Seared Tuna and Avocado Burgers

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A twist on the classic lobster roll, these seared tuna salad burgers are easy to pull together and perfect for summer nights. Make sure your tuna is fresh- it shouldn’t be brown and instead, a bright red. Specks of white are okay, and a little black is too. I did the unimaginable and actually purchased two frozen half-pound steaks from an Asian grocery store. They looked much better than the supposedly fresh stuff. Let defrost overnight in the refrigerator.

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Seared Tuna and Avocado Salad Burgers

Serves 8

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Adapted from Ina Garten

Olive oil

1 pound tuna steak

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lime, zest grated

3 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder

1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce

6 dashes hot sauce

1 avocado, diced

1/4 red onion, chopped

1 tablespoon scallion, minced

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

8 hamburger buns

2 cups arugula

Heat sauté pan over high heat for 2 minutes. While heating, rub olive oil on tuna steaks and season with salt and pepper. Place tuna in pan and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side until seared. Remove from heat and cut into small cubes.

In a medium bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons olive oil, lime zest and juice, wasabi powder, soy sauce, hot sauce, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the avocado. and then the tuna, red onion, scallion, and sesame seeds. Line the buns with arugula and fill with tuna mixture.

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Tuscan Orzo Salad

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I’m happy to announce that I will be doing some writing for DailyBurn, a fitness start-up focused on helping you get to a better, stronger, healthier you.

If you’re looking for a way to use up some of summer’s last bounty, check out this Tuscan Orzo Salad. Combining ripe tomatoes with fresh arugula and shaved Pecorino Romano cheese is my version of bliss.

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Thai Cabbage Salad

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Need a salad that will keep for the work week? Want a salad that is too good to last through the work week?

This Thai Cabbage Salad does the job.

With a slight kick and a peanutty crunch, the salad is best a few hours after making it, creating a tantalizing slaw-like salad. Check out the recipe at Epicurious.

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Mom’s Greek Salad

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This past month has been one of the most tumultuous months of my life, from a terrifyingly close call at the Boston Marathon to my graduation from *gasp* college. The vast number of uncertainties and changes in my life is daunting. One thing that will always be a constant in my life is this Greek Salad with Hardboiled Eggs and Homemade Croutons.

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Greek Salad with Hardboiled Eggs and Homemade Croutons

Salad

4 cups romaine or butter lettuce

1 bunch scallions, chopped

4 cherry tomatoes, chopped

3 button mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

3 hardboiled eggs, sliced

Black pepper, to taste

Dressing

2 tbs fresh lemon juice

1.5 tbs neutral oil

Croutons

Stale bread, such as ciabatta or French baguette

Olive oil

Sea salt

Garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice and cut bread into cubes. Place in a large Ziploc bag and drizzle olive oil over the bread. Close bag and shake croutons. Place bread onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and garlic powder. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

For Salad, place vegetables in large salad bowl. Spoon feta on top, and then add hardboiled eggs and croutons. Grind black pepper on top. 

In a small dish or salad dressing container, mix lemon juice and oil. Pour over salad.

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Blueberry Corn Salad

Before I knew much about food, I figured the category “Fruits and Vegetables” should be two categories, “Fruit” and “Vegetables.” But after tasting salads such as arugula and watermelon or even mango salsa, I have realized that fruits and vegetables complement each other. Maybe you are saying “Duh” or maybe you have not ventured into this world of fruit/vegetable hybridity, but nonetheless I can’t wait to continue experimenting. A good rule of thumb is that if the fruit or vegetable grows at the same time of the year, the produce will likely go well together. Think: tomatoes and cucumbers (drizzle with olive oil and vinegar). Simple, but delicious, flavors.

In the case of this Blueberry Corn Salad, evidently blueberries and corn are showcased. The spice of the jalapenos, which stung my hands for twenty-four hours, and the sweetness of corn, plus the tang of blueberries is fantastic. I used a white onion, despite the recipe calling for a red onion. Other than that, I followed this recipe.

Strawberry Season

Fresh, local strawberries are unbeatable. These tasted like candy, and my Dad actually thought someone had added sweetener. Nope, just Mother Nature at her finest.

For dinner, I made Couscous with Artichokes, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Feta. As far as grains go, couscous is one of the healthiest options. With more vitamins than pasta, this semolina-related grain is a smart choice for a light supper. I intended to put spinach in the dish, but unfortunately my mom cleaned out the fridge, including my spinach, minutes before I started cooking. I substituted with cucumbers, though spinach probably would make for better leftovers.

Boil 1 1/4 cups of water with a teaspoon or two of olive oil. Stir in couscous and remove from heat. Let the couscous sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. (Be sure to check the couscous packaging for any specific cooking notes)

Drain a can of sun-dried tomatoes, then place the tomatoes in a small microwaveable bowl. Submerge the tomatoes in water and heat in the microwave for 3 minutes. Cover the tomatoes for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and chop.

Stir the tomatoes with couscous, add marinated artichoke hearts with the juice from the jar. Add spinach or cucumbers. Garnish with feta cheese crumbles and black pepper.