grilled radicchio salad with fennel and soft boiled egg

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radicchio and fennel
endive
radicchio and red onion
grilled radicchio, fennel and soft boiled egg salad

All recipes start with an idea, an ingredient, a spark of inspiration. For this recipe it was radicchio.

I was’t sure it would work and was going to shoot straight for the tried and true romaine as the base, but instead spotted the beautiful small, leafy, red radicchio and decided it would be my ingredient du jour. My thinking was, I’d toss it in the oven along with red onion (because let’s face it, red onion makes everything better) and sliced fennel. To add some crunch and fresh texture, a few endive leaves and toasted walnuts. And for a little creaminess, soft boiled eggs. I was going to even toss in some roasted potatoes in the mix and top the whole thing with a tangy mustardy vinaigrette.

I was all set, ready to get on with the new recipe. So I opened the oven, reached in and pulled out my trusty oversized tray, which lives there. As I grabbed the tray, I suddenly recalled turning off the oven but never pulling out the almonds I’d roasted several minutes prior.

Everything happened quickly. I burned my hand, knocked the entire tray of almonds all over the oven, floor, etc. No problem - cleaned the mess up and was really ready to start.

Oven on for preheat, I was blissfully chopping away at vegetables, eager to see how everything would turn out. That was until I smelled burning. And I mean burning burning, not like I’m burning food. A quick peak in the oven made me realize the almonds I’d previously spilled made their way to the pilot light and now my oven was on fire. Panicked and not wanting to make a heinous mess, I resorted to water and baking soda to put out the flames.

Frustrated beyond belief, my kitchen a disaster, I decided the roasting was off until I could take apart the oven and remove the culprit. But I wasn’t giving up. After all that mess, it was on to plan B - the grill.

So radicchio, fennel and red onion were now getting the grilling treatment. Sure part of me wanted to give up and just repeat the whole thing the next day but I’m stubborn and wasn’t going to let a little fire get in the way of my radicchio salad dreams.

Grilled vs. roasted radicchio

Since the incident, I tried both. Honestly it comes down to personal preference. I really like the way food tastes on the open flame but roasting it also allows it to cook in its own juices so it’s kind of a win win no matter which way you go with the process.

Red onion and fennel also hold up surprisingly well on the grill, so you’re good there too if you decide to grill.

Potatoes or no potatoes?

That is entirely up to you. If you want it paleo skip the potatoes, if you’re whole 30 or vegetarian and want to make it a heartier meal, get those potatoes in there and this salad will become more like a filling dinner than simply a salad. I kept it low carb but it tastes spectacular with potatoes too! And sweet potatoes are a great alternative too!

The perfect egg

Okay the word “perfect” is awfully subjective but in my “egg” book, the sweet spot is between 6-7 minutes depending on the kind of texture I’m after. For this salad, I wanted a little more bite but still a little jammy-ness so 7 minutes exactly it was. The key is to shock the eggs in ice water as soon as they’ve finished cooking.

grilled radicchio, fennel and soft boiled egg salad
grilled radicchio, fennel and soft boiled egg salad
grilled radicchio, fennel and soft boiled egg salad
grilled radicchio, fennel and soft boiled egg salad
grilled radicchio, fennel and soft boiled egg salad

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  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 10-20 minutes

  • makes: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 head radicchio, sliced into 8 pieces

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, sliced

  • 1 endive, leaves peeled

  • 1/2 large red onion, cut into thick pieces

  • 2-4 eggs

  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided

  • 3/4 tsp salt divided

  • 1/2 tsp pepper divided

  • 1/4 tsp lemon

  • 1/2 tsp honey

  • 2 tsp ricewine vinegar

  • 1 tsp quality dijon mustard

  • 2 tbsp toasted walnuts

  • optional: roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes


Equipment:

  • grill if not using oven

  • medium pot

  • small mixing bowl

  • large roasting sheel

  • small roasting sheet

  • parchment paper

Directions:

If using potatoes, pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and chop potatoes. On parchment paper lined sheet, potatoes, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and toss together. Roast potatoes for 25-30 minutes stirring once, and set aside.

Combine radicchio, red onion, and fennel with 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and toss to combine. Either roast for 20 minutes (turning vegetables after 10 minutes) or grill on medium heat for 5-10 minutes per side until radicchio, fennel and red onion have softened.

Add walnuts to small tray and toast for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring pot with 4 cups of water to boil. Add eggs and boil with lid on for 7 minutes. Immediately remove pot from heat and run eggs under cold water for a minute. Peel and cut in half.

In small bowl, combine remaining 2 tbsp olive oil, rice wine vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and mix well.

