How to make Seared Tuna Steaks

Seared tuna steaks

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 2 to 4 minutes

INGREDIENTS

4 (6 to 8 ounce) tuna steaks, 1 inch thick

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon of sugar

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

Dry the tuna with paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle sugar evenly on 1 side of each steak. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Place the steaks sweet side down in skillet and cook, turning every 1 to 2 minutes, until center is translucent red when checked with the tip of a paring knife and internal temperature reaches 110 degrees, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer steak to a cutting board and slice 1/2-inch thick; to serve.

Per serving: 209 calories, 37 grams protein, 5 grams fat (24% calories from fat), 0.8 grams saturated fat, 1 gram carbs, 80 milligrams cholesterol, 303 milligrams sodium, no fiber .

Number of carbohydrates: 0.

Variation: Seared tuna steaks in a sesame crust

Omit the sugar. Spread 3/4 cup sesame seeds in a shallow dish. After wiping them dry with towels, rub the steaks with 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Season with salt and pepper; press both sides of each steak in sesame seeds to coat. Proceed to heat the oil in the pan as above.

Leek and white bean soup

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 leek bulbs, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups unsalted vegetable broth

2 cans (15-19 ounces) reduced-sodium cannellini beans, rinsed

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons of cumin

1/2 cup couscous

1 package (5 or 6 ounces) spinach leaves

Freshly grated parmesan cheese for garnish

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic; cook 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in broth, beans, bay leaves and cumin; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; stir in couscous. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in spinach until softened. Remove and discard bay leaves; Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with Parmesan.

Per serving: 245 calories, 9 grams protein, 3 grams fat (12% calories from fat), no saturated fat, 45 grams carbs, no cholesterol, 436 milligrams sodium, 8 grams fiber.

Number of carbohydrates: 3.

Chicken with Spanish rice and tomatoes

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 package (8 ounces) yellow rice mix (see NOTE)

2 1/2 cups of water

1 pound ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped

1 can (15 ounces) reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed

1 to 3 teaspoons chopped pickled jalapeno peppers (or to taste)

In a big nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken; sprinkle with black pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until almost cooked through; add garlic for the last 2 minutes. Remove chicken to plate; put aside. In the pan, add rice mixture and water. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 12 minutes or until water is almost absorbed. (Add more water if the rice is not cooked.) Add the tomatoes, bell pepper, beans and jalapenos. Top with chicken. Simmer, covered, 5 min. or until rice is tender; to serve.

NOTE: To reduce sodium, you can remove as much of the seasoning from the rice as possible.

Per serving: 318 calories, 25 grams protein, 5 grams fat (13% calories from fat), 0.8 grams saturated fat, 45 grams carbohydrates, 55 milligrams cholesterol, 654 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fibers.

Number of carbohydrates: 3.

BBQ Pork Tenderloin

Heat the oven at 400 degrees. Mix 2 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce, 2 tablespoons of orange marmalade and 2 teaspoons of soy sauce. Spread on a 1 to 1 1/4 pound pork tenderloin. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with baked sweet potato wedges, broccoli, mixed greens and cookies.

Pork Tacos

Pull the pork and drizzle with taco sauce. Heat and pour into hot taco shells. Top with chopped avocados, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, low fat sour cream and taco sauce. Serve with vegetarian baked beans.

fajita burger

lean season ground beef with a little chili powder and cumin (to taste). Shape into logs the size of a hot dog and fry. Roll logs in warmed whole grain flour tortillas with shredded lettuce, mild salsa and low-fat sour cream. Serve with rice and guacamole.

Dino S. Williams