Grilled Tuna and Pickled Onions on Bacon Pintos with Grilled Salad


Coming off the 4th of July weekend and a little too much potato salad, I was anxious to get back to a healthier meal.  (Small admission to regular readers here: I’ve been dieting seriously since mid-April. Even on the cruise.  I have no idea how much weight I’ve lost, but I’m down a size and more. I mostly kept to South Beach Phase II, and I didn’t give up wine. When I’m down another size, I’ll reevaluate. Ok, so much for truth in blogging.) So then: Costco had ahi tuna on sale and while I’m careful about what kind of seafood I buy, I’m occasionally caught up in the need for a piece of fish just like most people.  (Click here for an informative NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC article about fishing and buying tuna.)

I also had a taste for pinto beans–kept seeing that bag in the cupboard– and it was 60 degrees and wet outside.  Love Colorado weather. Honest.  Just when you think it’s too hot or too dry or too sunny, the weather spins and flips ahead to early fall.


Typically, though, I’m not interested in long-cooking pots of goodness come July, so this was a welcome exception.  It seemed to me the tuna, if I grilled it, would be a good contrast for the beans with bacon. Tuna isn’t totally bland, but it needs a bit of a foil–a spicy vinaigrette is one of my usual suspects.  This time pickled red onions came to mind, too, and while I quick-pickle cucumbers all year long, I rarely pickle onions. I used a big measuring cup for apple cider vinegar, some spices, and a sliced red onion. I then let it sit for less than an hour.  I wish I’d left it longer and cut them thinner. These onions were wonderful, but could have benefited from a longer bath in the vinegar. They’re great now that the leftovers have sat in the fridge overnight and they’ll keep a week or so if they last that long.


Tucker had gone to the office with Dave, so Miss Bo-Bo (aka Rosie) stayed home and kept me company as I cooked. While there are easier meals, this one ranks right up there for simplicity. It may take a while because dry beans aren’t instant, but you could do them the day ahead–especially if you want this for a company meal for four.  For two, the leftover beans will feed you lunch with a hunk of corn bread or are perfect for a next night veggie burrito.  I think the tuna’s worth the time spent cooking the beans, of course! Continue reading

Friday Fish — Tuna Melt with Sriracha Thousand Island for my Sister Helen


I have a sister who just loves tuna fish.  Also green beans.  Also tomatoes.  If you put them all together as in Salade Nicoise, she’s already entered heaven. We don’t live near to one another, but I often think of her as I cook and that’s what happened today.   This sweet old school favorite pumped up with the addition of a spicy thousand island sauce would be her order for lunch if she saw it on Friday’s menu.

Below: We always go out for lunch when we’re together.


If you’re like Helen and love tuna, this is your Friday!  Fast and homey, great to serve on trays in front of the tv while you watch Chocolat, that quintessential Lenten film.   (Well, it is to me.) You’ll remember when Vianne opens her chocolate shop in the little French village, she’s in trouble for many reasons, but one of the largest is that she opens it during LENT, for God’s sake. What was she thinking? Continue reading