Filed In: Appetizers

Tuna Poke Kale Salad

Tuna Poke, or Hawaiian raw-tuna salad, is all the rave right now. You’ve probably either been to or heard of a Poke Bar or restaurant popping up somewhere near you. In fact, in Dallas a few just popped up, which I am super excited to try by the way!!

In Hawaii, this is a classic dish you can find everywhere! Restaurants, family gatherings, and even delis–you name it, poke is there most likely. It’s super simple to make (think of it as tossing a salad) and the only trick is finding really good quality sushi grade tuna. Try your local fish market, or in the fish freezer section of Whole Foods and Central Market they have frozen sushi grade tuna. I always buy mine from Central Market, I’ve found it to be the best quality.

I’ve already decided that this is going to be my summer poolside lunch or dinner go-to. It’s so fresh when dining in the Texas Heat and super light, and it certainly doesn’t skimp of flavor! Oh, man is it good!!

AND, one more thing– you pronounce it “po-kay”, expert foodies are weird about when you mispronounce it but HEY, I am from Texas, we mispronounce everything…


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Tuna Poke and Sesame Kale Salad Bowls
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
For the Kale Salad:
For the Poke:
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
For the Kale Salad:
For the Poke:
Instructions
  1. Remove the kale from the stem and discard stems. Roughly chop the kale into bite sized pieces. Place the chopped kale in a bowl with the remaining kale salad ingredients and toss to coat evenly. Set aside in the fridge to allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes. (it is good even 24 hours later!)
  2. Meanwhile, using a very sharp knife, dice the tuna up into small cubes. I like to place my tuna in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to get it a little more firm before cutting so that it diced more cleanly and uniformly. Place diced tuna in a large bowl with the diced cucumber, avocado, scallions, jalapeno, seaweed and cilantro. Set aside and do not toss yet.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, coconut aminos, ginger, garlic, and the zest of 1/2 a lime. Whisk together and pour over the tuna. Using a spoon, gently toss the mixture until it is fully coated in the sauce. Set aside or in the fridge to let marinate for 10 minute prior to serving.
  4. Serve the poke in a bowl with the kale salad. Top with sesame seeds and serve with lime wedges.
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Crockpot Party Chili Con Queso

Alright guys, this is by far the most unhealthy thing I’ve ever posted on here and probably will remain the most unhealthy thing I will post on here until the end of time…but I am okay with that because I couldn’t live my life without sharing this absolutely delicious party perfect recipe with you, my dear friends! 

There is this little “cheese” they like to call Velveeta…and we all, myself included, are so grossed out by the fact that it comes in a box and could pretty much never grow mold on it because it is THAT processed and THAT bad for you. Well, even though I am disgusted by it..I am from Texas and I grew up on that shit and I love it. It was NOT a party at my parent’s house growing up without a big crockpot of this queso and if you grew up in the South, you can probably relate. 

So yes, I am a healthy food blogger. But yes, I am a real person that eats fake shit on occasion. Sue me. This is one of those recipes I do indulge in once a year and it usually falls around a big football game or kids birthday party. So for all of you that aren’t partaking in a Whole30 Challenge and are living on the dark side this Superbowl Sunday– this one goes to you. Enjoy yourselves and don’t stress it…but don’t eat the whole thing because you might croak. haha. Just Kidding.. well, but really, I wouldn’t eat the whole thing. 

Ok. Bye. Go make some Queso! 😉

Crockpot Party Queso
A deliciously meaty queso made in the crockpot and perfect for parties!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. ground beef
  2. 1 lb. Hot Sausage (I use Jimmy's Brand, if kids are eating it use the Regular!)
  3. 1 white or yellow onion, diced
  4. 2 cloves garlic
  5. salt and pepper, to taste
  6. 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  7. 1 can original rotel
  8. 1 (32oz) package original velveeta cheese
  9. 1 cup of Storebought Salsa (use Joe T's Medium Salsa for my exact recipe!)
  10. 1 cup shredded mexican blend cheese
Additional options to elevate your queso
  1. lime juice
  2. fresh chopped tomatoes
  3. fresh chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef, sausage, onion and garlic and cook, breaking up the meat with the back of the spoon, until it is browned and no longer pink, about 8 minutes. While this is browning, be sure to season your meat with salt and pepper! Nobody wants to bite into unseasoned meat!
  2. Drain off fat from the meat and place in a crockpot.
  3. Now, add the cream of mushroom soup, the rotel, the shredded cheese, the salsa. Cut the velveeta into 1 inch cubes and toss that in there too.
  4. Stir it all up, cover and cook. NOW I need to give you guys a little lesson on the cooking of this queso because it can burn so darn easily-- I like to set my crockpot to "warm" and just let it cook until the cheese is melted but it takes a little longer (like 1 hour). You can set it to its lowest "low" setting and it should be ready in closer to 30 minutes...but either way keep an eye on your party queso! Once she burns she tastes awful. Here is my rule of thumb once its ready and everyone is enjoying it and it is just sitting there to serve if it starts to bubble, I turn off the heat, then when it starts to look like its getting too cold and starting to solidify, I turn it back on warm... and I just keep doing that until the party is over. Off and "warm", never let it bubble. Stir often and you'll be golden!!
  5. Once its all melted and delicious, you can serve as it is or you can add some fresh cilantro and lime juice to jazz it up if you want!
The Defined Dish http://www.thedefineddish.com/

