Food & Drink

Tuna, cauliflower make for a hearty fall meal

Seared tuna with cauliflower mashed “potatoes.”
Seared tuna with cauliflower mashed “potatoes.” Tribune News Service

Fresh tuna takes only minutes to cook. The secret is to have a very hot skillet so the tuna sears on each side.

Cauliflower, microwaved and mashed, looks like mashed potatoes. Wild mushrooms add an earthy flavor.

Save time and the need to wash a second skillet with these two recipes of mine by using the same skillet for the tuna and mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms first. Remove from the skillet and sear the tuna in the same skillet.

Fred Tasker’s wine suggestion: Tuna is one of those red-wine-with-fish dishes. Maybe a light-bodied pinot noir.

Helpful Hints

▪  Minced garlic can be found in the produce section of the market.

▪  A quick way to chop chives is to snip them with a scissors.


▪  Saute mushrooms and garlic.

▪  Prepare and microwave cauliflower.

▪  Sear tuna.

Shopping List

To buy: 3/4 pound tuna steaks,1 package shitake mushrooms, 1 head cauliflower, 1 bunch chives, 1 bunch parsley (optional) and 1 carton reduced-fat sour cream.

Staples: Canola oil, garlic, skim milk, salt and black peppercorns.


1 teaspoon canola oil

3/4 pound fresh tuna steaks

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional garnish)

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat. Sear tuna for 1 minute. Turn and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste on the cooked side. Sear second side 1 minute for a 1/2-inch thick tuna steak. For a 1-inch tuna steak, lower heat and cook 2 more minutes. Remove to a cutting board, slice and divide between two dinner plates. Sprinkle parsley on top.

Per serving: 207 calories (17 percent from fat), 3.9 g fat (0.6 g saturated, 1.7 g monounsaturated), 78 mg cholesterol, 39.9 g protein, 0.2 g carbohydrates, 0.1 g fiber, 62 mg sodium.

Serves 2.


2 teaspoons canola oil

2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 head cauliflower (4 cups florets and stems)

2 tablespoons skim milk

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat canola oil in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat and saute the mushrooms 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to saute 1 minute. Remove from skillet and set aside. Use the same skillet to sear the tuna.

Separate the cauliflower into florets and coarsely chop the core. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high 8 minutes. Test to see if the cauliflower is soft. Microwave another 2 minutes if needed. Chop the cauliflower in a food processor or by hand, saving the bowl. Add back to the bowl and mix in the mushrooms-garlic mixture, skim milk, sour cream and chives. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Per serving: 163 calories (50 percent from fat), 9 g fat (2.9 g saturated, 4 g monounsaturated), 12 mg cholesterol, 8.1 g protein, 17.1 g carbohydrates, 5.2 g fiber, 102 mg sodium.

Serves 2.