, I don't personally have a barbecue since, well, I don't have a yard, so I prepare this in my handy stove top grill pan. However you do this, it's easy and delicious.


Ingredients

  • 1 large pineapple
  • 1 lime
  • Vegetable oil to coat grill
  • Honey
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds
Instructions
  1. Cut ends off the pineapple and reserve stems.
  2. Stand pineapple upright and cut off the skin in strips.
  3. Quarter the pineapple lengthwise and cut out the core.
  4. Cut each quarter into 3 spears.
  5. Zest the lime and reserve.
  6. Cut the zested lime in half and squeeze the juice over the spears.
  7. Brush the grill pan or outdoor grill with vegetable oil or spray lightly with cooking spray.
  8. Grill pineapple until evenly marked all over, 5 minutes.
  9. Garnish spears with lime zest, drizzled honey and sesame seeds.
  10. Arrange with stems on platter.

Carrots and Onions


I have suddenly become frugal. I don't know when this happened, but it did and I am glad! I am finally no longer wasting food and am stretching my cooking skills to use what I have on hand at the moment. I not only save money, but I get to create something new and sometimes it's yummy!

The other day Joey brought home a seasoned pork tenderloin from Costco. They are so yummy, so if you see them on sale and eat pork, pick one up! Anyway, I wanted to make something to go with it and found that I had carrots and an onion. Well, that should be easy. This recipe is really just a spur of the moment thing, but it's so good and worked so well I have to share it. Feel free to totally improvise on this one. I did!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups coarsely chopped carrots
  • 1 small to medium onion
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh or dry parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  • Chop carrots and onions
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat
  • Add two or three swirls of olive oil
  • Add onions and saute for 2 - 3 minutes
  • Add carrots and saute for about a minute
  • Cover tightly and cook until tender, about 6 - 8 minutes
  • Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve to your teddy bear and watch him smile
Notes

My friend Carla taught me to make this with fresh parsley and if you have it use it. If you need to use dry, it works just fine. You could also use fresh or dry dill and that would also be yummy. In face, this is a great recipe to use up just about any herb you have left over. Just remember that something like rosemary should be steamed along with the carrots and onions.

Sean's Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole


Sometimes Joey and I have a really busy weekend and I don't have time to cook. We both still need lunches for the week, so this casserole is one of my go-to meals that I can make ahead and know it's going to be delicious for the following week. It's not only great the night you make it, but it's amazing leftover. It's also quite healthy and hearty.

This recipe was based on a Weight Watchers recipe, but I have changed it so much I can now call it my own. There is very little left of the original recipe beside the non-fat sour cream. What makes this tuna casserole unique is the use of whole wheat noodles, onions and caraway seeds. The caraway seeds is an ingredient I added on a whim, and they are tasty!

One thing I do want to say in advance - do take the time to saute the onions and mushrooms. As my dear Carla told me, you should never just throw vegetables in a casserole and she is right. If you don't have time to saute, then I would leave out the onions.

Ingredients

12 oz uncooked whole-wheat "egg" noodles
12 oz water-packed tuna fish, drained
2 turns olive oil (about two Tablespoons)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cup button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
16 oz fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup low-fat or regular mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 tsp table salt, or more to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper, or more to taste
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, or Swiss cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat large skilItaliclet over medium to medium-high heat, with 2 turns of olive oil.
  3. Cook noodles according to directions and transfer to a bowl.
  4. While noodles are cooking saute onions for one or two minutes then add mushrooms. Saute until tender then transfer to a bowl.
  5. When noodles are done, drain and transfer to a bowl. Fold in tuna, onions, mushrooms and peas.
  6. Whisk sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, caraway seeds, salt and pepper in a bowl then fold into noodle mixture.
  7. Transfer to a 3 quart casserole dish and top with cheese.
  8. Bake for about 40 minutes or until top is golden and bubbly.

Notes

If you don't particularly like caraway seeds then dried parsley works very well in this recipe. Also, you can completely omit the onions, but if you saute them, they are very mild and quite tasty. This really is a great make-ahead meal. If you find you have time one night and might be busy later in the week, make this in advance and reheat it. It's very good reheated.

