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TUNA MELT

Homemade tuna melts taste a heck of a lot better than any restaurant out there. Part of the reason is because you can control what goes in your tuna salad, made with real ingredients, and prevent it from being super greasy. It’s really easy, even more so when you make a big batch of tuna salad to last you a few days ahead. If you’re looking to try a non-traditional version that won’t leave your taste buds hanging you have to try my Tuna Salad recipe. It’s slightly sweet with butter pickles and tangy from pepperoncini’s.

My version of a tuna melt is packed with fiber along with all that protein which is a happy pairing for the digestive system. I love using Alvarado Bakery’s Sprouted Flax Seed Bread because it’s low carb, high protein, and high fiber with just 100 calories for two slices. That leaves you some room to indulge with your favorite cheese for the tuna melt!

If you’re looking to go all out on the homemade end, feel free to try my Homemade Mayonnaise that only requires a few ingredients and a couple minutes to make with a standing mixer. For a healthy mayo it can be expensive so making it at home has its rewards at times. Feel free to use your favorite cheese, personally I love a sharp white cheddar that’s aged 2 years. It goes well with my version of a tuna salad. Enjoy!

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TUNA MELT
Servings
sandwich
Servings
sandwich
Instructions
  1. Spread the mayonnaise on one side of both slices of bread.
  2. Warm a skillet on medium heat.
  3. Place one slice of bread with the mayo side facing down and place a layer of tuna salad on top. Top that with the spinach followed by the grated cheese. Carefully transfer it to the hot skillet and then place the other slice of bread on top with the mayo facing up.
  4. After a couple of minutes gently flip the tuna melt with a spatula and cook for about another two minutes.
  5. Remove from the skillet and slice in half on the diagonal.

TURKEY BEAN CHILI

One pot meals are some of my favorite dishes because it doesn’t require a lot of time especially when you don’t have a lot of time to begin with. And because it’s so simple, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of the ease for all-around healthy food.

You can’t get any more well balanced in a meal than this turkey chili. Plenty of protein from the turkey and beans. Complex carbs from the beans with TONS of fiber from both the beans and veggies. And not to forget to mention, there is no flavor lacking in this chili. Don’t let the ground turkey concern you! Cumin is the secret to making ground turkey (or ground chicken) taste similar to beef. But if you must, you can simply use a lean ground beef instead.

I personally use half ground turkey and half ground turkey breast. The ground turkey breast is very lean with a little higher protein content, only about 1.5g of fat per 4oz and no saturated fat like regular ground turkey. It’s a fair compromise to really make it healthy. Actually, it’s just to make room for me to top it off with some of my Homemade Queso Fresco cheese, haha! For those who are diabetic, with 8 servings in this chili you’ll get about 16g net carbs which isn’t so bad for how filling it is. You can make your portion smaller and enjoy a side of veggies or a salad to keep the carbs down more.

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TURKEY BEAN CHILI
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat cover the bottom of the pot with olive oil and sauté the bell peppers, onions, jalapeno, and garlic stirring until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the ground turkey, chili powder, cumin, paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and dried bay leaf. Use a wooden spoon to break apart the ground turkey and mix everything together.
  3. Once the ground turkey is nearly cooked after about several minutes, add the canned crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, and worchestershire sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce the temperature to a steady simmer for about 45 minutes uncovered. Stir once in a while.
  4. Add the black beans and kidney beans the last 5 minutes.
Recipe Notes

Revised: September 7, 2017

SAUSAGE & ARTICHOKE PASTA

Making this Sausage & Artichoke sauce is not only easy but tastes better the next day, and even a few days after. It’s the perfect make ahead meal for leftovers through the week. It can be mixed with any kind of pasta and any shape that you love most. Personally, I love bite sized pasta like rotini but lately I’ve been keeping an eye on my total daily carb intake and so to compromise by not completely missing out on pasta, I’ve discovered this incredible Organic Black Bean Pasta by Explore Cuisine that is shaped as spaghetti. It has a total of 25g of protein and 8g net carbs per serving with 4 servings in the package of pasta. You can find them at most grocery stores and also at better cost on Amazon if you purchase a small bulk.

It literally cooks just like pasta, with the same bite like pasta, and surprisingly enough a fairly neutral flavor as well. Its color is of black beans but doesn’t affect taste nor does it bleed color into your food. I seriously didn’t think anything would ever convert me but this really did. With that said, it’s all types of diabetic friendly and great for those who live a low carb lifestyle. Oh, one big plus about this pasta is that you actually feel full and satiated in comparison to regular pasta.


