Tuna Burgers and Seaweed Salad

Though I am a die-hard Trader Joe's loyalist, I have recently been enjoying the wider selection of food at Fresh & Easy. They have an entire aisle full of ethnic foods and a good selection of fresh fruit, vegetables, and meats. It's not too expensive either, but not as cheap as TJ's. 

Fresh ahi caught my eye on my last trip and I had to make the most of it. My favorite way to enjoy ahi, if not rare and seared, is grilled and as a sandwich. This is quintessential California food for me, so if you live in one of those landlocked  or eastern states, gives this a try for a taste of CA.

Grilled Ahi Sandwiches with Wasabi Mayo
for 4

2 fresh ahi steaks

Wasabi Mayo
  • 3 tbsp light mayo
  • 3 tbsp nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp prepared wasabi
  • Whole wheat hamburger buns
  • Heirloom tomato, sliced
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Baby spinach
  • Pickled ginger
  • S & P

Mix all wasabi mayo ingredients together. 

A little bit goes a very very long way. Set in fridge while you grill.

Prep ahi steaks by slicing them in half. You can always do the full size, but that's a lot of meat, and it ain't cheap.

Perfect thickness!

Grill fish or broil - whatever works for you!

Then layer up your buns with fixins of your choice.

I personally love the ginger sweetness in the sandwich, but some people could do without. I slather both buns with wasabi mayo, then layer fish, tomato, S & P, spinach, avocado, ginger. YUM!

The perfect side for this fresh and healthy sandwich is cucumber onion salad. I added nori!

Seaweed Cucumber Salad

1 large cucumber
1 small red onion
2 sheets nori/seaweed
1/3 c. seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tsp sesame seeds

First break up the nori sheets and soak in vinegar.

Prep cucumber by peeling, scooping out seeds, and slicing into half moons.

Add to bowl with red onion.

Top with sesame seeds and toss.

Thanks for visiting California!


Grilled Buffalo Pizza

Today's recipe comes from Janetha over at Meals and Moves. This is one of the first blogs I started reading and my hands down favorite blog on the internet. When she posted this recipe a few months ago, I kicked myself and thought "why didn't I think of that?!"

Pizza. Buffalo sauce. Bleu cheese. Greek yogurt. Chicken.

Ummmm, how could you go wrong?

I modified Janetha's recipe a bit by using a red onion instead of white, and ditched the mozz cheese and opted for more yogurt sauce. Try her version or mine, your choice!

Also, I've been itching to grill pizza for months. It's a delicate process, but as long as you're organized with a pizza removal strategy, you should be good to go. Hopefully my instructions help.

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Pizza
adapted from Meals and Moves
serves 4

1 fresh whole wheat pizza dough
1/2 c. nonfat plain greek yogurt
1/2 c. buffalo sauce, like Franks, divided
4 oz. bleu cheese crumbles, divided
8 oz. cooked chicken breast
1 red onion
2 tbsp EVOO

First things first. Make sauce. Mix together yogurt, 1/4 c. of buffalo sauce, and 2 oz. bleu cheese crumbles. Set aside. Put dough out on the counter so it can relax.

Slice red onion and saute in EVOO until caramelized (about 15 minutes)

Prep your business. I got frantic and didn't catch a pic, but here's what you need to have handy by the grill: yogurt sauce, caramelized red onions, chicken (sliced into bite size pieces and tossed in remaining buffalo sauce), remaining bleu cheese crumbles.

Roll dough out. I used a flat baking sheet. This will be my grill removal strategy. Think of it like a ginormous spatula.

Heat grill to medium low heat. Spray it lightly with cooking oil. Carefully place pizza dough on grill. This is difficult. You can slide it off the tray, but you have to be careful not to fold the dough on top of itself. Don't be nervous. You could only screw up the entire meal, NBD. Turn heat back up to medium.

After about 3 minutes and you see grill marks on the bottom, you're ready to flip!

Reduce heat to lowest possible and layer up the pizza! Sauce, onion, chicken, bleu cheese.

Turn the heat back up to medium low, and close the lid. This will help warm the toppings and melt the bleu cheese.

Reduce to low low if your crust is done but you want more melty cheese. Once toppings start bubbling, you're donezo.