In large bowl or plate, peel endive leaves and layer on the bottom. Once radicchio, onion and fennel have finished roasting, add them to bowl with potatoes (if using), pour dressing over and top with eggs and walnuts. Serve right away.


If you’re looking for a delicious salad without the lettuce, check out this grilled radicchio and fennel salad with endives, soft boiled eggs, toasted walnuts and a tangy vinaigrette. It’s simple yet delicious! #paleo #whole30 #vegetarian #calmeats #salad #radicchio #fennel #softboiledeggs #endive #whole30salad #paleosalad #saladrecipe #summerrecipe



jalapeño tuna salad

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I think about simplicity often. It’s a sort of longing for something calm and slow, something I don’t always have access to but vehemently long for. Maybe this is why I enjoy making uncomplicated food but food that nonetheless tastes delicious, by taking one or two ingredients and letting them shine.

As I’ve grown older, especially in recent years, I’ve come to appreciate the beauty and intricacy of the food before me. An unparalleled appreciation for a juicy, sweet tomato and the sheer excitement of cutting into a perfectly ripe, vibrantly green avocado is something that’s become essential to cooking. Not just cooking for the sake of it but cooking with love and honor for each ingredient.

When I heard again from Joyce, the owner of St. Jude Tuna in Washington, I was ecstatic. In the last year, I learned a bit about Joyce and her husband, Joe who run the company. I found out about the way they source their tuna, about the love and gratitude that goes into every single can and about the respect for the ocean and environment. That immediately drew me to them.

Their tuna is wild caught, organic and ethically sourced and their philosophy, appreciation and care for their product is palpable. There’s not a lot of fuss aside from exceptionally tasty tuna, Jalapeño and salt that goes into each can.

So when Joyce asked me to create a recipe with this exquisite tuna, I knew it had to be something that takes nothing away from the fish but highlights it all the more. I wanted to use every single bit of the can minus the actual can and so this recipe wastes nothing.

I kept this dish fresh and light by combining ripe baby tomatoes with corn, black beans, avocado, adding chunks of this beautiful Jalapeño tuna and using the liquid to create a simple refreshing dressing with olive oil, cumin, coriander, lemon and oregano. It’s a burst of flavor in every bite and the tuna truly adds an unmatched flavor to this salad.

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jalapeno tuna salad

  • prep time: 10 mintues

  • cook time: 0 minutes

  • makes: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 can St. Jude Organic Jalapeño Tuna (reserve liquid)

  • 10 cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered

  • 1 ripe avocado cut into chunks

  • 1/4 cup organic canned corn, rinsed (skip for paleo and W30)

  • 1/4 cup organic canned black beans, rinsed (skip for paleo and W30)

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/8 tsp ground coriander

  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin

  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 1 rounded tsp green onion

  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro plus extra

Equipment:

  • medium mixing bowl

  • small mixing bowl

Directions:

In small bowl, drain Jalapeño Tuna liquid. Add olive oil, herbs, cumin, coriander, oregano salt, lemon and pepper. Whisk well and set aside.

In medium bowl combine, tomatoes, avocado, corn and beans and gently break up chunks of tuna on top.

Add dressing, cilantro and green onion and toss until all ingredients are incorporated. Serve right away.

When it comes to making salads, sourcing the best possible ingredients is key, this is why I chose this tasty organic Jalapeño Tuna from St. Jude Tuna for this refreshing, vibrant tuna salad. If you’re following a paleo or whole 30 lifestyle, feel free to skip the beans and corn and have this be just as tasty! It’s gluten and dairy free as well. #ad #glutenfree #stjudetuna @joemalley #cameats #jalapenotuna #tuna #glutenfree #dairyfree #salad #paleo #whole30 #seafood #cannedtuna





tomato salad with black beans, corn and avocado

tomatoes
tomato salad with black beans, corn and avocado
tomato salad with black beans, corn and avocado

Today is my daughter's birthday - her second to be exact. My son's is in 2 days. A mix of crippling fear and excitement tends to pulse through me around birthdays. It's a celebration but also a reminder of the inevitable impermanence of life. It may be a rather pessimistic way of looking at things but it tends to simultaneously be a reminder of how fleeting life is and how appreciating the small things can go a long way.

Yesterday we celebrated. Our children are born only 2 days apart and while still young, we take full advantage of the combined birthday party. We kept it small - family only. Everyone travelled from their respective locations and we congregated on a steamy afternoon for food, chats and a good amount of sweating. 