Steamed Artichokes with Almond Saffron Dip


One of my favorite artichoke experiences is when I found them in the food basement of Hankyu Department Store in Osaka. I had not had one in years and I really wanted these. They had two. Just two. The problem was they were about $20.00 each. Oh, my, should I buy one? You betcha! I bought up both of the babies and had a feast when I got home!

This is one of my favorite dipping sauces, by Ellie Krieger. I made it last Saturday for Suella and Joey. While not particularly low in fat it's very healthy as are all her recipes. If you have not watched her show on the Food Network, "Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger" you really must. She really teaches you about healthy cooking without lecturing.

This is a very healthy and delicious way to enjoy your artichokes.

Ingredients

  • 4 artichokes
  • Pinch saffron
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Arrange the artichokes in a steamer basket set over at least 3 cups of water and steam, covered, until the leaves can be easily removed, about 1 hour. Let cool. About halfway through cooking check the water level and add more, if necessary.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together saffron and the tablespoon of boiling water.
  3. Toast the almonds in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes.
  4. Remove the almonds and add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the pan.
  5. Add onion and cook until beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  7. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
  8. In a food processor, grind the almonds until finely chopped.
  9. Add the saffron mixture, onion mixture, yogurt and parsley and puree until smooth.
  10. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  11. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  12. Serve with the artichokes.

Steamed Artichokes


One of my all-time favorite things is artichokes. They are right up there with whiskers on kittens. Not only are these tasty treats figure friendly, they are delicious and fun to eat! A large artichoke only has 70 calories or so and no Weight Watchers points! They are also chock full of fiber. They are the perfect appetizer!

Now this is not really a recipe but more of a reminder of how delicious artichokes are and how easy they are to make. My preferred method of preparing them is steaming. While this does take a long time, it's really worth the wait.

So, what makes an artichoke fattening? Well, it's the stuff you dip it in. Mayonnaise and butter are not particularly figure friendly, but you can get around that. You can always opt for non-fat mayonnaise and a non-fat butter substitute (I like "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Lite"). Salsa works as does yogurt with some herbs and just a touch of real mayonnaise. Whatever you like to dip them in just try to make it figure friendly.

When purchasing artichokes you should look for those whose petals have not opened far. The tighter and more compact the artichoke, the fresher. Get out your big steamer and fill it as high as you can with water. These take a long time to boil. (Make sure you check the water frequently.)

Cut off or trim end of artichoke stem. If desired, cut about 1/2 inch off the top.

Boil the artichokes for about an hour or until the leaves can be easily removed and are tender.

That's about it! How easy can that be? Next week I will post one of my favorite dipping sauces by Ellie Krieger.

Blueberry Clafouti


This summer I am really trying to take advantage of all the fresh fruit and vegetables that are in season. I am not usually very good at that, but this year I am doing quite well. The other day I got a great deal on blueberries and decided to make one of Joey's favorite desserts, Blueberry Clafouti. Clafouti is a custard-like French dessert with fruit. It's baked in the oven and is not only really easy, but very delicious. We got this recipe from Dave Lieberman's show on the Food Network, "Good Deal with Dave Lieberman." They are not making new episodes of this show, but if you can catch it, it's really worth a watch. Some of my favorite desserts are from that show.

So, take advatage of fresh blueberries and whip out this tasty dessert. You will be glad you did!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pints blueberries, washed and drained
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch fine salt
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place blueberries in the bottom of a small rectangular glass pan (about 8 by 10 inches).
  3. In a medium bowl, crack eggs and whisk lightly. Add sugar and continue whisking until mixture thickens and is pale yellow. Add milk and vanilla; whisk to combine. Add flour and whisk to combine. Add a pinch of fine salt and whisk to incorporate. Pour mixture over berries.
  4. Bake on the center rack of the oven until the clafouti has puffed and the center bounces back when lightly pressed, about 45 minutes, rotating once.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before cutting. Slice into 8 equal pieces and gently remove from pan with a spatula or cake server. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

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About Sean & Joey

Joey and I are just a couple of guys living in San Francisco. I love cooking and we both like trying new things. Planning our meals is one of our "together" things. I hope you enjoy our blog! - Sean

Dedication

This blog is dedicated to the two most important people in my life - my mom, Ernee Jean O'Brien, and my partner Joey Concepcion. They both have showered me with unconditional support and love and have always encouraged me to be myself. I will always miss my mom and I don't know what I would do without Joey.

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