Let the grilling begin! It's time for Memorial Day, so it's time to take the grill out of the garage or shed -- or uncover the one that's spent the winter in the yard.
Just remember grilling does not have to mean meat. Substitute fish and some colorful vegetables, and you'll never miss the hamburger. Some experts advise people with heart disease, or at high risk for this condition, to eat two servings a week of fish highest in omega-3 fats, like salmon, herring, rainbow trout, sardines, albacore tuna and mackerel. And, if you first marinate the fish, you will avoid creating the carcinogens that otherwise form when animal meats are grilled.
Marinate chunks of tuna in lime juice, soy sauce, garlic, basil and a few red pepper flakes. The marinade will keep the fish moist as it cooks. Only 15 minutes of marinating is necessary. After marinating, thread the tuna on skewers for grilling. In addition to the tuna, add big cherry tomatoes, onion wedges and cucumber. Cucumbers are usually eaten raw, but cooking them can bring out their often-overlooked citrus flavor. To further keep the lean tuna moist while grilling, cut the cucumber into crescents and nestle the fish between a cucumber crescent and a wedge of onion - a position that helps protect the tuna from excess heat.
Use tomatoes and cucumbers that are firm, with smooth, brightly-colored skin. Avoid those that have soft spots or are shriveled. Store tomatoes at room temperature. Whole cucumbers may be stored in the refrigerator, unwashed and in a plastic bag, up to 10 days. Wash them thoroughly just before using.
Since these kebabs only get better when their flavors meld overnight, they can even be made ahead. They are good at room temperature. If you have leftovers, take the tuna off the skewers and serve it on a bed of chopped romaine lettuce for a chunky, grilled tuna salad.
Makes 4 servings.
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
- 1 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/4-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. fresh tuna, cut in 12 chunks
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced
- 8 large cherry tomatoes
- 1 medium red onion, halved vertically and cut into crescents
- Preheat grill or broiler.
- In a glass or other non-reactive bowl, combine the lime juice, soy sauce, garlic, basil, pepper flakes, pepper and oil. Add the tuna to the marinade, turning to coat. Cover and marinate up to 1 hour, turning tuna chunks occasionally.
- Using four 10-inch metal or (well-soaked) bamboo skewers, assemble the kebabs, alternating the fish with pieces of cucumber, onion and tomato.
- Broil the kebabs 5 minutes. Turn and cook until the fish is firm to the touch and the vegetables browned, about 5 minutes more. Do not overcook or the tuna will be dry. Serve either hot or at room temperature with hot steamed rice.
8 g. total fat (1 g. saturated fat),
8 g. carbohydrate,
27 g. protein,
2 g. dietary fiber,
96 mg. sodium
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Diabetic Exchanges: 3-1/2 Medium-Fat Meat, 1 Vegetable