Open-Faced Mayo-less White Bean and Tuna Melts

I am going to keep today’s post short and sweet because I am exhausted. Yesterday I was at the hospital all day waiting for the birth of my brother and my sister-in-law’s baby.  Yes, ANOTHER nephew! I am so blessed!

Anyway, when I got home late at night and did not feel like cooking and was holding strong against picking up fast food, I was so happy my pantry was fully stocked and ready to help me make one of my super fast go-to’s, open faced mayo-less white mean and tuna melts. Dinner in ten minutes!!!

Remember my post about grocery shopping and meal planning tips? Well two of my staples, canned beans and canned tuna are mashed together to hold this simple mayo free salad together. Plus you will have plenty of left-overs for lunches and dinners down the road.

Open-Faced Mayo-less White Bean and Tuna Sandwiches
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Serves: 2-4

  • ½ Cup Canned Cannellini Beans, mashed/pureed
  • 10 Ounces Canned White Albacore Tuna in Water, drained
  • 1 Tablespoon Whole Grain Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Celery Stalk, diced
  • 1 Small Dill Gherkin, diced
  • 1 Shallot, diced
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon Pepper
  • 4 Slices Whole Wheat Bread
  • 4 Slices Cheddar Cheese

  1. Drain and rinse the cannellini beans. Mash with a fork or puree them in a food processor for a minute or two until smooth.
  2. Combine the white bean puree with the tuna, mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, celery, pickle, salt, and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well.
  3. Turn the broiler on high.
  4. Spread a few spoonful’s of the tuna salad on each slice of bread. Cover with a slice of cheese, place on a baking sheet, and place under the broiler for 2 to 5 minutes until the cheese melts. Serve immediately.

After you ooo and awww at this simple sandwich, head over to my friend Stephie’s site to see her pantry and shopping tips for the at-home baker.

Skinny Joe Sandwiches

I am not the best chef on the weekends. I am really good at getting my cleaning, organizing, and maybe even some light Target shopping completed. But when it comes to cooking on Saturday or Sunday night, I just don’t wanna!

Maybe it was because growing up my parents had the rule that my mom cooked dinner and made lunches for all of us during the week and my Dad was in charge of meals on the weekend. This usually resulted in my dad only going to get food from one of three places in a two mile radius.

So when the weekend rolls around, I look to Mike and see what he is going to make or suggest we get for dinner. Some nights we go out. Other nights it is a big ol’ burrito bowl and some chips and guac. Most often it is a deep dish pizza and salad. I am totally content with this set up.

Until I get that feeling of pure gluttony that comes from eating Dunkin Donuts for breakfast and McDonald’s for lunch (sadly, that is real life sometimes) and decide it is time for something healthy and homemade. This only happens about 15% of the time on the weekends.

What can I say? I have a lot of errands and weekday TV to catch up on during the day.

One of my favorite things to make is sloppy Joes. Except, since I make them with ground turkey and a lot of veggies, I like to think of them as skinny, not sloppy. Serve this up with a side salad or some sweet potato tots. There will even be leftovers for lunches during the week!

See, thirty minutes of work in the kitchen and I feel like a healthy human being again!

Skinny Joe Sandwiches
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6 – 8

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ Pounds Ground Turkey Breast
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Pepper
  • ½ Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • ¼ Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • ¼ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 Celery Stalk, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ¼ Onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, grated
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Cups Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon Reduced-Sugar Ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 8 Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

  1. In a large heavy-bottomed skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat for about a minute. Add turkey, break apart using a wooden spoon, and cook until browned, about ten minutes.
  2. Add the roughly chopped carrot, celery, and onion to a food processor. Process on low until all the vegetables are finely minced.
  3. Season the turkey with the salt, pepper, cumin, crushed red pepper flakes, and cayenne. Mix well. Add in the minced carrot, celery, and onion. Cook for five minutes while stirring.
  4. Stir in the garlic, vinegar, and Worcestershire. Cook for another five minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes, ketchup, and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Turn heat to medium/high and bring to a simmer. Simmer mixture for ten to fifteen minutes until it starts to thicken to your liking.
  6. Cool slightly before serving a few spoonful’s on hamburger buns.

