Easy Avocado Tuna Salad

Easy Avocado Tuna Salad RecipeLet me introduce you to your new favorite healthy snack: Easy Avocado Tuna Salad. My quest for an easy and healthy snack lead me to The Healthy Maven’s recipe for tuna salad. I made a few tweaks, and immediately became hooked.

Although I’d love to nosh on cheese and crackers all afternoon long—and believe me I could with the entire cheese drawer in our refridgerator stuffed full of decandent cheese—my waistline and my dietitian (and of course by dietitian I mean the internet), confirm that this is not the snack of champions. And that is how I arrived at a delicious and healthy alternative to the classic tuna salad. Hardcore health nuts and weight lifters will eat tuna straight from the can. I’m not that hardcore. Not even close. But I don’t eat mayo. See my dilemma? Enter avocado, stage right. The tangy flavor of Dijon mustard mixed with refreshing apple and crunchy celery, plus a dash of spice and citrus, and voilà! A simple, healthy and flavorful snack was born.

This is culinary greatness in my book. Easy, few and fresh ingredients, healthy, and cheap. Yep, culinary greatness by all accounts. Get ready to toss out that unhealthy version for this Easy Avocado Tuna Salad.

Easy Avocado Tuna Salad
Here’s what you’ll need:

1 large ripe avocado
2 cans of chunk light tuna in water, drained
1/2 cup chopped scallions (green parts only)
2/3 cup chopped celery
1/2 green apple, chopped
1 heaping tsp. dried dill weed
1 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
Juice of one lime
Salt and pepper to taste

Makes 4-6 servings.

  1. Peel and pit the avocado and place in a medium bowl, then mash it up with the back of a fork.
  2. Add in tuna, scallions, celery and apple. Mix until just combined.
  3. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
  4. Serve as a healthy snack on top of crackers or cucumber, or enjoy spread between two slices of bread for the perfect sandwich any time of day.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 💜

Printable recipe

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Monday Motivation: Find your balance

Balance is not something you find. It's something you create. Fitness and health is a balancing act. Balance allows us to remain successful in our efforts towards our goals. To remain sane and happy in our pursuit. Tipping the scale too much to the fitness side can be just as unsatisfying as tipping it too far the other way. But balance also requires patience and kindness. Trying too hard and too fast to get back into our fitness routine, to change overnight, will cause burnout. You have to have patience. Drowning yourself in guilt for indulging over the weekend will push you off course. You have to be kind to yourself.

Strive each day for balance.

Everyone’s balancing act is different and no one can tell you what ratio of fitness, life, and indulgence is right for you. You have to know yourself, know what makes you happy, to ultimately find YOUR balance. Once you find it you’ll be well on your way to reaching your goals and living a healthy, happy life! 💜

Eggs in Purgatory

eggs in purgatorySimple, healthy, and delicious—the three criteria I live by for creating or following a recipe. Eggs in purgatory hit all of those marks. Plus, this dish whips up in no time!

The main ingredient is cauliflower, but don’t let that deter you from making this dish if you don’t usually like it. In fact, you probably won’t even realize that you’re eating cauliflower. That’s because its beautifully masked by the spicy crushed tomatoes and other ingredients.

I tried to find the origin of eggs in purgatory, or shakshuka as its called in North Africa and the Middle East, but apparently several cultures have laid claim to its creation. Although its origins may be a bit murky, whoever invented it sure did us all a favor! 😉

This is a perfect dish to make on a Saturday or Sunday morning, for brunch or even dinner—heck, anytime of day is perfect for making and devouring this dish! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 💜

Eggs in Purgatory
Here’s what you’ll need:

1 small (or ½ of a medium) head of cauliflower, cut into ½-inch pieces
fine-grain sea salt
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with peppers, onions, and garlic—salsa style
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 eggs
marjoram leaves for garnish
(optional—for spice lovers) red pepper flakes

Makes one large skillet full; about 2-4 servings.

