February 22, 2017

Scallion and Sesame Tuna Burgers with an Ancho Chili Sauce

Oh my gosh, we have so much to talk about. We went to Hawaii two weeks ago, and it was incredible - beautiful and sunny, but not too hot. The people were so nice. I was so relaxed and rested and fed full of the most deliciously Hawaiian eats. We visited the island of Kauai, which is a dreamy little island, sleepy and charming. The island is swarming with wild chickens, which excited Sebastian to no end. He referred to them as gagos???, and squealed the most precious high pitch noise every time he saw one.

We stayed near the south side of the island, at a gorgeous resort nestled in the palm trees. The gardens and landscaping were something from a movie. The rooms were clean and cozy, and the pools were breathtaking. We ate fish tacos, and fish tacos, and more fish tacos. I tried shave ice twice. The first one was better than the second, but that may be because I am partial to creamy coconut macadamia versus the sweeter passion fruit syrup. I ate macadamia nut everything - ice cream, crusted mahi-mahi, roasted with salt. I ate fried rice and miso soup for breakfast and more fish tacos for lunch.

We rented a convertible for two days and toured the island, and the landscape was so dreamy. I really wanted to take a helicopter ride to the waterfall from the movie Jurassic Park, but, we postponed that one for next time. We saw humpback whales almost daily, and an endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Traveling with Sebastian was incredible. We had a few minor bumps along the way, but for the most part, it was amazing to see his pure joy for life. I love experiencing things through his eyes. Everything is so new and exciting for him. He is so curious and full of life and I love him to pieces. I am so lucky to have him in my life and not a day goes by where I don't feel so incredibly grateful and fortunate to be his mama. I think this trip brought us closer together as a family. It was such an incredibly amazing experience.

We were so lucky to have been able to eat so much delicious seafood on our trip, and we are so lucky that Sebastian loves it as well. In general, we try to eat as much seafood as possible, which is usually around 8 ounces per week 2 - 3 times per week, and a little less for Sebastian, which are the recommendations published by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. There are so many health benefits associated with consuming a diet high in seafood, it's hard to not want to incorporate as much as we can into our meals. February marks American Heart Month! so I thought it would be fun to share a heart-healthy seafood recipe with you guys.

For those of you who don't live in a coastal town, or who maybe don't have access to fresh seafood, canned tuna is a great option. It's delicious and convenient and contains the same healthy nutrients that you would otherwise get from fresh fish. Since returning home from Hawaii, I've been really inspired to cook with the flavors of the island - poke, pineapple, avocado, macadamia nuts etc. Brent really loves these tuna burgers from Trader Joes - we usually have a box or two stashed in the freezer - so I took some recipe inspiration from that. For the burgers, I used canned tuna and added sesame seeds, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, scallions, egg, and panko. I knew that I wanted a burger with a crispy exterior, so I fried them in some canola oil to give them a nice exterior crunch. As for the toppings, I used avocado, red onion, and lettuce, and made an ancho chili yogurt sauce from scratch. The sauce turned out tangy and acidic, which was the perfect pairing to the tuna. I bought a nice and light sesame kaiser and toasted them slightly. After assembling the burgers and sinking my teeth into the first bite, I knew that everything had just come together as so. They had the perfect balance of soft, crunchy, tangy, and creamy. 

* This post was created in partnership with the National Fisheries Institute. If you are looking for more delicious and easy to make seafood recipes, check out the Dish on Fish website. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep the Flourishing Foodie delicious. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.


February 8, 2017

Potato Salmon Cakes with a Garlic and Chive Yogurt Sauce

A few days before we left for Hawaii, I did a fridge clean out, like I always do before we leave for a trip. aka. multiple stir fry's with weird combinations of vegetables for a week. There were a few other misc food items that I needed to use up - a bunch of chives, some Greek yogurt, two lemons, and a bag of potatoes. I noticed that Salmon was on sale at the grocery store, and I always like to eat as much salmon as I can while it's in season. I had the idea to try and make a salmon potato cake similar to a salt cod fritter. Salt cod fritters are essentially bits of salty cod mixed with mashed potatoes and spices and then deep fried. They are absolutely incredible. I knew that to make this recipe work, I would need to prepare the salmon in a way that produced a salty and minimally flavored fish. I used a new cooking method to prepare the fish, one that I have been experimenting with for a bit. It's a quick poach in broth, allowing enough time for the salty broth to absorb and make the fish more moist and flavorful. I decide to coat the salmon cakes in breadcrumbs to give them a nice crunch. The turned out so flavorful and delicious. I was sad that I had only made 7. I paired them with a garlic and chive yogurt sauce that was the perfect which has been one of the many sauces that I made this year in my new blender.

Aside from how amazing the salmon cakes were, can I just take a second to talk to you guys about my blender? I have been long-time coveting a Vitamix. 10 years coveting. I used to own a red Kitchen Aid blender that never really did a good job. I then dropped the container on the ground and it cracked. Instead of buying a new blender, I just continued to use a cracker blender for the past 4 years - cursing every time it leaked on the counter. A few months ago, the kind folks at Vitamix sent me a A2500 Vitamix blender. This blender has changed my life. Since owning it, I've been busy making nut butter, soups, sauces, and smoothies. Everything my last blender couldn't do, this one can do a million times better. It's powerful, sturdy, sleek, and easy to look at, but most importantly, it can actually make nut butter!!! Creamy, smooth nut butter. The blender offers three settings for smoothies, soups, and smoothies. It has a built in digital timer, variable speed controls, and a pulse mode. I don't think I have ever been so in love with a small kitchen appliance.

*This post was created in partnership with Vitamix. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep the Flourishing Foodie delicious. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.