Curry & Olive Black Bean Tuna Burgers

Curry & Olive Black Bean Tuna Burgers | Domesticated Academic

You’ll love this because it’s protein, fiber, and convenience wrapped up and waiting for you when you’re hungry or dashing out the door with no lunch packed. I can’t get enough of the black bean tuna burger. I’m thinking about other ways to keep making it ‘better’ and tastier! I just get so excited about the fact that these are full of good protein and fiber and then realize that they freeze really well and I can have a hot lunch in TWO minutes flat!

Curry & Olive Black Bean Tuna Burgers | Domesticated Academic

I’ve been making a batch of these religiously for a few months now and they may be one of my new favorite ‘go to’ lunch stand by’s. I’m so pleased with how these freeze and reheat that I look for ways to make these better. This recipe has a big old spoonful of spicy curry and salty olives with some whole oats to help bind them up.

You’ll need:

10 min. + cook time

makes three good sized patties or four smaller patties

  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup whole oats
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of curry paste of choice
  • 1/4 cup chopped olives
  • salt/pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Use a potato masher or equivalent, to beat the mixture and break up the beans.
  3. You could use a food processor but I don’t have one of those.
  4. The mix should be coarse still but not totally pulverized into baby food.
  5. Pre-heat saute pan with some olive oil or spray.
  6. Form three patties (for burger sized patties) and cook for about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown and heated through.
  7. Serve hot!
  8. You can also bake these: 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

I make them and freeze them individually for quick lunches.

After cooking them, wrap individually in waxed paper (parchment is fine) and free in a freezer bag.

To heat, remove from paper, put on a plate and microwave for 1-2 minutes for a fast meal.
Black Bean Tuna Burger | Domesticated Academic

Black Bean Tuna Burgers

Greek Turkey Meatloaf | Domesticated Academic

Greek Turkey Meatloaf

Low Carb Stuffed Peppers | Domesticated Academic

Low Carb Stuffed Peppers


Marinated Maple Soy Salmon

Maple Soy Salmon | Domesticated Academic

You’ll love this because it’s super flavorful, healthy, and requires almost no fuss to put together. I steam some veggies during the last few minutes it cooks and dinner is served! Can’t beat that! You don’t have to marinate the fish if you don’t have time, but I think you’ll be really pleased if you take the time to do it.

Maple Soy Salmon | Domesticated Academic

I love this dish and I can’t take all of the credit for it. My friend from home, Erin, first introduced me to this super easy fish dish years ago and I’ve been making it ever since. I like to marinate the salmon for about 20 minutes, skin side up and soak the meat before baking. I flip it back over (skin side down) and bake it. You can get salmon with no skin, but it’s just as easy to buy the salmon with the skin on.

You’ll need:

20 min. + 20 min. bake time

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (I used low sodium)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  1. Mix ingredients in bottom of baking dish with a fork or small whisk.
  2. Marinate salmon, skin side up for about 20 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 350
  4. Flip salmon over (skin side down), cover with foil.
  5. Bake for 20 min. or until salmon is cooked through.

Mussels Marinara | Domesticated Academic

Mussels Marinara

Shrimp Po'Boys | Domesticated Academic

Shrimp Po’Boys

Spicy lemon shrimp & cheesy grits

Spring might be here, but there’s still some rainy and gloomy days to contend with.  Those cool spring days make you want something warm and comforting to eat.  Shrimp and grits are new to me as a pairing.  Again, moving south opened up my food options.  I had the best shrimp and grits at a bar/restaurant in Charlotte a few years ago.  I was down for a conference and the group liked them so much, we proceeded to return to this place for several nights to eat the shrimp and grits.

Given the choice between homemade mac & cheese or shrimp & grits, PIC chose the shrimp. Several nights a week we take turns cooking and then eating the leftovers as lunches and quick suppers.  I’m grateful that he likes to cook as much, if not more, than I do and I’ve grown to appreciate his skills in the kitchen.  He’s much more precise than I am–a true man for measuring and following a very specific recipe.

This recipe is quite easy and if you use already cooked, deveined shrimp, it will be even faster. The shrimp would also be nice on top of a salad or tossed with pasta.  Making a little extra sauce could be as quick as adding some stock, lemon juice, and/or white wine.

You’ll need: for the GRITS

  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
For the SHRIMP
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used sirachi)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat; stir in grits. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in salt, pepper, butter, and cheese. Set aside, and keep warm.
  2. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon from pan.
  3. Cook shrimp in same pan over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until almost pink, stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice, parsley, onions, garlic, and cook 3 minutes. Stir in bacon. Add hot sauce last.
  4. Spoon grits onto individual plates or into shallow bowls; top with shrimp mixture. Serve immediately.

Mussels marina

Weekly seafood=indulgence….at $5 lb. for fresh mussels, it’s not a bad deal, especially when the rest of the ingredients for the meal are really cheap–less than $5 to get dinner on the table cheap. While I realize it’s still way over some folks’ food budget, I will take aim at a special occasion dinner that anyone can make.

**Advance apologies for the photos.  It was dark when I got home to make supper….and this meal doesn’t present the next day when the sun is out at all.  Why?  There was no leftovers 🙂

Mussels marina can be served with pasta or just get a big loaf (or make) of bread and serve it hot and dip your heart out.  Either way, you can’t lose.