  1. In a large pot, boil the cauliflower in salted water (a dash of sea salt will do) for one minute. Cauliflower should be barely tender.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the flour. Drain cauliflower, shaking off any excess water, and toss with the flour in your medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet (a cast iron skillet is ideal, but not necessary), heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Take the floured cauliflower, tapping off extra flour, and place into the skillet being careful not to burn yourself. Arrange in a single layer and cook until golden, 4-5 minutes, flipping from time to time to evenly cook and make golden.
  4. Stir in tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer. (Spice lovers: sprinkle red pepper flakes all over cauliflower and sauce mixture. Keep in mind a little goes a long way!)
  5. Using a spoon, make small pockets for the eggs near the outer edges of the skillet. Break eggs into the pockets you just made and place a cover over skillet. Cook until the eggs are set (4-5 minutes). Serve immediately, garnishing with the marjoram.

Enjoy!

Printable recipe

This dish was inspired by Heidi Swanson’s recipe in her book, Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel.

Follow me on Twitter: @LibbeyC and Instagram: @ironwomandiaries

Mango, Avocado, & Rice Spring Rolls

Mango, avocado, and shrimp spring rollsWhat’s better than delicious? Because whatever that is, describes just how amazing these spring rolls are. Seriously, I could have eaten EVERY SINGLE ONE! I think you’ll find that these are super easy to make, full of good-for-you fresh ingredients, and an easy recipe to swap or omit the ingredients you don’t like, don’t have, or can’t find.

There are three main keys to follow when making these spring rolls:

  1. Slice your ingredients thin (see image below).
  2. Don’t over-stuff. Doing so will likely cause your rice wrapper to tear, or make it rather difficult to eat.
  3. Roll tightly. Practice makes perfect and it may take you a couple of tries to really get the hang of rolling these. Good thing is, no one is judging you by how they look, just how delicious they taste!
ingredients for mango, avocado, rice spring rolls

Thinly sliced ingredients for spring rolls.

Although I’m calling these ‘mango, avocado, & spring rice rolls,’ don’t be fooled. There are a few other essential ingredients to round out this recipe into a super healthy and flavorful dish.

peanut sauce and rice wrappers

I love this peanut sauce and these spring roll wrappers were perfect, too!

Mango, Avocado, & Rice Spring Rolls
Here’s what you’ll need:

10 spring roll wrappers (approx. 9-in. rounds)
1 cup, packed, baby spinach
1 cup purple flowering kale, stems removed (You may find this particular ingredient hard to find. No worries, though, simply omit it from this recipe.)
½ yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
½ orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 mango, peeled and thinly sliced (Check out these instructions if you are unsure how best to cut a mango. Unlike these instructions, however, keep your slices thin and long, not thick and cubed.)
1 avocado, pit removed, peeled, and thinly sliced (Check out these instructions if you are unsure how best to cut an avocado.)
1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
¾ cup cooked jasmine rice
Spicy peanut dipping sauce: Tsang® Bangkok Peanut Sauce (or another peanut sauce of your choice)

Makes 10 spring rolls

  1. Fill a wide-mouth bowl (or improvise and use a sauté pan!) with warm water. Take one rice paper wrapper and dip it into the water. Let it soak 10-15 seconds or until the rice paper becomes soft and pliable. Remove from water, letting the excess water drip into the bowl, and place on a clean surface or wet tea towel.
  2. Fill the bottom third of the rice paper wrapper with two spinach leaves and flowering kale leaves, one yellow and one orange pepper strip, 1-2 strips of mango and avocado, and two teaspoon sized spoonfuls of jasmine rice. Finish by generously sprinkling cilantro on top of other ingredients.
  3. Fold the bottom of the rice wrapper, up. Then fold in both sides and roll paper tightly, upwards, to form a neat roll shape. Set roll aside.
  4. Repeat process with each rice paper wrapper until you have 10 neatly rolled spring rolls.
  5. Serve immediately alongside spicy peanut dipping sauce.