Carefully slide back onto baking sheet without burning your arm hairs off and transfer to a cutting board for slicing. 

Go make this now. Trust.


Millions of Peaches

You know what's awesome right now?


So tasty right now. Trader Joe's is wise to this phenomenon and sells the suckers in FLATS. Love it. Can't get enough. I'm drooling right now thinking about it.

So when I was craving something creamy and peachy and fat-kid-status-y, I was saved by my trusty popsicle molds. I threw together a non-fat, high protein, low sugar, delicious treat.

Have one!

Peaches and Cream Greek Yogurt Popsicles
makes four

1 1/2 peaches (um... eat the other half, duh)
1 c. nonfat vanilla greek yogurt
dash cinnamon
2 tbsp milk

Slice one peach into bite size pieces.

In a bowl, combine milk, yogurt, cinnamon,  and sliced peaches.

Puree the half peach until smooth. Stir into mixture.

Spoon into popsicle molds and tap on the counter to move bubbles out.

Freeze for 4+ hours.


Peaches for me!


Turkey Reubens

My dad has this rule when the family all eats out for dinner: nobody is allowed to order the same thing. It doesn't matter how far away you are sitting from the other person, you better not order the same thing. Oh you wanted the salmon special, too? Well, duke it out, cause only one of you is getting it.

I have my own little obnoxious rule: never order the same thing twice. There's a whole lengthy menu - why go back to a restaurant just to order the same thing?

Oh, there are exceptions to this rule. I get the exact.same.sandwich every time I go to Gus's in SLO.

There's also one more weird thing I do when eating out.

If there's a turkey reuben on the menu, you better bet I'm ordering it. No exceptions. I could be at the headquarters of hamburgers with a hamburger craving, but if there is turkey reuben on the menu, gimme that.

I don't know what it is. The sour rye bread, the drippy russian dressing, the melty swiss, salty turkey... GIMME.

And so, I give you:

Turkey Reuben
for two

4 pieces sliced rye bread (if you can find marble rye, you are a lucky duck)
2 tsp butter/earth balance
2 4 oz. portions deli sliced turkey
2 large slices swiss cheese
1/2 c. sauerkraut (optional!)
1/3 c. reuben dressing, divided (recipe follows)

Reuben Dressing
from Zingerman's via Food Network, but adapted

1/4 c. nonfat plain greek yogurt
3 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp light mayo
1 tbsp grated onion
1 tbsp minced dill pickle
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp grated horseradish
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp celery seeds

First things: make dressing.  It's a lot of ingredients, but it's good!

Grated onion makes all the difference. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Stir. Fridge.

Warm sauerkraut however you wish - ahem - microwave.

Butter outside of bread slices.

Prep your yummies.

In a large pan, multitask! Heat turkey and toast bread. After you've flipped the turkey, place swiss on top and let it melt.

Layer it up. Bread, dressing, turkey, cheese, sauerkraut, more dressing, bread.

Om nom nom.


Summer Salad Duo

Depending on where you live, it's either too hot to turn on your oven, or your oven won't turn on. If you live in this house, your oven won't turn on. But it looks so nice! Something electrical is wrong.  (Note: these are #fancyovenproblems) 

But for many of you, it's one point nine bajillion degrees outside and you're probably not  interested in turning on your modest functioning oven. This is where I come in.

Here are two summery salads that cover all your nutritional bases. Protein, whole grain, fiber, fruit (if you're counting tomatoes), veggies, and healthy plant fat! I might have eaten this meal with crusty bread and goat cheese. I have an addiction! Not my fault!

Cucumber Tomato and Red Onion Salad

1 large cucumber
1 medium red onion
2 large tomatoes
1 tbsp EVOO
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
S&P to taste

Peel cucumber. Slice in half lengthwise, then scoop out any extra seeds. (If you use a hot house cucumber - the kind that comes wrapped in plastic - then you can just slice in half and skip the seeding).
Slice in half moons.

Cut tomatoes in 1/8ths.

Slice onion into bite size pieces. Nobody like giant onion chunks. Or do they?

Add all produce in a bowl. Add garlic pow, basil, S&P.