My mom, who inevitably shows up loaded with food of various kinds, arrived with a pound of mixed baby tomatoes. Their lovely colors made them look a bit like little jewels and on the spot I decided they had to make their way into the day's menu. And with just hours left before the party, I had to quickly come up with something everyone would enjoy. It had to be easy to throw together yet filling enough to act as a companion to burgers and pulled pork. 

A quick look in the pantry and I had my recipe. I wanted a tomato salad but with a bit of a twist. A can of black beans, a can of corn along with red onion, a cumin honey lime vinaigrette, plenty of cilantro and some creamy avocado would do. 

To my surprise it was one of those recipes that needed little retesting. Everything just worked and after I decided to make another batch and eat if for every meal today, it was time for it to make its way onto the blog. 

About the beans

Sometimes I take shortcuts and used canned but it’s not ideal for gut health so if you want to make this salad easier on digestion, soak and cook black beans yourself and use nearly 2 cups to get the equivalent.

About the corn

If you don’t want to used canned corn, feel free to use an ear of corn and just remove the kernels and cook them a bit longer until soft and cooked through.

No matter which way you decide to go, I hope you love this salad as much as I did!

tomato salad with black beans, corn and avocado
tomatoes
tomato salad with black beans, corn and avocado

tomato salad with black beans, corn and avocado

  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • cooking time: 10 minutes

  • yields: 8-10 servings

Ingredients: 

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided

  • 1 can organic sweet corn, drained and rinsed

  • 1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped red onion

  • 1 lb baby tomatoes of your choice cut in half or quarters

  • juice of one lime

  • 1/2 tsp honey

  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

  • 1 avocado cut into chunks

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Equipment

  • cast iron frying pan or regular

  • large bowl

Directions

Drain and rinse corn very well. Shake off excess water. 

In large bowl, add 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, honey, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper and whisk well. Set aside. 

Preheat frying pan and add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add corn and cook stirring regularly until all the liquid is drained and the corn starts to get some color - about 10 minutes. 

Add finely chopped red onion and cook for 1 minute. Remove corn and onion from pan and add to bowl. Add beans, tomatoes, cilantro and combine everything well until the salad is coated with dressing. You can refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Right before serving, add avocado and top with additional cilantro if you wish. 

* Note, don't add the avocado right away as it will oxidize and turn brown. 


A delicious tomato salad with black beans, corn and avocado in a refreshing lime vinaigrette. It’s the perfect companion to any meal or perfectly good on its own! #summersalad #tomatosalad #sala #calmeats #avocado #beans #corn #paleosalad #whole30salad #veganfood #veganrecipe #avocadosalad

smoked spicy tuna sushi bowl

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Sushi in my book is edible art. While I think all cooking is an art form in itself, there's something remarkable about sushi. The way it is prepared, served and meant to be enjoyed slowly is ceremonious. It's the kind of food that instantly puts me in a good mood. While the term sushi is ambiguous and somewhat loosely used, for me it encompasses a certain flavor and taste and I take liberties with it.

When the lovely owner of St. Jude Tuna reached out to me about working together again, I was delighted. I don’t believe in product pushing and I’m not interested in just throwing anything at my readers and hoping it sticks. But truthfully when I believe in something, I get pretty excited about it and want to shout it from the roof top or my blog page in this case. 

This time the request was for me to create something with their smoked tuna. Wait a minute, what? I’ve had smoked salmon before but honestly never got my hands on canned smoked tuna so this was a new venture. I could sit here and tell you that just simply eating it out of the can would be pretty damn delicious but I wanted to give you something a little more creative. 

Recipe testing was adventurous and messy and while I had a vision of what I wanted to make, I had to fine tune it along the way. Before the package even arrived, I was set on some form of spicy tuna sushi roll. The combination of creamy salty, spicy and smokey flavors sounded pretty great. 

The caveat with this recipe was that it had to be paleo and Whole 30, which of course works for me. But while paleo is sometimes flexible with rice, Whole 30 is not and grains are strictly off the table. And traditional sushi is well, made with rice. But fear not as in comes cauliflower rice to the rescue. Also, if you're not whole 30, feel free to use regular sriracha but if you're strict, you can find Wildbrine sugar free sriracha. 

