Friday, May 20, 2016

Tuna-Stuffed Tomatoes

I can’t believe this semester is complete! Grades are entered, final meetings attended, and graduation is on Sunday. Wow.
With things slowing down a bit on campus, I am able to work from home much more often. This is appealing for many different reasons, of course, but one of my favorites is that I no longer have to pack a lunch everyday. I have the option of eating something other than the standard sandwich or reheated leftovers (should I feel so inclined…) Plus, now that the days are getting warmer I can enjoy my meal out on the deck as well. I love the summer.

My lunch today was a quick meal-for-one that comes together in less than five minutes. Essentially, the inspiration came from my need to use up tomatoes mixed with my craving for tuna. Behold: tuna-stuffed tomatoes. I included a few chopped Spanish olives and capers for a nice tangy bite. (If this is not your cup of tea, feel free to leave them out.) Serve these stuffed tomatoes with you favorite sides and you have a delicious, protein packed meal in minutes.
What is your favorite go-to lunch? Let me know below!

Tuna-Stuffed Tomatoes

Time: 5 minutes

  • 3 small Roma tomatoes
  • 3 oz. canned tuna
  • 3 Spanish olives, chopped
  • 1 tsp. capers
  • 1 tbls. light mayo
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Cut off the top of each Roma tomato. Using a spoon, gently scrape out the seeds and pulp. Be careful not to tear the outer skin.
  2. In a bowl mix together the remaining five ingredients.
  3. Spoon tuna mixture into tomatoes and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sweet Apple "Cookies"

Paula Red used to be my favorite apple when I was growing up. They were one of the earliest apples ready for fall picking, and one of the first apples I saw in those white paper bags at the grocery store.

That's not why Paula Reds were my favorite apples though, because let's face it, they fall far behind other apples in terms of their crispness, sweetness, and "bake-ability." Obviously, the only reason they were my favorite is because the apple and I share the same name; when you are six years old, that's pretty cool. Nevertheless, my tastes have changed and I have several new favorite apples, with honey crisp being at the top of the list.

In fact, honey crisp is what I used to make this very simple "no-recipe" recipe today. Of course you can easily use whichever apple is your favorite (or happen to have on hand); when you pair apples with peanut butter, chocolate chips, and nuts, any type is the perfect type.

This "recipe" is perfect for any time that you need a pick-me-up throughout the day; it has been my after school/work goto for the last week or so. It gives me extra energy to take Bruno for his walk and tides me over until dinner. Perfect. Feel free to use whatever toppings you like. I used mini chocolate chips and chopped pistachios for this recipe, but I've used walnuts, almonds, and white chocolate chips as well. You really can't go wrong.

What is your favorite apple in the fall? Let me know below!

Paula's Note: To get super thin slices, I rely on my mandolin slicer. If you don't have one, just use a sharp knife.

Sweet Apple "Cookies"

Serves: 1
Time: 5 minutes

  • 1 Apple
  • Peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
  • Nut of choice, chopped
  • Chocolate chips 
  1. Thinly slice apple
  2. Pat apple slices dry with paper towel (this makes it easier for the peanut butter to stick to the top of the apple)
  3. Spread peanut butter over each slice
  4. Sprinkle with desired toppings
  5. Enjoy

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Game Day Bean Dip

I can believe it's Sunday already. How has another week flown by?

As I mentioned in my last post, Sunday in the fall means football day at our house, and while I may not be watching the game, I'm definitely eating the food.

Today I am excited to share with you a super simple, incredibly delicious bean dip that is reminiscent of the Frito's bean dip you can find in a can - only better because you know exactly what you're eating!

The dip comes together in less than 15 minutes, and is made entirely with pantry ingredients. What more could you ask for? Oh yeah, it's also filled with protein, fiber, and is gluten free. Score!

Paula's Note: You can easily control the spice level by simply up-ing the chili powder and/or cayenne pepper. Seeing as I find ketchup to be just the right spice, (I'm so Norwegian) this dip is pretty mild. Definitely feel free to add more heat if that's what you prefer.

Do you have a favorite dip recipe? Let me know below!

Game Day Bean Dip

Serves: 4 (Though I've been known to eat the whole recipe for lunch...)
Time: 15 minutes
Optional refrigeration: 1 hour

  • 15 oz. canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbls. salsa
  1. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT salsa in a skillet over medium heat. 
  2. Simmer for about 5-7 minutes, or until most of the water is evaporated.
  3. Transfer bean mixture to a high power blender/food processor.
  4. Add salsa.
  5. Blend until smooth.
  6. Either refrigerate until ready to eat, or scarf immediately; I usually choose the latter, though the flavors enhance if you have the patience to wait an hour or so.
  7. Enjoy!