Jamaican Jerk Baked Chicken Wings


This Jamaican Jerk Seasoning is a great addition to pretty much any protein you can think of, and these chicken wings couldn’t be easier or more delicious. Gameday or not, these are a great addition to any party and your guests will love them. So many delicious flavors pack into one little wing! YUM. 

Jamaican Jerk Baked Chicken Wings
Serves 4
Delicious Whole30 & Paleo approved spicy Caribbean Jerk seasoning rubbed all over wings and baked to crispy perfection!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 lbs. Split Chicken Wings
  2. 2 Tbsp. Homemade Jerk Seasoning
  3. 2 tbsp. olive oil
Cooking Essentials
  1. You'll need a wire rack to bake the wings on!
Instructions
  1. Rinse wings and let them dry out. You can do this one of two ways depending on your time frame: I like to place mine in a collander and set the collander on top of a kitchen towel in the fridge for about 2 hours. If you don't have that kinda time, pat them as dry as you can possibily get them with paper towels.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Place dry chicken wings in a large bowl.
  4. Pour in 2 tbsp. of the jerk seasoning and toss until the wings are evenly coated.
  5. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss again, until all are coated evenly.
  6. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Set the wire rack on top of the foil wrapped sheet. Spread the wings across the wire rack in a single layer.
  7. Place in oven and bake until chicken is cooked through and skin is crispy, about 40-50 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven. Using a spatula, remove wings from wire rack and onto a serving platter.
  9. Serve and enjoy!
The Defined Dish http://www.thedefineddish.com/

Whole30 Cocktail Sauce

A great and easy appetizer to serve is shrimp cocktail and, one would think it would be easy to serve this when you doing a Whole30challenge. Wrong! I can’t find storebought, complaint cocktail sauce anywhere because, well, sugar is in everything! 

Sugar is also always in ketchup (unless you are using Tessamae’s), and ketchup is one of the main ingredients in Cocktail sauce. I didn’t have any Tessamae’s ketchup on hand recently and just decided to make some cocktail sauce based on basic, easy store bought ingredients. It is so easy and delicious! A great thing to have in the fridge for snack time or a nice appetizer when hosting. No one will know its Whole30 because that sugar is SO unnecessary.

Whole30 Cocktail Sauce
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  2. 2 whole, peeled tomatoes from the can (no juice)
  3. 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  4. 1 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
  5. 1 clove garlic
  6. 2.5 tsp. prepared horseradish
  7. 5-10 dashes of tabasco sauce (depending on your taste buds)
  8. salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until tomatoes are pureed and all of the ingredients are well combined. You don't want to over blend and have it too smooth, you want a little bit of texture.
  2. Serve with pre-cooked and chilled shrimp and/or crab claws.
The Defined Dish http://www.thedefineddish.com/

Lemon-Basil Aioli

Who reading this is straight up sick of a boring old Grilled Chicken Salad? Have no fear, this lemon-basil aioli is here to vamp up your boring grilled chicken salad and so much more! Top off your bunless burger with this. Dip your roasted sweet potato fries in it. I also love dipping super crispy roasted brussels sprouts in it or even steamed artichokes. Regardless of what your using it for, this aioli is sure to make your meal a better one. Not to mention, it only takes 10 quick minutes to whip up! Enjoy!

Lemon-Basil Aioli
Serves 6
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
For the Aioli
  1. 1 egg
  2. 1 cup safflower seed oil
  3. juice of 1 lemon
  4. zest of 1/2 lemon
  5. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1 heaping tbsp. loosely chopped fresh basil
Instructions
  1. Fill a small cup or bowl with hot water (just as hot as your tap water can get). Place egg (uncracked) in the bowl for 3 minutes so that it will get to room temp.
  2. In a food processor or blender, crack the egg. add 1/4 cup of safflower seed oil. pulse until blended.
  3. Now, turn your food processor on and while it is running, slowly drizzle the remaining 3/4 cup of safflower seed oil, like pour as slowly as you possibly can. This will take about 2-3 minutes to drizzle it all in.
  4. Now it should look like a mayo base. Add in the remaining ingredients (lemon zest, lemon juice, basil, garlic, salt and pepper). Blend until everything is well blended.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
  1. I served mine with a bed of arugula, some grilled chicken, with sliced red onions and cherry tomatoes.
  2. This is also great addition to burgers (or bunless burgers).
  3. I also love to dip super crispy roasted brussels sprouts in it or steamed artichokes!
The Defined Dish http://www.thedefineddish.com/