Jan 2012

Albacore Tuna + Chickpea Salad w/Shaved Parmigiano


Greetings fellow resolutionists!

If this post is at all confusing, you can find the back story right here. As promised, this just in from my “spa” guest and good friend Liana:

Hello all you eager Fromagette readers.  No doubt you are all anxiously sitting in front of your computers, hitting the refresh button awaiting my guest blog post and wondering – what EXACTLY is going on in the home of the Epicurean Provocateur.  When Rachel suggested a visit to kick-start her health goals for 2012, I of course, jumped at the idea.  Well, there was no actual jumping, as I had serious knee surgery eight weeks ago. The prospect of venturing to my old rainy haunts and spending hours on end in the gym and whipping up healthy meals sounded like an ideal way to relax and rebuild the strength I’ve lost over the past few weeks.

The concept of this “diet” had not exactly crossed my mind, however…

I consider myself one of Rachel’s close friends. I am, after all, allowed to go number two in her renovated guest bathroom – an honor rarely bestowed upon visitors to her home. Thus, I assumed, as her friend, that she would not starve me. Oh how I was mistaken. As you all know from her last blog post, I was suffering approximately 12 hours into this diet.  To say that I’ve never dieted is a little misleading.  It’s not that I don’t care about my weight, or I’m not concerned about what I eat, but rather, I am more concerned about fueling my body for the sports and activities I love.  I eat to live and live to eat, and usually, eat everything in my house that isn’t nailed down.  But what IS in my house is healthy. Mounds of kale and quinoa, flavorful cheeses and nuts, and of course chocolate.

Thus far, this week has been… a learning experience, to say the least! I am astounded by how little food you get for 1200 calories. Here’s what I’ve taken away so far: FLAVOR! Without it, any attempt at calorie restriction is simply miserable. I’m now craving the intricate flavors of the tuna chickpea salad that has been marinating in the fridge for the past few hours. Rachel can knock a skinny recipe out of the park, and while she only allows me to have a measured portion of her creations, I am left craving them. And craving something healthy gives me incentive to work hard throughout the day and reward myself with a guilt-free splurge!

Back soon…  Liana

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1 large clove garlic, finely minced
2+ inches anchovy paste
zest of 1 lemon + 2 T juice
3 T olive oil
2 T sherry vinegar
1 T fresh thyme
1/2 cup pitted, chopped, dry cured black olives [do not sub!]
2- 5 oz cans albacore tuna in water, only one of the cans drained
1- 14 oz can chickpeas [garbanzo beans], rinsed and drained
4 oz arugula, rinsed and spun dry
1  1/2 oz Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved or shredded
kosher salt + black pepper

Serves 4. Calories 305.

In a medium bowl, whisk together: garlic, anchovy paste, olive oil, vinegar,  thyme, zest and juice. Add olives, tuna and chickpeas, lightly toss to coat – cover and refrigerate until ready to serve – preferably overnight to allow flavors to meld. Just before serving, add arugula, tossing gently until just combined. Add salt and pepper to taste – if you use salted tuna you probably will not need additional salt. Plate and garnish with shaved Parmigiano.

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