Drizzle with EVOO and red wine vin. Toss and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Ten minutes is all you need to get a slight pickle going on in there. Perfect!

Shrimp, Corn, and Avocado Quinoa Salad 

2 dozen cooked shrimp (like from leftover Cajun Boil)
1/2 c. yellow corn kernels
1 large avocado
2 c. cooked quinoa
juice of 2 limes
salt to taste

Peel shrimp and cut into bite size pieces (2's or 3's)

Cut corn off of cob

In a large bowl, combine corn and shrimp with quinoa

Dice the avocado and fold into quinoa mixture

Dress with lime juice and salt and toss well to coat

This quinoa salad is even better the next day! The lime juice keeps the avo from browning. You could go veg by substituting baked tofu for the shrimp.

Stay cool! (and never change! middle school yearbooks? anyone?)


Pressed Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches

News alert!!: The Roady fam recently acquired a grill. Big deal!

Let me explain.

When I think of grilled food at the Roady household, I think of super cheap, discount, Albertsons tri-tip steaks, charred until they were black. I think of the charcoal dust left on my plate. I think of the taste of a propane grill. I think of mass amounts of ketchup to replenish lost moisture to the grey, chewy "steak".

This was my childhood, before I stopped eating meat (beef+pork+other cuties) in 9th grade. I felt sad for cows. Plus I was chunkers and wanted to slim down so I could be cool. (Didn't really work that way). I didn't eat meat again until high school graduation, when I had legit tri-tip. (PS I worked at a BBQ restaurant for about six months before I tasted their meat dishes... joke's on you, Bandits!).

And so basically my experience with home-grilled food has been minimal.

Except for a short stint with a little red Weber found on the sidewalk in my studio apartment days.  It was missing a handle, so I burned myself several times on that thing before I returned it to the curb.

I tried to find a picture of the red weber grill, but all i found worth sharing was this picture of sprinkles when she was FAT sitting on the same porch that the grill lived on. Same difference? Look how fat she was!! She's half that size now... Le sigh.
Oh, and I've had much experience with George Foreman grilling... or... countertop attempts at burning down various apartment dwellings.  Does George-ing count as grilling? I'm counting it.

That's my grilling resume.

But now I can give that whole grilling thing another shot. And I did. And it all started with vegetables. Marinated in balsamic. Add some goat cheese. Some chewy crusty bread. Smush it all together. Have a yum party in your mouth.

Pressed Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches
for six

1 large loaf of crusty whole wheat bread
4 oz. goat cheese
1 small eggplant, sliced into 1/2" discs
2 small zucchini, sliced on a bias, 1/2" thick
2 bell peppers, cut into 4 slabs
1 large yellow onion, sliced in 3/4" slices
2 portabella mushrooms
1 bottle balsamic vinaigrette dressing of your choice
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
pinch o salt

Slice up those veggies and place them in a large baking dish.
Soak them in salad dressing, additional balsamic, and salt. I think bottle vinaigrettes are typically too sweet, not enough balsamic. YOU be the judge, boss. Let em chill for 10 minutes.

Heat up that grill.

Grill in this order, depending on grill top real estate: bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, eggplant.

Pour off marinade into a bowl and brush veggies while grilling. I turned each veggie 4 times to get cross grill marks on each side. And a little of that char that I like? from my childhood.


When everybody is all charred up, bring em inside. I sliced the mushrooms and peppers for dainty ladylike chewing.

Slice crusty bread in half.

Scoop out excessive bread guts. Note: this makes excellent olive oil-dipping bread for another time.

Using the back of a spoon, spread goat cheese on both slices of bread. Make sure to go all the way to the edges, nobody likes a cheeseless bite. Ever.

Layer your veggies. I don't know if you know this, but I studied architecture for like 2.5 seconds, so I'm really good at building things. Like sandwiches. ?

Put the pieces together. Put a little pressure on it so get everything all squished together. You could wrap in foil and place under a brick, turning every 10 minutes for 40-60 minutes for maximum cohesiveness. But I just ate it.

Slice with a serrated knife. Chow down.

If it weren't for all the goat cheese I snacked on while assembling this sandwich, it would have been super healthy!