fat free opinions on a food centric life

Seared Yellowfin with Kalamatas and Capers

Yellowfin with Kalamatas and Capers

My husband has been on a diet.  Sitting at a desk most of the day catches up with you when you least expect it, right?  When we returned from Italy this summer, he decided he was going to do something about it, paying close attention to what he ate, and getting regular exercise.

Since I’m the resident cook, I suggested that he might consider not going back for seconds at dinner, and that I’d help by reducing the quantity of food I cook.  I also suggested that instead of having a protein, starch, and vegetable with bread, that I’d focus on only a main dish, and a side dish.  The only exception would be to add a salad — and even then, the salad could replace the side dish.

He’s done his part by going to the gym we pay for in our HOA fees between 4-6 times a week doing both cardio work on the treadmill or reclining bike and then some weights.  I’ve done my part as well, and last night he informed me that he’s lost 11 pounds.  In two months, that’s the best sort of weight loss since it will most likely stay off over the long haul.  Outside of the numbers on the scale, I did notice yesterday that his trousers are riding a bit higher than before, and that the tailoring he had done when he purchased them to let them out will now have to be redone to take them in.

We won’t discuss whether any of this food regime has had any effect on my body, but I will say that it certainly can’t hurt.  I try to do my three miles three times a week and limit my portions.

We’ve been eating quite a bit of fish lately, and he said this meal was exactly what he wanted after he’d finished it.  Since I’ve tried many variations on it, I’ll agree that this is excellent, and is extremely quick and easy to prepare.  Because I’ve also experimented with a variety of types of fish, I know that it will taste good with the type you enjoy best.

Seared Yellowfin with Kalamatas and Capers

Ingredients

3 hefty yellowfin tuna steaks
2 T extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. red onion, sliced thin
zest of 1 lemon, grated fine
3 cloves garlic
1/4 c. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
12 kalamata olives, sliced
2 T capers
1/8 c. caper juice
2 T parsley

Directions

  1. Heat a skillet over medium high heat until it sizzles when water is sprinkled on it.  Pour in 2 T olive oil and spread it around the pan.  Season tuna on both sides with salt and pepper.  When the olive oil is hot, place the tuna in the pan and sear each side until golden brown.  Remove from the pan.
  2. In the same pan, heat the 1/4 c. olive oil over medium high heat and add the onions.  Saute for about 8 minutes until softened.  Add the lemon zest and garlic, and cook for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the lemon juice, olives, caper juice, and capers, then place the tuna steaks back in the pan just to heat.
  4. Serve tuna steaks with some lovely Spanish baked rice…

Baked Rice

Ingredients

1 T olive oil
1 T butter
2 T shallots, minced
1 c. long grain rice
1 c. chicken or veggie broth
1 c. water
2 T fresh parsley, minced
1/4 tsp. thyme, dried
tiny pinch of saffron
sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a well-cured cast iron skillet, heat the oil and add the shallots, cooking until soft, but not browned.  Stir in the rice, making sure the oil coats it well.
  3. Pour in the broth, and add a cup of water.  Add the parsley, thyme, saffron, and salt to taste.
  4. Bring it all to a boil, then cover it with foil and transfer to the oven.  Bake for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven  and let sit, covered for about 10 minutes.  Fluff with a fork, and serve.

Red Onion Heaven

Recipe Notes

  • I have to say that my husband gave up his passion for Cheetos at work during snack time.  That counts for a lot as far as weight loss is concerned.  He’s lost that unearthly orange glow I thought was a tan.
  • He works out for about an hour after he gets home from work.  So diligent!  I have to walk at 5:30 am, or won’t venture out.  I keep promising I’ll join him on my “off” days.
  • The original recipe can be found here at Food & Wine.
  • The baked rice recipe is from Penelope Casas’ La Cocina de Mama and is quite tasty, even without the saffron.  Trader Joe’s sells it cheap, though.
  • I always balk at the amount of oil called for in recipes even when it’s olive oil.  I just don’t see the point, so cut it back by half.  Lots of flavor, no extra oil, even though I know the oil from this particular collection of flavors would have been mah-vellous to behold.  Calories just aren’t worth it.  Our hearts are loving the amount of mono-saturated fat they get just fine.
  • Just as a source of comparison, this recipe contained 1.85 lbs. of fresh yellowfin tuna which cost $14.70 and fed three quite well.  I’d like to say we had leftovers, but it was so good, we all finished our portions.  It should have served at least four.  If we’d gone to In & Out for burgers and fries, we’d have easily spent that amount and I wouldn’t have been able to get out of the car.