Another excellent add-in is sautéed shrimp. Lightly sauté 6-7 medium-sized shrimp in olive oil over medium heat. Allow for shrimp to cool slightly before handling.

Có một bữa ăn ngon! (“Have a nice meal” translated in Vietnamese) 💜

Printable recipe

Joe rolling together the mango, avocado, and rice spring rolls

Joe, master spring roll roller.

This recipe is my own, if you repurpose or share this recipe please link to this page and give IronwomanDiaries credit. Thanks!
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Reflections & intentions

ditch the resolutions_ironwomandiariesHappy New Year! 🍾🎊🎉 I can’t believe it’s 2016!

It’s time to reflect and learn from all that we did—and did not—accomplish this past year. I love what the quote in the image above teaches us: “You are NOT a problem. Create an intention, a positive call to shift, a spark of magic + manifestation rooted in SELF-LOVE and backed with ACTION.”

Reflect

2015 was the year of exploration and biking. Any chance we could hop a plane to someplace new, we did it. And any chance I could get on my bike and ride, I did it.

In January we saw spectacularly gorgeous beaches on St. Thomas, USVI. St. John, USVIIn February we explored Ecuador from sea to mountain villages to big cities. Markets that smelled of fish and raw meat with blood stains on the floor from the various animals having being butchered on spot. We saw markets that were spotless and smelled fresh. Every market having veggies and fruits of all variety piled higher than our heads. Raw meat stacked sky high as well. We saw guinea pig on a stick and cool whip “ice cream” cones. Lush green hills with dense fog and hot baths with healing powers. We climbed a small mountain and rappelled down waterfalls. So much was explored and experienced and countless memories were made.meat market

Veggies and fruits_market in Ecuador

Over July 4th weekend we ventured to Aruba for a quick trip over the holiday. We drank delicious green juice every morning from a tiny shack on the boardwalk and ate a romantic dinner on the beach as the sun set before us. Eduardo's Beach Shack

For Thanksgiving we stole ourselves away to St. Croix, USVI. We paddle boarded, snorkeled, and won a hermit crab race. We saw bright colored flowers and butterflies that engulfed not only our car but the ditches and road before us like a heavy snowstorm.Legs on the beach in St. CroixMiles and miles were put on my Giant bicycle as I biked to and from my part-time job and on 50-mile joy rides after my “real” job. I raced in my first time-trial, only to not finish. I started a training journal in June that I have continued to write in regularly. This keeps me motivated, let’s out some creative juices, and shows me my progress along the way. training journal

We juiced like crazy. Ate too much peanut butter ice cream. Laughed and cried. Spent time with family and friends. Went for walks. Started running almost daily. Initiated Sunday night pizza night. And fell in love with Joe all over again.  Joe & Coco 2015I drank way too many chai lattes, caramel macchiatos, and flat whites. I didn’t say ‘I love you’ enough. I didn’t see family enough. Work came first too often. I judged myself. I called myself names. I didn’t feel worthy to chase my dreams. I prayed too little. And I too often compared myself to others. But I showed up every day.

Intentions

All to often my New Year resolutions and goals focus largely on fitness and health. I rarely think bigger, into other aspects of my life. Perhaps you are guilty of this too. This year I am not setting resolutions, I am setting intentions of positivity and growth. I want to:

  • Be more “in the moment.”
  • Volunteer. (This is a big one for me. I really want to help, on a regular basis, those that are in need.)
  • Meditate.
  • Enjoy the outdoors more.
  • Remember how important small romantic gestures are.
  • Continue to run 5-6 times a week.
  • Tell those I love ‘I love you’ more.
  • Do small acts of kindness that brighten someone’s day.
  • Be more giving.
  • Realize the power within me and be more forgiving of myself.
  • Wake up each day with a grateful heart.

May the gift of love, happiness, peace, and warmth be yours as you make a new start. And keep in mind the past so as to gain from it pearls of wisdom as you make a fresh new beginning this New Year.

Happy New Year!

sunset in Wisconsin