Also, be sure to enter my favorite things giveaway if you haven’t already!

Grilled Orange Chicken Sliders

I miss the days of summer vacation. Right now, all the kids on my block are getting out of school. I hear them playing in their yards until it gets dark outside. Then I hear the middle school kids causing a ruckus on their walk to 7-Eleven. (One of the downsides of living down the street from the 7-Eleven).  Even though I remember the joy of having the freedom to walk a few blocks alone with friends as a kid, I still peek out my front windows and shake my fist at these hoodlums!
I wish I was in their situation. Two months of not a care in the world. I think America should hop on this train… I know, the upcoming election is all about “putting America back to work,” but imagine the possibilities of a nation on summer vacation!
Ok…let’s think…if everybody was on summer vacation that would mean no stores would be open. It would kind of be like preparing for the apocalypse. So maybe we should do a split summer vacation. Half of America takes summer vacation in June, and the other half takes summer vacation in July.
I know what my day would look like in the midst of summer vacation:
6:45 AM: Get some coffee brewing. Poach an egg. Toast some bread. Smash a little fresh avocado on the toast and top with the poached egg.
7:00 AM: Watch the Today Show while drinking my coffee and eating my breakfast.
9:00 AM: Post-breakfast/Today Show nap.
10:00 AM: Shower and get dressed.
11:00 AM: Creep on various social networks and plan my lunch.
12:00 PM: Lunch
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Head to some kind of water; pool, lake, river, baby pool, or ever a sprinkler. Park my pale butt near it and read with intermittent breaks submerged in the water.
4:00 PM: Nap. Sunshine really takes a lot out of you!
5:00 PM: Shower (optional) and get ready for dinner.
6:00 PM: Grill some amazing dinner. Oh, like these Orange Chicken Sliders! Spend the rest of the night outside on the deck chatting, eating, and drinking, yet still going to bed at a reasonable time because I am not a kid anymore!
What a world, right? Well at least I have one thing out of that scenario…
Ingredients (Makes 4 Sliders)
For the Sauce:
1 Teaspoon Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
¼ Teaspoon Salt
½ Teaspoon Pepper
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil (Optional)
1 Teaspoon Sriracha (Tabasco will also do).
½ Teaspoon Grated Garlic
1 Teaspoon Molasses
1 Tablespoon Orange Zest
1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
For the Sliders:
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, halved width-wise
4 Whole Wheat Slider Buns
Optional toppings: sliced tomato and lettuce or a few spinach leaves
To make the marinade, add the soy sauce, salt, pepper, sesame oil if you are using it, Sriracha, garlic, molasses, orange zest, orange juice, and olive oil to a small mixing bowl. Whisk for about thirty seconds to combine. Set on the side.
Turn your grill on. Set it to medium/low heat. Spray the grill with a non-stick spray or coat the grates with a little bit of olive oil so the chicken doesn’t stick. Let the grill heat up for a few minutes.
Cut the chicken breasts in half width wise. Bring the chicken, sauce, and slider buns out to the grill.
Place the chicken breasts on the middle of the grill. Cover the top with a heavy coat of the sauce. Close the grill lid and grill the side on the grate for three minutes and then flip. Generously coat that side with the sauce. You want to grill the chicken breasts for a total time of six minutes per side, flipping four times. After each flip, make sure you lather on the sauce.

During the last minute or so of cooking, toast the buns until crispy and golden. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.

Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Mini Meatball Subs

I truly feel bad for my husband (sometimes). When I am sick, I turn into a gigantic baby.