You’ll need:

  • 1 lb. mussels in their shells
  • 2 16 oz. cans of diced italian style tomatoes or one 32 ounce can
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 1 t. fresh garlic
  • 1/2 c. white wine or chicken stock
  • italian seasoning
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
  • olive oil
  1. Using a wide and deep saute pan, brown onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion gets translucent.
  2. Add wine and cook off some of the liquid, about 5 min.
  3. Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
  4. Season with italian seasoning and salt/pepper to taste.
  5. While simmering, add mussels to marina.  Put a lid on it and simmer for 10 min.
  6. Mussels that don’t open need to be removed and thrown away!
  7. Serve with crusty bread or pasta or by themselves…YUM!

Lemon butter trout

Lemon and butter are the perfect companion to fresh trout…light, flaky, mild, with some fresh citrus at the end…

Before I die and go to lemon/butter heaven, here we go…

You’ll need:

Serves 2

10 min. (really)

  • 1 lb. fresh trout fillets, skin on
  • old bay seasoning
  • salt/pepper
  • olive oil
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1/2 lemon

Prep fillets by sprinkling bay seasoning and salt/pepper on inside of fillets. Place the fillets skin side down in a hot saute pan with some olive oil in the bottom.  Fillets will cook quickly, in about five minutes.

As fillets get close to being done, you can cover them to trap some of the steam to help any areas that aren’t quite done.  Turn the heat off to the pan, add butter and squeeze lemon over pan.

Remove fillets from pan and serve immediately.  Fillets will lift off the skin easily for serving.  For a light meal, serve with some super salad.  Always a good choice!


Crab cakes

We got lucky w/ some good crab this week and had a lot of it leftover.  Crab cakes for Sunday dinner!  I love crab cakes, not just because they’re really good, but they can be on your plate, piping hot, in less than about 20 minutes, now that’s my kind of meal!  Paired with the sweet potato bake, the meal was minimal effort.

PIC helped by prepping my veggies–he’s an excellent sous chef.  He also said that the veggies gave the cakes a nice sweetness and a bit of crunch.

You’ll need:

Serves 3 people (2 cakes a piece)

30 minutes

  • 3 cups crab meat
  • 1/2 c. bell pepper, diced fine
  • 1/4 c. onion, diced fine
  • 1 stalk celery, diced fine.
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. panko
  • 1/4 c. italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese
  • 2 t. old bay seasoning
  • salt/pepper
  • olive oil
  • lemon
  • dipping sauce

Prep veggies and put in a bowl.  Drop in lump crab meat, egg, breadcrumbs, cheese, and seasonings.  Get in there with your hands and mix that up!!!  If you can form patties, you’re all set.  Don’t over mix to break up all the great pieces of crab–that’s what makes them so good!

Pre-heat a skillet and put a thin layer of olive oil in the bottom.  Saute cakes until golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side or as you see fit.  Sprinkle with lemon and serve hot with sauce, without, in a sandwich, or you can make smaller patties for appetizer portions.

Want to make them healthier?  Less breadcrumbs, egg whites, bake instead of saute, no cheese.

Enjoy!  Pair with the sweet potato bake for an outstanding meal that can be on the table in about 30 minutes!  (you can see the sweet potatoes in the picture. it really was an excellent dinner)

Weeknight shrimp sandwiches

Cooking during the week has three rules: #1. it must be efficient. #2. it must taste good. #3. there must be leftovers for lunches the following day.  These sandwiches cover all my unwritten rules about weeknight cooking!

Beautiful, fresh shrimp cooked to perfection and paired with homemade crab mayo on a fresh roll with avocado…..Have you died and gone to foodie heaven yet?  These sandwiches will cure what ails you and will improve your mood immediately!

Every Thursday is ‘fish lady’ day.  While I suffer from living in a ‘land locked’ area, these women provide a once a week treat that PIC and I have grown to look forward too.  It’s no more expensive than the local grocery store and tastes as it should–like it was just plucked from the sea.  PIC has more time during the day to go to their designated locations so he buys what we’re hankering for.  They are very accommodating and send out a list of offerings via email on Wednesday, giving us a chance to collaborate on what would be good.

Over the weekend, we were watching Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and saw this a-ma-zing looking sandwich.  I’d been thinking about it since then.  I didn’t deep fry or over do the sandwich as the show depicted but tried to keep the integrity of the good flavors and making it a bit healthier.

We bought canned crab, again–we’re landlocked and “fresh” seafood doesn’t come easy.

Here’s what you’ll need:

About 30 min. from prep to plate

Serves 3-4 depending on how big your appetites are.

  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and de-veinged
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c. crab meat
  • 1 t. old bay seasoning
  • olive oil
  • french baquette, rolls, bread of some sort–your choice
  • 1 avocado-pitted and sliced
  • hot sauce
  • more lemon (if you wish)

Take shrimp and put them in a bowl.  Halve or quarter the lemon and juice over shrimp.  Add salt and pepper.  Toss to distribute. Cover and put in fridge for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime….take mayo, crab meat, and old bay and mix together in bowl.  Put in fridge.

Pre-heat a saute pan and separate shrimp from lemon.  Saute shrimp until opaque–about 4-6 minutes, depending on the size of your shrimp.  You can add more old bay, lemon, and/or hot sauce when they’re done cooking.

Open/cut bread or rolls.  I hollowed out some of the bread guts so the good stuff would fit in.  Line each side with some of the crab mayo and place slices of avocado in the bottom.  Top with shrimp and enjoy!

Add hot sauce, more lemon, old bay, lettuce, or anything that makes you happy! Enjoy!