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Easy Weeknight

Easy Tuna Mango Avocado Salad

Easy Tuna Mango Avocado Salad

This is probably one of my favorite, easiest go-to summertime salad recipes – how’s that for a little description!  And I was inspired to make this after having had a similar variation at the Commodore restaurant in Key West this March.  There’s just something about these flavors that evokes thoughts of summertime by the ocean, warm breeze in the air, palm trees swaying lazily…and…my stomach’s growling…

What can I make that’s quick, easy and gets me back outside lickety split?  A salad definitely because it’s so warm out, hmm ok, but I need a little more to it than that!  Enter tuna, mango, avocado.  The tuna you can buy fresh or frozen to always have on hand (I can find it in individual frozen packs at my favorite grocery, Heinen’s).  Next, select a ripe mango and avocado and a nice size bunch of romaine lettuce.  You’ll also need some good quality balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Easy Tuna Mango Avocado Salad

Sprinkle the thawed tuna on both sides with Montreal seasoning and rub or pat it in to the flesh.  Montreal what, you say?  If you have not had Montreal seasoning you should get some; it will be in your grocer’s spice aisle.  It is the best, all around grilling seasoning that combines just the right amount of flavor with kick that spices up any old meat or vegetable.  I started using it on beef and found it tasted just as delicious on fish, chicken, and vegetables.  Maybe it’s my Canadian heritage kicking in?  It really is from Montreal in Quebec, Canada and was originally used as a pickling spice on smoked meats.  You just need it on your tuna!  Grill the tuna steaks to your level of done (I like mine medium well) and let rest.

Cut up the avocado and mango.  If you’ve never cut these up before they can be a little tricky. I like to slice avocado in half lengthwise with a large knife (around the stone), pull out the stone (give it a good whack with your knife and lift out), and then scoop out the flesh with a spoon.  A mango is a little trickier as the stone inside is a flat large one.  You really have to turn the mango on its side and cut a slice off each side.For both, I then cut into smaller chunks for the salad.  Some day I’ll take a picture of that!  

Chop the romaine and layer it on the plate.  Add the chopped avocado, mango, and grape tomatoes.  Slice the tuna steak and layer it on top of the salad.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle fresh ground pepper.  Bon appetit!
Easy Tuna Mango Avocado Salad
Ingredients (for 2 salads):

Montreal seasoning
2 tuna steaks – either frozen or fresh
1 avocado
1 mango
10 grape tomatoes
bunch romaine lettuce
good quality balsamic vinegar and olive oil
fresh pepper

Sausage Stuffed Cubanelle Peppers

Sausage Stuffed Cubanelle Pepper

These are good, I mean really good.  Oh, and did I mention easy?!  Beyond easy.  Ooh ooh, and versatile!  Ok, I’ll stop now.  Just take a look at this deliciousness and try it for yourself.

Pick up some delicious peppers at the market.  I chose sweet cubanelle peppers this time.  But I have also used fresh banana peppers (sometimes I even grow them myself) or poblano peppers (also sweeter and mild with more of a Spanish flavor).  But you could go spicy and substitute a hot cubanelle or banana pepper, too.  It all depends on the heat you can handle.

Next you need sausage.  There is something about Italian sausage that just can’t compare to straight up ground beef.  It may be the pork, it may be the spices, it’s just…necessary.  Again, I choose sweet and mild but if you wanted a contrast, you could do mild peppers and spicy sausage or spicy peppers and mild sausage.  It is your game!  Choose wisely.  🙂

Sausage Stuffed Cubanelle Pepper - Before

And now you need some sauce and cheese.  That’s it!  You could make your own sauce or just keep it simple and use a store-bought jar.  My favorite is Mid’s meatless sauce.  I don’t know when I discovered Mid’s but I swear it was at Marc’s (a local very cheap grocery store), and I was hooked.  I really can’t use Ragu or Prego or anything else at this point.  Marc’s sells it as does my favorite grocery store, Heinen’s.  And they are a local company from Navarre, Ohio.

As far as cheese, really anything goes.  To keep it on the Italian side, I normally use mozzarella, but we are championing versatility, right?  How about poblano peppers, with Mexican 3-blend cheese shreds, and andouille sausage, WHOA!  That just came to me, right here, right now and I’m totally trying that next time.

Sausage Stuffed Cubanelle Pepper - After

But that’s it, folks.  Ratios are flexible and not a science – this is cooking, not baking after all, so have fun with it.  I usually buy 4 larger peppers, 1 lb sausage, 1 cup sauce, and 1 cup cheese and that’s a main meal for me and the hubby or an appetizer to share with 4 people.  Here’s the 411…

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 large sweet cubanelle peppers
  • 1 lb sweet and mild Italian sausage, ground
  • 1 cup spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese

STEPS:

  1.   Preheat oven to 350F.
  2.   Cut a horizontal slice right below the tops of the peppers but not all the way through.  Cut a vertical slice the length of the peppers but not all the way through.  Open and remove seeds and membranes.
  3.   Mix the sausage, half the cheese, and half the sauce.
  4.   Place peppers in a 13×9 pan.
  5.   Stuff the peppers (just use your hands, baby!), each with a quarter of the sausage mixture.
  6.   Pour the remaining sauce over the peppers.
  7.   Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 50 minutes.
  8.   Remove foil, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and bake another 10 minutes or until golden brown.

EAT!  MANGIA!  Enjoy.  🙂