I lie like a queen, amongst piles of pillows and blankets on the couch and make demands. I should really have a scepter in my hand to make this image complete.
In my sick and pitiful mind I think I am coming off like Princess Buttercup in the Princess Bride, speaking lovingly to the farm boy Wesley.
In reality I sound like the evil queen.
“Noooooo. I want to watch Real Housewives. It makes me feel better!”
“Can you get me some more water?” (After my husband just sat down from being in the kitchen doing dishes.)
“But I wanted the biiiiig couch.”
The crazy thing is that much like the farm boy Wesley, my poor husband just says “As you wish.” I know. I’m a lucky girl.
I seriously hear myself saying these things and think wow, how does he put up with me. I think that when I am sick, my filter gets turned off. I blame the mucous.
So, since I was acting like a sick, spoiled child the past three days, I decided to make a meal fit for a kid!
Ingredients (makes about 22 balls and 11 mini meatball subs)
½ lb. Ground (80/20) Beef
¼ lb. Ground Pork
1 Egg
¼ Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
¼ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Cloves of Garlic, grated
1 Teaspoon of Oregano
1 Teaspoon of Basil
½ Teaspoon of Crushed Red Pepper
½ Teaspoon of Fennel Seeds, ground
1 Teaspoon of Salt
½ Teaspoon of Pepper
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
2, 8oz. Container ofPillsbury CrescentRolls
Marinara Sauce and Shredded Parmesan, for toppings
First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Next, add the pork and beef to a large bowl. Mix in the egg, breadcrumbs, and all the seasonings using your hands. Be sure not to over work the meat.
Pinch off about a half an inch of meat mixture and roll it into a ball. Continue until all meatballs are formed. Place them on a plate or dish so they can all be transferred quickly to the pan.
Add the olive oil to a large pan and heat over medium/high heat. Add the meatballs in to the pan. Sear them quickly for about a minute to two minutes per side. Cook for about 5-10 minutes total. Remove the balls from the pan and place them on a plate off to the side.
Roll out the crescent dough. Try and pinch all the diagonal seams closed. Cut the dough into 3” x 2” rectangles. Place the pieces of dough into a 6 cavity large muffin tin (or 12 cavity, if that’s what you have).
Place two meatballs in each piece of dough. Slightly turn in each side of the dough to cover the meatballs. Think pigs in a blanket, but better.
Once all the mini meatballs are in the dough and ready to go, place them in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes.
The crescent dough will be flaky and golden and the meatball inside will be perfectly cooked and still tender and juicy.
Top the mini subs with some marinara sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan.
Here you go. A meal for the gigantic, filter-less, baby inside all of us that comes out only (hopefully) when we are sick.

Pea and Goat Cheese Pesto & Prosciutto Panini

Fresh or Frozen Peas have the most beautiful green color. I wouldn’t call it pea green though. More of a Kelly green. It has taken me a long time to come around to the pea.
For years my mom has put peas on everything. When we were little it was adding them in with her hamburger helper or Polish pork chops. Now it is adding them to almost every fancy pasta dish she makes.
As a child the thought of combining the vegetable side dish with the pasta entrée grossed me out. I wasn’t one of those weird “my food can’t be touching on the plate” kind of kids. But watching my mom combine her peas with her pasta just gave me the willies!
However, I did find a way to combine my mom’s love of peas with my love of a normal pasta dish. Make the peas into a pesto.
Because of their beautiful color they give the pesto that great fresh look. Combine the color with the nuttiness from the pistachios and of course the creaminess of the goat cheese and you have a way to make any dish better.
Ingredients for the Pesto
1 Cup Frozen Peas, defrosted
5oz. Goat Cheese
¼ Cup of Pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped
5 Large Leaves of Fresh Basil
The Juice and Zest of a Lemon
½ Teaspoon of Salt
¼ Teaspoon of Pepper
Ingredients for the Panini
2 Mini Whole Wheat Baguettes
10 Slices of Prosciutto
Remove the shell from the pistachios, roughly chop them, and add them to a small pan. Toast the pistachios over low heat for about two minutes.
Add the toasted pistachios, peas, goat cheese, basil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper to a food processor. Puree the mixture until smooth and creamy, about three minutes. Note: If you are using this sauce for a pasta, you might want to add some olive oil to loosen it up and puree another minute or so.

Spread the creamy pesto on the top half of the loaf and place five slices of prosciutto on the bottom half. Assemble the sandwich and place it on a slightly oiled panini press for three minutes.
If you don’t have a panini press you can use a grill pan or griddle. Just use a heavy pan to press down on the sandwich from above.
The pesto is great on a warm sandwich, as a sauce for pasta, or even as a filling for ravioli.
It has the ability to make a lover of “peas on everything” and the “don’t combine my veggies with my entrée” person both very happy!
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