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SAUSAGE & ARTICHOKE PASTA
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Fill a large pot with water, bring to boil, and follow instructions on the package to cook pasta.
  2. In a large pan, saute the turkey Italian sausage, onions, pepper, and salt. Use a wood spoon to break up the sausage into small pieces.
  3. When the sausage is almost cooked through, add the garlic powder, diced tomatoes, and artichoke hearts. Stir frequent until the sausage is cooked through. About 5 minutes.
  4. Add the goat cheese and spinach. Stir until the goat cheese melts and everything is mixed together well.
  5. Serve hot over pasta.

GUACAMOLE TOAST

I’m sure everyone has heard of Avocado Toast by now. It’s been trending big time as the healthy go-to snack. The purpose of it aside from being easy is that it’s also quick too. Which is great, but in all honesty. It’s kind of boring. Maybe it has something to do with guacamole being my number one favorite way to enjoy avocados. But I also love avocado in a pesto and sliced in a damn good sandwich. None of which are boring.

So, because I’ve always been the outcast who went against the grain because I thought trends were “dumb” for lack of better words; I’m making this Avocado Toast thing look even more boring by making GUACAMOLE TOAST using my Roasted Jalapeno Guacamole recipe! I have more reasons why other than being a brat about it LOL. It’s a healthier, low carb way to enjoy guacamole than with a bag of chips. Also, if you choose the right sliced bread it can be a very diabetic friendly snack.

I’ve been eating sprouted breads for about ten years now, they’re typically flourless, high in protein, and fiber. My favorite company is Alvarado Bakery and lately I’ve been eating their Sprouted Flax Seed Bread. It’s 100 calories for 2 slices. That’s 6.5g net carbs per slice. Alvarado makes other sliced breads that are super tasty and just as healthy depending on what your nutritional demands are. Making a batch of guacamole for toast will not result in wasting guacamole. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of days as there’s enough citrus to keep it preserved. Just stir before serving and share it.

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GUACAMOLE TOAST
Servings
serving
Ingredients
Servings
serving
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Toast your slice of bread to desired toastiness.
  2. Slather the guacamole on top of the toast.

LAMB STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS

If you love stuffed cabbage rolls, then you’ll love this recipe! It takes the whole dish to a whole new level. I know some people are purists but you’ll be surprised to find there are many cultures including the Middle East that have their own variation of stuffed cabbage or some other kind of leaf. So I took the concept of the traditional Polish stuffed cabbage and used a more flavorful meat like ground lamb and complimenting it using the proper spices for it. Yet another fusion dish perhaps that is worth the prep work, I swear!

I’ll say though, it may sound like a lot of work but it really isn’t. You can make the lamb mixture the day before which is super fast. Then take care of the rest later. One major word of advice though is make sure you have a big, tall pot one you’d use to cook spaghetti in. Also, a hand held strainer that would fit a cabbage head in. This will make removing a piping hot cabbage head so much easier preventing burnt hands.

One last thing, the very end of the leaf can have a very thick spine which makes it difficult sometimes to roll the cabbage leaf. In the picture above you can see I cut an upside-down “V” to remove most of it off. It does make a big difference. Don’t worry about ruining the leaf! If you are confused and have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!


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LAMB STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a pan over medium-high heat drizzle the olive oil and sauté the onions, garlic, black pepper, cumin, and cinnamon together until the onions are softened, about 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Mix the ground lamb, rice, cooled onion mixture, fresh cilantro and salt thoroughly in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil. Place the cabbage head carefully into the boiling hot water using a large strainer with a handle for about 5 minutes. You want the leaves to appear bright green.
  4. Remove the cabbage head into a large bowl. Peel off some of the softened leaves and place onto a plate covered with paper towels. Place the cabbage back into the boiling water for a few minutes until the next layer of leaves are ready to be peeled. Do this a few times until you peel most of the leaves off the head. Save the damaged and/or outer leaves to cover the bottom and top of the baking dish.
  5. Using a knife cut an upside-down “V” to remove the toughest part of the spine at the bottom of each leaf. This will make rolling the leaves easier. Place each cabbage leaf sideways, spoon about ¼ cup give or take of the lamb mixture onto the bottom part of the leaf. Roll it up and tuck in the sides before completely rolling it up.
  6. Line a 9” x 13” baking dish with imperfect cabbage leaves, place the stuffed cabbage rolls into the baking dish and sprinkle the top with garlic powder, sea salt and pepper. Add the bay leaves and vegetable broth. Top the rolls with tomato puree, the remaining fresh chopped onion and feta crumbles.
  7. Cover everything with remaining leftover cabbage leaves and aluminum foil. Bake at 350 F for about an 1h 15min to 1hr 30min. Everything should be boiling hot.