I played around with making a sushi roll with the spicy tuna but frankly I wanted more. My vision was a pile of vegetables and lots of flavor so I decided to scrap the roll and just go with the bowl. This would give me the liberty to create exactly what I envisioned. A tuna sushi bowl makes for a perfect lunch or dinner. 

sushi bowl with vegetables 
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smoked spicy tuna sushi bowl 

  • prep time: 15 minutes 
  • cooking time: none
  • yields: 2 servings

Ingredients

For rice

  • 1 cup cooked cauliflower rice
  • 1/8 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp coconut aminos
  • 1/4 tsp toasted sesame seeds

For smoked spicy tuna: 

For vegetables 

  • 1/2 sliced avocado
  • 1/4 peeled cucumber cut into slivers
  • 1/2 carrot cut into slivers
  • 3-4 sliced radishes
  • 1/4 red bell pepper sliced
  • optional: pickled ginger
  • optional: sprouts of your choice 
  • optional: toasted sesame seeds
  • optional: scallions for garnish

For speedy spicy mayo: 

  • 4.5 tsp mayo
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 1/2 tsp coconut aminos

Equipment

  • small mixing bowl 
  • medium mixing bowl

Directions

For rice: If you're not whole 30 or paleo, feel free to use regular rice. But otherwise, combine all ingredients under rice and set aside.

For spicy mayo: Combine all ingredients under spicy mayo in a small bowl and set aside. 

For smoked spicy tuna: In medium mixing bowl break up the tuna with a fork until flaky. Add the rest of ingredients and mix well. 

To assemble: Layer the rice on the bottom of the serving bowl. Add tuna and vegetables in any fashion you wish and drizzle with spicy mayo and top with toasted sesame seeds. 

arugula and strawberry salad with cayenne lemon vinaigrette

arugula and strawberry salad with cayenne lemon vinigrette
arugula and strawberry salad with cayenne lemon vinigrette
arugula and strawberry salad with cayenne lemon vinigrette

Do I really open a blog post by talking about the weather? How cliche. But I think we can all agree that weather affects mood. It certainly affects mine. This past week we've had some blazing hot days - quite unusual for May. I have no room to complain though, as winter was long here and lingered on. It felt good to be outside, laying in the grass, searching for four leaf clovers and almost expecting the chorus cicadas to begin their song. But it's too soon.

When it's impossibly hot and out of character for the time of year, I try to match my food to the weather. Simmering meatballs for 3 hours on a 94 degree day, not so good. A nice refreshing salad with lots of greens and fruit - a very good idea. I used whatever fruit I had on hand, a nice handful of arugula and made a very simple dressing to go along with it. 

More than a salad

Once upon a time, a salad for me was defined by iceberg lettuce, ranch dressing and an almost sickening amount of croutons. Sounds alright though and I really did enjoy it. It was more like bread and sour cream and some greens, but that's beside the point. As the years passed, I opened up to the idea of using ingredients that one wouldn't necessarily expect to show up in a salad, such as strawberries.

Strawberries in salad?

With strawberry season quickly approaching, I decided to create a salad that uses plenty of them. After all, strawberries are most luscious, juicy and flavorful when in season. In addition to strawberries this salad is loaded with blueberries, mango and avocado. A sprinkle of crunchy walnuts and a drizzle of cayenne lemon vinaigrette, over peppery arugula, is a warm day's companion. Don't get me wrong, you could absolutely eat this in the dead of winter, but there's something about matching a sticky hot day to a cooling salad. It's also a breeze to throw together, it's vegan, paleo and if you skip the honey, whole 30 as well. 

Mix and match

You can also use whatever baby lettuces you like best or even spinach. And if strawberries are not your thing, you can use another berry or skip them all together and mix it up however you see fit.

arugula and strawberry salad with cayenne lemon vinigrette
arugula and strawberry salad with cayenne lemon vinigrette
arugula and strawberry salad with cayenne lemon vinigrette

arugula and strawberry salad with cayenne lemon vinaigrette 

  • Prep time: 5 minutes

  • Cooking time: none

  • Serves 2

Ingredients: 

Salad:

  • 2 cups arugula, baby spinach or greens of your choice

  • 1/4 cup blueberries

  • 2 tbsp cubed mango

  • 3-4 strawberries, sliced

  • 1/2 avocado

  • toasted walnuts

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • pinch salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 tsp honey (skip for whole 30)

  • 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper

  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Equipment

  • tongs

  • small mixing bowl

  • large bowl

Directions:

In a small mixing bowl, whisk all ingredients for dressing and set aside.

Next, assemble all ingredients under salad on plate and sprinkle with walnuts and drizzle with dressing.


Here's a simple refreshing arugula and strawberry salad with blueberries, mango and avocado. It's quick to make and perfect for a warm spring or summer day. It's vegan, paleo and has a whole 30 option. #vegansalad, #paleosalad, #whole30salad, #veganlunch, #calmeats, #glutenfree, #dairyfree #paleo #simplesalad #easysalad #summersalad #freshsalad