Category Archives: recipe

Recipe: Spring Vegetable Frittata

I hate to start off a Sunday afternoon post with a rant, but I just have to get it out. I’m done paying money for bad meals and mediocre food. Just done. It seems I’ve had some bad luck especially when it comes to breakfast or brunch outings (there have been a few dinners as well, darn it!), and I guess it’s partially my fault for trying to tweak a scramble so it’s made with egg whites or to ask for “easy cheese.” Maybe I should just order an omelet the way it is without adjustments. But even as I type that sentence, I’m not totally convinced that trying to eat relatively healthily at a restaurant is reason enough for a bad plate of food. What restaurant these days doesn’t offer a “substitute egg whites” option anyway? They all do, right? Grrrrr….. Continue reading

Recipes: Meatballs Marinara + Garlicky Kale Bruschetta


Lately, I’ve become the kind of person who’d rather eat a little bit of many things, rather than a lot of one thing. At restaurants, I usually prefer to order two or three appetizers than feast over a big entrée, and I’ve never met a tapas bar I didn’t like. I also find that appetizers tend to be more interesting than main dishes, but that’s just my opinion. How else am I going to get my tuna tartare and caramelized onion pizza and asparagus with a poached egg in one sitting? Food rules be damned, I love to mix and match mini foods into the perfect meal.

At home, it’s a little harder to eat this way, since it requires preparing several different dishes. However, with a little extra thought and planning, it’s totally possible, and I made one such meal the other night.

I used my last bit of ground turkey to make mini meatballs which I seared off before letting them braise in some homemade marinara sauce.

In addition to mini meals, I like mini pots, like this one J bought me last year. Cute right?!
The black kale I’d purchased at the farmer’s market last weekend was going to be part of a farro salad, but I just wasn’t feeling it and remembered reading about an Italian bruschetta made with greens- perfect for a little tapas-style dinner- so I just made my own version of that:

Roasted baby carrots pop up often on my menus because I love how sweet and concentrated they get in the oven:

J uncorked a bottle of Chianti and we enjoyed our multi-mini-meal very much.

Turkey Meatballs Marinara

½ pound ground turkey (lean, not extra lean, works better since it still contains a bit of fat)
½ onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp thyme
Splash of red wine (optional)
3 large basil leaves, chopped
2 TBS chopped Italian parsley
1 slice of bread soaked in ¼ cup of milk
¼ cup grated parmigiano reggiano
Salt and pepper
2 cups of your favorite marinara

Put the ground turkey in a medium bowl, set aside.

In a small pan, heat up a bit of olive oil and sauté the onions, garlic and thyme until the onions are soft. Add a splash of red wine, cook until it is completely evaporated. The onions will be nice and red!

Add the onion mixture, basil and parsley to the turkey; take the bread soaked in milk and break it up with your fingers and add that to the turkey as well, then add the parmesan, salt and pepper. Incorporate all of the ingredients with your hands.

Make the turkey mixture into 1 or 2 inch meatballs. Heat up some olive oil in a pan and sear the meatballs on all sides. Once they are brown, add the marinara, turn the heat down to low and let the meatballs simmer in the marinara for about 10 minutes. If the marinara is too thick you can add a bit of chicken broth, red wine or even water to thin it out a bit.

Garlicky Kale Bruschetta

1 TBS olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
A pinch of red pepper flakes
1 bunch black kale, ribs removed, chopped
Salt, pepper
Splash of balsamic vinegar
6 slices of multigrain bread, baguette, whatever bread you like, brushed with olive oil and toasted.

Heat the olive oil in a pan on low heat, then add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the oil. Don’t burn the garlic, but let the warm oil infused with the flavors for about 2 minutes.

Add the kale to the pan and toss with the oil/garlic/flakes. It will wilt pretty quickly. Add salt and pepper to season. When the kale is nice and wilted, add a splash of balsamic, stir again. The balsamic will reduce very quickly. Turn off the heat.

Top each slice of toast with a mound of the kale mixture. Enjoy!

Recipes: Butternut Squash Soup and Turkey Stuffed Mushrooms

After over a month of letting this here blog lie dormant, I’m back (again!) and hoping to update more frequently. The redesign isn’t really much to write home about, but I wanted a brighter, lighter look for Tuna Toast and this is what I came up with! So I hope you’ll come back around and check it out from time to time.

Cool weather is upon us, even here in usually-sunny Los Angeles. I’ve always loved cooler weather, and it’s nice to actually feel the seasons change for once! Watch, now that I’ve said that we’ll get some freaky heat wave next week which wouldn’t be too surprising, but I hope the grey clouds stick around because it’s more fun to spend long hours in the kitchen.

One of my favorite things to make this time of year is butternut squash. Sometimes I’ll just roast it and eat it with garlic, salt and pepper; other times I’ll toss it with farro and make a warm, fall salad. Last night was particularly chilly and it made me crave soup, so I decided to prepare a pureed butternut squash one that I’ve made in the past. It’s pretty simple and involves only a few steps.

To go with the soup I made another staple – stuffed mushrooms. I love making these because you can tweak them based on whatever you need to use up in your refrigerator or pantry; this time I had some leftover ground turkey so I made them meat-based, although they’re perfectly good vegetarian style as well.

I’ve included the recipes for both, and if you add some garlic-rubbed multigrain bread and a green salad, it’s a healthy and hearty supper, perfect for fall.

Pureed Butternut Squash Soup

1 small to medium butternut squash
3 cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole
1 TBS olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 ribs of celery, diced
4 to 5 sage leaves, chopped (you can use a teaspoon of dried if you don’t have fresh)
4-5 cups low salt chicken broth or veggie broth
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Peel the butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds. Chop the squash into 1 inch cubes and toss in a bowl with the garlic cloves, olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay onto a sheet pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until tender.

While the squash is roasting, heat a bit of olive oil in a pot and sauté the onions and celery with some salt and pepper until translucent; add the chopped sage and stir. Add the stock and bring to a simmer.

When the squash is ready, add it and the garlic cloves (which will be buttery soft at this point!) to the pot, bring to a simmer, turn off the heat. If you have a hand immersion blender, use it to puree until smooth; alternately carefully ladle the hot soup in batches into a blender and puree until smooth. Reheat and serve.

Turkey Stuffed Mushrooms

6-8 larger crimini or button mushrooms
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ onion, minced
2 sage leaves, chopped (you can use ¼ teaspoon dried if you don’t have fresh)
½ teaspoon thyme
Splash of vermouth or sherry (optional)
¼ pound ground turkey
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375.

Pull the stems from the mushrooms, then use a spoon to scoop out some of the gills. Mince the gills and the stems, set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a small pan and add the garlic, onions, minced mushroom stems/gills, sage, thyme, salt and pepper and sauté until soft; add a splash of vermouth or sherry if using until it evaporates. Set mixture aside to cool a bit.

Spray both sides of the mushroom caps with cooking spray or drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and season both sides with salt and pepper. This is very important since mushrooms tend to be pretty bland and they need the seasoning!

In a small bowl, combine the ground turkey with the cooled mushroom stem mixture, then take a small spoon and scoop it into each mushroom caps, rounding the tops out.

Place the filled mushrooms on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; bake 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your mushrooms.

Note: If you want to make these vegetarian, increase the amount of onion to 1/2 of one, then add 1/4 cup bread crumbs and a tablespoon or so of egg (add more if you need more moisture) to the onion/mushroom stem mixture and fill the caps with this.