07-09-03_tuna.jpgTuna steaks have such a unique mouth-feel and flavor. And though they are simple to prepare, I always consider them an indulgence to enjoy. The “Seared Sesame Tuna with Orange Glaze,” from The Diabetes Food and Nutrition Bible, by Hope S. Warshaw and Nancy S. Hughes, was quick and attractive. The key -- as always with tuna steaks -- is DO NOT OVERCOOK THEM.

My flour-sesame mixture included 2 tsp. of salt and 1/2 tsp. of black pepper. The recipe suggests a 4-oz. tuna steak per serving; I made two 8-oz. servings and these were a bit too big. My total tuna cooking time was 5 minutes 30 seconds. Again, it is so important to keep these steaks pink in the center. The glaze tasted wonderful, sweet and tangy. I used less than a single scallion for the garnish. I drizzled some olive oil on my finished steaks, just for the hell of it.

07-09-03_zucch.jpgI also cooked “Zucchini from Puebla,” from 1,001 Recipes for People with Diabetes, by Louis H. Philipson, Sue Spitler, Linda R. Yoakam, and Linda Eugene. I halved the recipe, to make 3 servings. Rather than chicken broth, I used vegetable-bouillon broth. I never considered cooking zucchini in milk before, and this ended up providing an interesting, “smooth” taste. Of course, the farmer’s cheese was a lovely touch. This was a fine, simple, side dish.

RECIPES: simplicity = delicious
tuna must be less than 10 minutes; zucchini is double that
great tuna with sweet and tangy glaze; simple and smooth zucchini

Next time, let’s make a vegetarian meal. I’ll cook “Bean Burgers,” from Magic Menus for People with Diabetes (recipe below), by the American Diabetes Association, along with “Stuffed Tomatoes with Goat Cheese, Olives, and Oregano,” from the September 2000 issue of Cook’s Illustrated (recipe below). See what happens when you come back to my site on Tuesday, December 4.

Bean Burgers
Yield: 8 servings

1 (16-oz.) can kidney, pinto, or black beans
2 cups cooked brown rice or millet
2 Tbsp. ketchup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl
and mash with a fork or potato masher.

Divide mixture into 8 burgers, making patties
about 1/2-inch thick. You may need to wet your
hands to keep the mixture from sticking.

Coat a nonstick skillet with vegetable spray. Cook burgers over
medium heat until browned on both sides, about 7-9 minutes.

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Stuffed Tomatoes with Goat Cheese, Olives, and Oregano
Serves 6 as a side dish

6 firm, ripe tomatoes (about 8 oz. each), 1/8 inch sliced off stem end, cored, and seeded
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup coarse homemade bread crumbs or panko
3 Tbsp. olive oil plus 1 additional tsp.
3 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tsp.)
Ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh oregano leaves
3 Tbsp. pitted and chopped black olives

Sprinkle inside of each tomato with salt and place upside down on several layers of paper toweling; let stand to remove excess moisture, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss bread crumbs with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, goat cheese, garlic, parsley, oregano, olives, and pepper to taste in small bowl; set aside. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees; line bottom of 9-by-13-inch baking dish with foil.

Roll up several sheets of paper towels and pat inside of each tomato dry. Arrange tomatoes in single layer in baking dish. Brush top cut edges of tomatoes with 1 tsp. oil. Mound stuffing into tomatoes (about 1/4 cup per tomato); drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil. Bake until tops are golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.